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20 ILCS 1705/54.5

    (20 ILCS 1705/54.5)
    Sec. 54.5. Community care for persons with developmental disabilities quality workforce initiative.
    (a) Legislative intent. Individuals with developmental disabilities who live in community-based settings rely on direct support staff for a variety of supports and services essential to the ability to reach their full potential. A stable, well-trained direct support workforce is critical to the well-being of these individuals. State and national studies have documented high rates of turnover among direct support workers and confirmed that improvements in wages can help reduce turnover and develop a more stable and committed workforce. This Section would increase the wages and benefits for direct care workers supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and provide accountability by ensuring that additional resources go directly to these workers.
    (b) Reimbursement. In order to attract and retain a stable, qualified, and healthy workforce, beginning July 1, 2010, the Department of Human Services may reimburse an individual community service provider serving individuals with developmental disabilities for spending incurred to provide improved wages and benefits to its employees serving individuals with developmental disabilities. Reimbursement shall be based upon the provider's most recent cost report. Subject to available appropriations, this reimbursement shall be made according to the following criteria:
        (1) The Department shall reimburse the provider to
compensate for spending on improved wages and benefits for its eligible employees. Eligible employees include employees engaged in direct care work.
        (2) In order to qualify for reimbursement under
this Section, a provider must submit to the Department, before January 1 of each year, documentation of a written, legally binding commitment to increase spending for the purpose of providing improved wages and benefits to its eligible employees during the next year. The commitment must be binding as to both existing and future staff. The commitment must include a method of enforcing the commitment that is available to the employees or their representative and is expeditious, uses a neutral decision-maker, and is economical for the employees. The Department must also receive documentation of the provider's provision of written notice of the commitment and the availability of the enforcement mechanism to the employees or their representative.
        (3) Reimbursement shall be based on the amount of
increased spending to be incurred by the provider for improving wages and benefits that exceeds the spending reported in the cost report currently used by the Department. Reimbursement shall be calculated as follows: the per diem equivalent of the quarterly difference between the cost to provide improved wages and benefits for covered eligible employees as identified in the legally binding commitment and the previous period cost of wages and benefits as reported in the cost report currently used by the Department, subject to the limitations identified in paragraph (2) of this subsection. In no event shall the per diem increase be in excess of $7.00 for any 12 month period, or in excess of $8.00 for any 12 month period for community-integrated living arrangements with 4 beds or less. For purposes of this Section, "community-integrated living arrangement" has the same meaning ascribed to that term in the Community-Integrated Living Arrangements Licensure and Certification Act.
        (4) Any community service provider is eligible to
receive reimbursement under this Section. A provider's eligibility to receive reimbursement shall continue as long as the provider maintains eligibility under paragraph (2) of this subsection and the reimbursement program continues to exist.
    (c) Audit. Reimbursement under this Section is subject to audit by the Department and shall be reduced or eliminated in the case of any provider that does not honor its commitment to increase spending to improve the wages and benefits of its employees or that decreases such spending.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)