Senator Fine 2 2022 committee


SPRINGFIELD –Thanks to a new measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), people with disabilities may soon be able to choose their spouse to serve as their provider of personal care instead of having to hire a personal assistant.

“Many times, a spouse must leave his or her job to care for a loved one. This results in a loss of family income,” Senator Fine said. “This measure will ensure these families are not forced to choose between the health of their loved one and financial stability.”

Currently, people with severe disabilities may hire their own personal assistant to help care for them through agreements between the patient and the Division of Rehabilitation Services. Under this agreement, DRS supplies and pays personal assistants to support designated patients. However, there is a current shortage of medical staff to fill these vacancies. This is causing many families to choose between the quality of life of disabled family members or financial stability, as many spouses are leaving the workforce to help care for their loved ones without compensation.

To address these issues, Senator Fine’s legislation allows for people with disabilities to select their spouse as their provider. This designation allows for the family to receive a paycheck as if they were the DRS employee.

“Finding the right provider for a loved one can be difficult, especially with current worker shortages,” Senator Fine said. “I am hopeful that this measure will allow people with disabilities and their families to select the best option for them financially and to meet their specific care needs.”

SB 3132 passed the Senate Wednesday. It now goes to the House for further consideration.