Legislation on Workforce Training Being Considered That Could Impact Disabled Workers, Service Providers


Published on September 19 2023 10:25 am
Last Updated on September 19 2023 10:25 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Community Support Systems is an agency that works with those with various disabilities. One thing CSS provides is teaching work skills. The agency and others with a similar mission are allowed to pay its clients a "commensurate wage" during the training cycle. That wage is a percentage of what fully able people are paid in the workforce.

There is legislation being considered in Illinois that would eliminate the 14(c) work certificate that those being taught are paid under. 

CSS' Andy Kistler said that one result of the legislation (HB793) is a change in the rates of reimbursement to the providers who work with the clients, such as CSS. Kistler said the reimbursements could end up less for training clients for the workforce than for non-work activities such as trips to the museum, bowling alleys and the park. He said he and members of the CSS Board, many of whom are parents of CSS clients, are frustrated with the proposal.

Local St. Rep. Adam Niemerg of Dieterich met earlier this month with Kistler and representatives of other Developmental Disabilities facilities on the legislation. Niemerg said of those who would be affected by the change in legislation, "The pride they take in being a part of a team and making a paycheck enables them to be a part of our communities."

The legislation was defeated during the spring legislative session, but could resurface during the fall veto session in October.