The Catalyst

October Edition of The Catalyst

Published: & 2015-10-06

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   October 2015              

 

Two Very Informative Articles Worth Reading
Illinois house and Senate will both be back in Session on October 20th.  Even for those who pay close attention, it is tough to stay informed during the Illinois budget impasse.  Monique Garcia’s article from the Chicago Tribune does a great job of explaining the effect proposed legislation and rule changes will have on social services.  Several elected officials are quoted as well as Amber Smock, Access Living’s Director of Advocacy.
 
The State Journal Register published a joint op-ed from Access Living’s president and CEO, Marca Bristo and AARP Illinois CEO Bob Gallo.  Full article available here.
 
Nice work everyone!!  Way to get out the message!!
 
 
How You Can Help 
Among other issues, both articles spoke of The Determination of Need (DON) Score and legislation to keep that number from being raised.  HB 2482 would keep the DON Score from being raised.  It passed through both the Illinois House and Senate.  HB 2482 went to Governor Rauner on September 2, 2015.
 
Click here to ask Governor Rauner to sign HB2482 and do the right thing for the 10,000 Illinoisans living with a disability and 24,000 seniors whose lives will be drastically impacted if the DON score is raised from 29 to 37.


Tell Your Representatives To Fund Social Services
SB 2046 already passed through the Illinois Senate.  This legislation to authorize 3.8 Billion dollars in state spending ranging from Illinois State Lottery prizes to overdue fuel tax funds for municipalities also includes funding for human services.  September 24, by a 7-0 vote, it passed through the House Executive Committee. 
 
It now needs approval from the full house.  Among the human services funded within this bill are Centers for Independent Living.  We have always known how important of a role CILs play within our communities.  Unfortunately, many are finding out how detrimental of an impact their absence can be in the lives of many of our Illinois friends, families and neighbors.
 
Urge your Representatives in the Illinois house to VOTE YES ON SB 2046! Send your thoughts in an editable letter to your state representatives by clicking here.


Kotowski Steps Down to Take Position with NFP
CCDI's 2015 Penny Severns Legislator of the Year Award recipient stepped down on October 5, 2015 to take a job with a nonprofit organization focused on helping at-risk children and families. You can read the official press release in his own words by clicking here.  We at CCDI wish him the best of luck.

It was announced that Democrat Laura Murphy of Des Plaines will be the newest member of the Illinois Senate after being picked by party leaders to finish the term of Dan Kotowski.  She is a former Des Plaines alderman and was backed by Kotowski prior to the September 28th vote.  That full article is available here.


Register To Vote!  
  Your Vote Counts Icon 
September 22, 2015 was National Register to Vote Day.  If you have never registered to vote, are unsure of your registration status, moved, want to help a friend or family member, will be 18 by November 8, 2016, etc.; just click on this link to get all set up .  If you are not sure where you are supposed to go to vote, polling place information is available here.


 
 
 

Emergency Preparedness Trainings
The Illinois Disability and Health Program is collaborating with the Collaborative Healthcare Urgency Group to host five regional trainings on how to develop an emergency plan/kit for people with disabilities and caregivers.  Please click on the link below to register for any of the first four scheduled for Springfield, Effingham, Murphysboro, and Dixon, IL.  A fifth training will be held in the Spring in the Schaumburg area.  Registration and all additional information is available here.
 

Warming Centers in Illlinois
It is that time of year when Illinois will inevitably keep getting a little colder each week and month.  Some readers are obviously going to be more familiar with this program than others.  Warming centers are available in state facilities across Illinois.

These facilities are a safe, warm place to go during the day. To complement the state effort, mayors statewide have been asked to provide local warming centers in their communities.  Warming center hours vary by location and are limited to each facilities' regular business hours.  We have two lists, and hopefully you can utilize and/or help spread the word about both of them.  There is a list of warming centers for Springfield and Sangamon County and another list of warming centers throughout the state of Illinois.


LIHEAP Dates Released  
***People with Disabilities: Take Note of Early Application LIHEAP Date October 1, 2015

1-   October 1, 2015- The heating season started and the program has since been available to seniors and disabled individuals who are connected or disconnected.
2-     November 1, 2015- The program is available to families with children under the age of 6 years and disconnected (non-priority)                         households.
3-     December 1, 2015- All other low-income eligible households can apply at this time.
 
The program will continue until May 31, 2016, or until funding is exhausted.
 In addition, the following program changes have been made:

1 - Reconnection Assistance- this program component will start November 1 and includes the following changes:
     a.  The RA limit amount has been reduced to $750.
     b.  Households who are disconnected and/or have an imminent threat of disconnection are eligible to apply.
     c.  RA benefit must restore the energy service.  This is the biggest change.  This means that the DVP+RA benefits must equal to the                       Reconnect Amount.  Otherwise, the benefits will be denied due to “Client Portion Required.”  These clients must be counseled to pay              their CPR to the utility and contact their LAA again.  Once the payment is made, the LAA will be able to re-process the benefit.
 
2-     Furnace Assistance- This program component begins October 1 and it will be available to the priority groups and dates listed                 above.  The program will continue until March 31, 2016 or until funding is exhausted.
 
 
***Keep an eye out for future CCDI News Blasts for more information as it is released.

 
Liheap Energy Saver Icon   ENERGY SMART

Energy efficiency-creates three positive benefits at once for you and the planet;
· cuts your home utility bills so you have extra money to spend on other things
· increases your comfort
· reduces pollution

And, it’s easy.  When you choose energy-efficient technologies and products for your home, you can relax while they continue producing these benefits for you day after day, year after year. 
Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System
· Have your system check once a year by a professional service person.
· Change your furnace filter once every month or two during heating season. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations on electronic filter        maintenance.
· Keep your air conditioner filter and coils clean during the cooling season. Avoid toxic or caustic air coil cleaning solutions intended for commercial  buildings.
·  Clean radiators, ductwork, and vents.
· Keep furniture and other things away from forced air heating and AC registers and return grilles.
· Set heating thermostat to 65 degrees during the day, or even lower at night while you're sleeping. Exception- most heat pumps should not be  severely setback for heating since when set up again to comfortable temperatures later, the direct electric strip heating elements can come on    wasting power and actually increasing your bill. Caution: elderly persons should re-consider deep setbacks of thermostats for health reasons.
· Set air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees. Use local circulating fans or ceiling fans to boost comfort.
 
 
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