Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – With support staff in community living facilities facing high turnover rates and low wages, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) joined advocates to support legislation to increase pay for these frontline workers.

“For too long, the funding meant for essential workers has not reached their wallets,” Villivalam said. “The staff who care for our most vulnerable neighbors deserve a living wage, and I stand with them in calling for better and fairer working conditions.”

More than 27,000 Illinoisans with intellectual or developmental disabilities rely on direct support personnel at community living facilities. Direct support personnel assist with the personal care and complex medical needs of residents. While Illinois has increased funding for these services, starting pay at many facilities remain slightly above minimum wage.

Senate Bill 3607 and House Bill 4616 would increase starting wages for direct support personnel by $3.50 per hour. The legislation also includes provisions to ensure funds are passed to all workers.

House Bill 4647 enhances transparency and accountability measures by requiring state-funded facilities to report turnover rates, data on wages and diversity of employees to the Department of Human Services.

All measures currently await consideration in their respective chambers.