LONG-DELAYED RELIEF COMING FOR ILLINOIS' HOME HEALTH CARE WORKERS
Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza to release $30.7 million in backpay for home health care workers by end of the week
June 24, 2019
“These frontline workers enrich the lives of Illinois people with disabilities, many of them elderly, and save taxpayers money by keeping them in their homes instead of costlier assisted living facilities,” Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza said. “They have long since earned the raise they won years ago.”
Back in 2017 the Illinois General Assembly approved a 48-cent-an-hour raise for some 49,053 workers who have visited Illinois’ people with disabilities, providing home health care.
Former Gov. Bruce Rauner illegally refused to pay it, even as courts ordered him to follow the law. That pushed some of those Illinoisans into assisted living centers or nursing homes at far higher cost to taxpayers. The new administration had to comb through Rauner-era records to determine how much was owed to each worker.
“Despite former Gov. Rauner’s resistance, I safeguarded these back wages in a special account since April, 2018, for home health care workers who were entitled to the 48-cent-an-hour raise promised to them,” Mendoza said. “Given that these funds were safeguarded, my office is able to process these payments immediately without any further delay to hard-working current and former workers.”
These payments are separate from some $300 million in backpay for employees of other departments who were due raises former Gov. Rauner refused to pay. The Illinois Office of Comptroller is working with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget and state agencies on the process for those back wages owed to state employees in other departments. Once those vouchers arrive, my office will begin processing such payments.
The $30.7 million in back wages for the home health care workers will be released this week to the Department of Human Services with an issuance date of Friday, June 28, 2019.