Illinois AG: State lacks funds to increase disabled care funding

The Illinois Attorney General's Office is arguing against a potential court order that could increase state payments for care provided to disabled individuals by $1 billion annually, according to Reuters.

Supporters of the potential court order accused Illinois of violating a federal consent decree by failing to provide essential medical services to developmentally disabled people due to a lack of state funding.

Chief Deputy Illinois Attorney General Brent Stratton argued that Illinois is in substantial compliance with the decree. He said the state's fiscal year 2018 budget allocated $53 million for disabled care, the first rate increase for disabled care since 2008.

"The court has the power to enforce the consent decree, but there is a limit," Mr. Stratton said Friday in arguments before U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, according to Reuters. "The court can't order us to increase rates."

The state said it lacks proper funding to pay off over $14 billion in backlogged bills. The Illinois Attorney General's Office said that if the state is ordered to allocate additional funding toward disabled care, other programs could see budget cuts.

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