Illinois House Bill 5764 Passes
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
Illinois home health care workers can so far thank the state legislators for keeping HB5764 alive and passing it out of both houses. The bill, which amends the Illinois Act on the Aging establishes increased wages paid by vendors to their employees who provide homemaker services to the Community Care Program.
Starting this July 1st, 2016, rates shall be increased to $19.27 and continue increasing annually till 2019. The bipartisan effort led by House Representative Jaime Andrade Jr. (40th District), passed yesterday and now awaits Governor Rauner’s signature.
The Illinois chapter of SEIU issued this statement “That’s why we join advocates for seniors, providers and home care agencies in applauding our legislators in the Illinois Senate on the passage of HB 5764 with a super majority vote of 37-19.”
“The 35,000 workers of the Community Care Program provide seniors with choice and dignity and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by offering an alternative to costlier nursing facilities. But the workers can barely make ends meet with an average wage of $10.42 per hour, leading to a disturbing annual turnover rate of 62 percent. HB 5764 protects health insurance and a living wage and is the best and most cost-effective investment we can make to help seniors and the people who care for them.
Will the Governor sign the bill? No word yet from his office. Stay tuned…