Little City Responds to Gov. Rauner’s Veto of House Bill 5931

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Little City encourages all of its stakeholders to contact local lawmakers and the Governor’s office to encourage them to support $15 per hour for Direct Support Professionals

Little City is deeply disappointed in the recent decision by Governor Bruce Rauner to veto House Bill 5931 that would have provided a living wage of $15 per hour for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). DSPs are the front line staff who care for and support individuals living with developmental disabilities every minute, every hour and every day. Direct Support Professionals in Illinois assist 27,000 people with disabilities to lead productive lives and participate in their communities. However, agencies are hard pressed to find qualified staff willing to work for poverty-level wages.

Direct Support Professionals provide life-sustaining and life-enriching supports that are vital to the daily accomplishments of individuals with developmental disabilities. Unfortunately, Direct Support Professionals in Illinois make an average of only $9.35 per hour or $19,488/year, less than the federal poverty level for a family of three.

Illinois seemed ready to show support for the DSPs who provide critical services when the legislation to increase wages was approved by the General Assembly with 107 ‘yes’ votes. Governor Rauner also issued a proclamation praising the essential and critical work of DSPs while acknowledging the growing shortage of qualified workers throughout the state. But two days after issuing that proclamation, Governor Rauner vetoed the bill.

“We must continue to fight for fair wages for our Direct Support Professionals,” said Shawn Jeffers, executive director of Little City. “We are eager to continue to work with state lawmakers and the Governor to develop a solution to the DSP Workforce Crisis, supporting both individuals with disabilities and the staff that care for them.”

Contact local legislators and the Governor’s office to let them know the importance of this issue.

Legislator contact information for each district can be found at The Governor’s Office can be contacted at or:

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244

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Lawrence Heisler
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