February 8, 2023 - Special Meeting Agenda and Meeting Report


Open to the general public.


Wednesday, February 8, 2023


1:30pm to 2pm


This meeting was held via Zoom teleconferencing with pre-registration for all public participants.


This is a special meeting to specifically discuss the following topic:

  • Discussion of Draft Letter to Governor and State Legislators

Meeting Report


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Benny Delgado, IDHS, Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Brenda Devito, Clearbrook, Chairperson
  • Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education
  • Christine Doyle Morrison, Provider Representative
  • Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative
  • Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative
  • Michael Garner-Jones, IL Dept. of Human Services, Bureau of Subsidy Mgmt. (Child Care)
  • Lynnette DeGraffenreid, Provider Representative
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Dee Dee Lowery, CFC 1 Program Manager, Urban Representative
  • Nisha Sanghvi, Provider Representative
  • Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative
  • Marie VonDeBur, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Angel Williams, Illinois Department of Child and Family Services
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative


  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative
  • Jennifer Gentile, IL Dept. of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Rosie Perez, Parent Representative
  • Shelly Roat, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Becca Trevino, Parent Representative
  • Kate Ulmer, ISBE, McKinney-Vento, Homeless Representative
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health

Council Packet Contents:

* Draft Letter to Governor and State Legislators

1) Call to Order

Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 1:32pm

2) Draft Letter to Governor and State Legislators

Brenda Devito described that the IICEI received a request from Karen Berman, Start Early, about how critical it is for the IICEI to develop a letter to Governor Pritzker and legislative leaders advocating for increased funding for early intervention. A letter was drafted by the advocates, including people from Start Early, Amy Zimmerman, IICEI member, and Esther Beard, IICEI member. Brenda stated this meeting was to get approval on the letter. The Governor's budget address is 1 week away, and therefore there is urgency for the IICEI to decide whether to sign this letter and send to Governor and legislators. The letter, if approved, will be sent out by Thursday or Friday, February 9 or 10. The letter will be sent on behalf of the IICEI membership and will be sent on IICEI letterhead. If members want their name, title, and organization specifically attached to the letter, the IICEI will add a page to the letter with everyone's name, title, and organization. IICEI members who wish to have their name, title, organization specifically added were asked to put that information in chat.

Discussion from IICEI members was opened. Questions, concerns, and comments included: the IICEI role is advising the Bureau, this advocacy feels different; statements made and data presented within the body of the letter requires clarification and an understanding of where the data originated from; agreeing to this letter and sharing with the Governor and legislators feels rushed; are edits to the letter an option at this point; concerns about ensuring different stakeholder voices are heard when collaborating as a IICEI; low compensation for CFCs is part of the problem but significantly increased workload is also part of the challenge; how will this request for increased funds interact with the ARPA funds and the recent bill (HB1249) for increase to OT, PT and ST; EI needs increased funding to support the system; discussion of Grassroots Alliance role in collecting data; recommended to make the statements more general; this letter is critically important; EI is a chronically overlooked program.

Amy Zimmerman made a motion that the IICEI come together and vote to approve this letter. Donna Emmons seconded the motion.

IICEI Members Vote
  • 11 - Yes
  • 1 - Abstain
  • 2 - Oppose

 3) Meeting Adjournment

Christy Morrison made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Lynnette DeGraffenreid seconded the motion.  Meeting Adjourned at 2:20pm.

Contact Information

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Ph: 217/524-1596

Email: jennifer.grissom@illinois.gov

If you are in need of special accommodations, please email or call Jenni Grissom.