Topinka: Developmentally disabled will be prioritized

SPRINGFIELD—Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Tuesday announced that she has directed her staff to prioritize payments for day programs, child group homes, community living facilities and other programs serving the developmentally disabled.

The direction from the state Fiscal Officer comes after the Department of Human Services notified service providers of payment delays caused by an insufficient appropriation in the fiscal year 2012 budget. The department noted that payments would not be processed until after July 1, and then be subject to ongoing state payment delays.

“Those serving the developmentally disabled should know that we will make their payments as soon as the information reaches our door,” Topinka said, noting her policy of prioritizing payment for the state’s most vulnerable residents. “People literally rely on these programs for survival, and they will take priority.”

Topinka noted that, while services for the developmentally disabled will be prioritized, her office today has more than 164,000 unpaid bills totaling $4.4 billion to businesses, schools, hospitals and service agencies throughout the state.