The Rebalancing Initiative will reduce Illinois' reliance on large, state operated development centers (SODC) and increase the number of people with developmental disabilities living in community-based settings. The Quinn administration is committed to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities by transitioning them into the community.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court determined that every person with a disability is entitled to a choice in how they want to live, states across the nation have developed systems that provide funding based on individual needs and preferences. Community-based living arrangements are shown to greatly improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities. At least 14 states no longer use large SODCs.

Under the first phase of the plan, residents of the Jacksonville Developmental Center (JDC) transitioned to alternative settings. Individuals who currently reside at Murray Developmental Center (MDC) in Centralia will transition to community-based settings.

Governor Quinn Supports the Illinois Rebalancing Initiative

2013 State of the State Address

Governor Quinn Supports the Illinois Rebalancing Initiative

Four years ago, Illinois lagged behind the nation in providing community care to people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges.

We were institutionalizing more people than any other state, even though community care has been proven to provide a better quality of life.

So we are changing that. We're committed to making sure all our citizens - regardless of the challenges they face - have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

That's why we closed outdated institutions - and we invested in community care.

We invested in people.

People like Eddy Fleming are now thriving with a better, more independent life.

After 12 years of living at a state institution, Eddy recently moved to a community home. He chooses what he wants to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He goes shopping, he walks around his neighborhood, and he practices guitar on his porch.

Eddy makes his own choices and chases his own dreams. That's our Illinois.

And I am pleased to announce today that, because of our commitment, Illinois will soon receive significant new resources to provide supportive housing for people with disabilities.

These resources will provide not only a roof over their heads…but also the skills training, counseling, and services they need to become productive members of their communities.

And we're not done yet.

We want Illinois to be the nation's leading employer of people with disabilities.

With your partnership, we can double the rate of employment for people with disabilities by 2015.

Our Illinois is an "employment first" state.

2013 Budget Address

When I took office, Illinois institutionalized more people with disabilities and mental health challenges than any state in the Union.

Since then, we've closed several institutions.

We've invested more in community care, which provides a better quality of life and more independence for people with disabilities.

2012 Budget Address

I believe in a decent quality of life for everyone in Illinois. That's why we must fix our Medicaid system.

That's also why I'm committed to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges.

Our budget includes funding to ensure smooth transitions and coordinated care as individuals go from costly institutions to supportive community settings. Illinois lags behind the rest of the nation in the utilization of person-centered, community-based care which has been demonstrated to allow people with developmental disabilities to lead more active and independent lives.

Over the next fiscal year, we will close two developmental disability centers: Jacksonville, as well as the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia.

We will close two mental health hospitals: Tinley Park, as well as Singer in Rockford.

The approach we are taking to rebalance our system will allow for the safe and smart transition to community care settings for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

We will comply with all court consent decrees. We will provide individualized care.

And we will achieve savings for the people of Illinois.

In addition to providing more access to community care with these closures, our budget acknowledges fiscal reality by closing or consolidating 59 other state facilities. In Juvenile Justice, Joliet and Murphysboro youth centers will be closed.