One raise for Illinois caregivers approved, another on hold

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Advocates say a 75-cents-an-hour wage increase for people who care for the developmentally disabled in Illinois should help group homes hire and retain staff members.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration indicated last week that the increase included in the 2018 budget lawmakers approved in July should begin within 60 days.

But another wage hike included in the budget is on hold. That’s 48 cents an hour allotted to 28,000 personal assistants who look after physically disabled people in their homes.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris says the 48-cent raise “wasn’t a suggestion.” Rauner spokesman Jason Schaumburg says the raise must be part of contract negotiations with SEIU Healthcare Illinois.

SEIU disagrees and filed a lawsuit last week in Cook County to force payment.