June 16, 2005 Meeting

DSAC co-chairs, Ann Ford and Art Dykstra, introduced an idea for the future of the committee. In order to meet the intent of the legislation rather than appeal to a seemingly arbitrary deadline, it is proposed that the DSAC submit a scaled down report to the legislature that does not include any formal recommendations. The Committee chairs do not feel comfortable with such a limited timetable submitting recommendations that have not been properly deliberated upon. Further, the chairs feared that the hand out for the meeting, entitled DSAC Draft Implementation Plan, was misconstrued to include final recommendations. The chairs announced that this document does not represent any decisions made by the state or the committee and rather was simply a laundry-list of ideas that had been submitted to the DSAC over the course of the last three months. In that regard, the title "Implementation Plan" was a bit of a misnomer, as the document contained several recommendations that were not considered by State agency personnel or the DSAC. The chairs apologized for any unnecessary confusion that the document, distributed two days prior to the Committee, may have created.

It was proposed that the State agencies take time in the first quarter of the new fiscal year to deliberate and select 5 or 6 outcomes for Illinois to pursue. Those outcomes would be submitted for contemplation to the DSAC and the committee would select recommended activities to achieve said outcomes.

It was further proposed that Secretary Adams would submit to the legislature, with the DSAC's approval, on July 1, 2005, something more similar to a status report than an implementation plan.

The group agreed that such a course of action is in the best interest of achieving the goal of drafting a viable implementation plan for Illinois to meet the needs of the ADA and Olmstead decision. No one expressed concern over the basic elements of this decision.

It was further proposed that the legislation be modified or amended to reflect the timetable that the group faces. Phil Milsk, joining by phone, commented that he feels that the bill's co-sponsors would probably be agreeable to amending the legislation, as the amendments would be pursuant to properly achieving the legislative intent rather than scaling down efforts. Phil also commented that he would like to change PA 93-0638's purpose under Section 5. The purpose of a bill should not be to create a committee, but to create a set of outcomes or changes for a targeted population. He would also like to change or elucidated some of the mandated implementation plan elements under Section 20 part b. Some of the elements were added at the last section and were not clear to anyone at the table.

Some committee members expressed concern that amending the legislation would open the door to other interested parties to submit a variety of other interests, resulting in significant and potentially untenable changes to the DSAC's enabling legislation.

The group agreed to provide comments to Greg Diephouse or Phil on any proposed changes to the legislation. Phil agreed to submit a recommendation to the Committee at their next meeting on July 18th.

Audrey McCrimon pointed out that the DSAC may wish to consider blunting any possible criticism from parties not in the room over the new course of action. She also suggested that we inform the legislative co-sponsors in writing. The group agreed to draft a letter to the co-sponsors from the co-chairs and Secretary Adams informing them of our intentions. The committee would be given an opportunity to comment on the letter before it was mailed.

The group touched on the process issue of decision-making. Brian Rubin asked if each one of the recommendations would be given an up or down vote and what the new timeline would be. The co-chairs will bring a process and timeline to the group at the next meeting. Rita Burke expressed concerns that minority positions would not be heard and Max Chumura, the group's consultant, assured her that minority positions would be given an opportunity to be heard or read upon the submission of the committee's report, should the need arise.

Tony Paulauski distributed two documents: first a letter dated June 15, 2005, entitled: "Recent reports finding "institutional bias" in the Illinois Developmental Disabilities system", and second, a page entitled "Where People Are Served". Tony indicated this was in response to comments that the phrase "institutional bias" was a sound-bite that lacked merit.

Art offered to adjourn the meeting and committee member Marian Alcala voiced her concern that the tone of the document did not reflect the urgency for reform that she felt. It was decided that someone from DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities would interview Marian in person and draft a document to put her concerns and suggestions in writing.

The meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.

Next Steps

The DSAC Co-chairs and the Secretary would write to the legislative leadership to inform them of the need for more time to complete the Implementation Plan and that a Status Report would be submitted on July 1, 2005. A meeting will be scheduled for July to continue the deliberations about system change outcomes.