Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0272
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Full Text of HR0272  100th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Direct support professionals are the primary
3providers of publicly-funded long-term support and services
4for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities;
6    WHEREAS, The Congressional Budget Office has found that the
7demand for direct support professionals will grow rapidly in
8the coming decade; and
9    WHEREAS, In recent years, community-based providers
10serving children and adults with intellectual/developmental
11disabilities have expressed growing concerns about the
12inability to recruit and retain direct support professionals
13despite increasing demand for services; and
14    WHEREAS, Governor Bruce Rauner, through a proclamation
15issued on August 24, 2016, acknowledged that there is a
16documented critical and growing shortage of direct support
17professionals throughout the United States; and
18    WHEREAS, The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of
19Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal federal agency for
20measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price
21changes in the economy; and



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1    WHEREAS, Policymakers at the federal and State levels make
2frequent use of BLS data and analytics to identify trends in
3employment, productivity, price indexes, and compensation; and
4    WHEREAS, The BLS recently looked at the data it collects
5for wages, total compensation, and job openings for two direct
6care occupations: home health aides and personal care aides;
7this look was organized to better understand wages, total
8compensation, and job openings for these direct care positions
9as posited against eight alternative occupations with similar
10educational level requirements and short-term training
11requirements; and
12    WHEREAS, While there is a standard occupational
13classification for both home health aides and personal care
14aides, there is not separate standard occupational
15classification for direct support professionals; and
16    WHEREAS, As there is overlap with respect to educational
17and training requirements among home health aides, personal
18care aides, and direct support professionals, there are clear
19differences in occupation responsibilities, modalities of
20employment, and populations served and supported; and
21    WHEREAS, Factoring direct support professionals in with



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1home health aides and personal care aides does not provide
2policymakers at both the federal and State levels with accurate
3data on the key indicators for direct support professionals of
4wages, total compensation, job openings, and turnover; and
5    WHEREAS, In August of 2016, a United States Government
6Accountability Office Report on the Long-Term Care Workforce to
7the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and
8Administrative Rules, Committee on Government Oversight and
9Government Reform indicated there are gaps in existing federal
10data that make it difficult to know what the current workforce
11numbers are and to predict future trends regarding supply and
12demand; and
13    WHEREAS, In the report, it was specifically noted that
14"According to BLS officials, due to the National Compensation
15Survey's small sample size, benefits data are limited to direct
16care workers in all industries and cannot be broken down by
17occupation or specific industry"; and
18    WHEREAS, In the same report, it was noted that "Unless the
19Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) takes
20actions to overcome data limitations in order to make
21projections of supply and demand, the ability of policymakers
22and other stakeholders to develop appropriate workforce
23strategies to ensure a sufficient number of qualified direct



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1care workers will continue to be hampered"; and
2    WHEREAS, The need to capture accurate data at the federal
3level to ensure government has the information it needs to
4build the direct support professional workforce is at its
5highest need; and
6    WHEREAS, By designating the Direct Support Professional as
7its own standard occupational classification, the BLS will be
8in a position to capture much more precise and accurate data
9specific to the profession; this in turn will assist federal
10and State policymakers to inform the public of the current
11status of the workforce, impact policymaking on direct support
12professional issues, which will include potential changes by
13the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other
14federal agencies as they recognize the need for focus on this
15workforce, and potentially impact federal resources legislated
16by the United States Congress for direct support professional
17initiatives, and potentially increasing the amount of people
18employed in the State; therefore, be it
21urge the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor
22Statistics to designate the Direct Support Professional as its
23own standard occupational classification so that more accurate



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1and precise data on this workforce can be captured and analyzed
2on an ongoing basis; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
4delivered to the Secretary of the United States Department of