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Pam Harris: If Democrats and SEIU wanted to end the budget stalemate and fund social services today, it would happen tomorrow

Dan & Amy interviewed disabled persons advocate Pam Harris, mother of a disabled son, who was the lead plaintiff in the seminal SCOTUS case Harris v. Quinn. Harris rejected the SEIU ad campaign attacking Gov. Rauner and suggested blame for insufficient funding for services for persons with disabilities lies squarely with majority party (read: Chicago Democrats) legislative leaders. Harris also said she was offended by SEIU's ads.

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Story Copy Dan Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. In Illinois, which is our home state, don’t you know, we have not left yet, some of the few. Amy Jacobson: Thank you again! Dan Proft: SEIU, these are the purple people beaters, the Service Employer’s Union, these are the people who tried to forcibly unionize the Parents of Disabled Children into a collective, into a bargaining unit, to represent them against their children. I’m not kidding. That was a real thing, and you’ll recall, it was a case that was taken all the way to the United States Supreme Court by Pam Harris, who’s a Lake County resident, who has a disabled son, and a number of other courageous parents of disabled children, to say “No, no no no, we don’t need a business agent to represent our interests versus our children”. Amy Jacobson: Isn’t a parental right? What the SEIU, they just wanted their union dues. They wanted their money. Dan Proft: Correct, that’s it. Amy Jacobson: Because they’re money hungering greedy people. Dan Proft: Cut us in or cut it out, that’s the public sector union mantra. Well, now SEIU has launched ads on Rauner. When Gov. Rauner took office, in January of 2015, Illinois was ranked 47th in the nation in the provision of services to developmentally disabled people. So inherited kind of a bad situation as he did on a number of fronts, and it’s funny, the same people who are continuing to allow Obama and Hillary Clinton to blame George W. Bush for everything that’s gone wrong in the past 6 years have no problem ascribing everything that’s wrong with Illinois to the guy that’s been here 14 months. It’s a fascinating situational ethics from the left, but that’s what we’re used to. Well now SEIU has launched an ad campaign against Gov. Rauner trying to make him wear the jacket for the struggling social service providers in Illinois who haven’t been paid for services rendered, and there’s no question it, it’s a problem; and there’s no question how people with disabilities are treated in this state is barbaric, but this is something that predates Governor Rauner by decades. Here’s a sample of the ads. One is a service provider who cares for an elderly veteran. And another is a young woman with cerebral palsy who all blames the governor. Here’s some samplings: Sample 1: My dad is a World War II vet; fought in the Battle of the Bulge; bronze star, purple heart; Governor Rauner is attacking Illinoisans like Patty, who care for our veterans like Vince; endangering our most vulnerable; it’s a quality of life that’s lost when they have to leave their homes; tell your legislator to stop their governor’s attacks on Illinoisans who care for our most vulnerable; to turn your back on these people now is just a travesty. Dan Proft: Do you think that’s believable? Rauner is cutting, and purposefully withholding services from Illinois veterans? Do you believe that? Here’s another one. Sample 2: They both have cerebral palsy and it was going to be a decision either to place them in a facility or care for them here at home; Governor Rauner is attacking those Illinoisans who care for our seniors and people with disabilities; endangering our most vulnerable; I don’t know how he expects anybody to survive; tell your legislator to stop their governor’s attacks on Illinoisans who care for our most vulnerable; look at me; not just me, look at everybody who you’re hurting. Dan Proft: Yeah. Amy Jacobson: Goodness. Dan Proft: Those people are being hurt, those people are being treated like “less than’s”, people with disabilities; there’s no question, and it has been going on for a long, long time; in a state has run a 211 billion dollars in debt; all the money that was borrowed and spent, and taxed and spent by Cullerton and Madigan, over 40 years, and those people with disabilities have been hurt and are continuing to be hurt. So again, who bears responsibility for the sad state of affairs in terms of the provision of services for disabilities? Is it Governor Rauner who’s been here 14 months, or Madigan and Cullerton who’ve been here 40 years? Let’s put that question to the foresaid Pam Harris, a mother of a disabled son and a advocate for persons with disabilities. Pam, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it. Pam Harris: Thank you very much for inviting me. The answer is easy, it’s the majority party, and it’s the SEIU. That’s who can stop this, it’s the union leaders who wanted to end this budget stalemate, and start the funding for supports and services for people with disabilities in the state of Illinois. If they wanted to do that today, it would start to happen tomorrow. Amy Jacobson: So explain how this works; you receive a modest subsidy from medicate waver program? Are you still getting that subsidy? Pam Harris: Actually, our son Josh is eligible to access up to a certain amount of funds each month, and to distribute to people who have a contract with the state of Illinois; yes, that means I get a background check. I get my fingerprints in, I submit monthly time sheets, and a monthly summary on how every minute that I spend with Josh that I am reimbursed or paid for that time; all the I to their dot, and to you they’re crossed, and it’s not that I get this money, it’s I work for this to teach Josh at home instead of an institution, exponentially higher costs to the state. It’s better for Josh, it’s what Josh wants, and it’s what we do. Dan Proft: That’s the point; it’s a modest stipend to devolve power away from government and empower families who are best situated to take care of their children, of course. Amy Jacobson: They kind of know then. Dan Proft: Right, and who has more interest in the wellbeing of the child than the parent? So it makes perfect sense, which is why SEIU wanted to put a stop to it; because we can’t do things that make perfect sense in this state; and Pam, talking about the funding for programs like the one that you benefit for, and ultimately Josh benefits from, I should say; family benefits from; there is a proposal by Republicans, 1,3 billion dollars of funding for social services that are admittedly struggling because of the backlog of unpaid bills; many millions and tenths of millions dollars owed to social service providers; there’s no question about that. So, as someone who follows this closely, is that an appropriate stop gap measure, and if so, then why isn’t that fast tracked to the governor’s desk? Pam Harris: This is a really good question. I think that it is a band-aid solution, but it is something to allow the slower funds to go to; not only those with developmental disabilities, like our son Josh, but also mental health, and the veterans, and the seniors, and homeless youths, and the Special Olympics, and addiction treatment. I mean, the bill expands to beyond developmental disabilities. It’s Senate Bill 34-18, and it was proposed by the minority leaders, Radogno and Durkin; let’s see how quick the Union and majority party can get behind this one. I think, though, that they would prefer to just complain and point fingers, yet I did see the SEIU sent those ads, those attack ads; first to political Natasha Korecki, this piece under the headline “Healthcare worker union’s target Rauner in new ad campaign”. Why is it that the union targets or focuses on, but Gov. Rauner attacks? Amy Jacobson: So when you saw those SEIU ads, what were you thinking? How did they affect you? Pam Harris: Well, they’re attack ads, plain and simple; they’re attacks on Gov. Rauner, and every single Illinoisan agrees that it’s time to turn things around. The message in the attack ad, the one specifically with the young woman with cerebral palsy – it’s insulting to me as a woman, as a tax payer, as a personal care provider, and as Josh’s mom. It’s so disrespectful to use people with disabilities in that way. Dan Proft: And this has been going on for a long time; as I like to say, people with disabilities are used as cannon fodder for a big government agenda, for which they receive little, if any, benefit. Pam Harris: Little, if any, benefit, that’s right. Do you know that the SEIU was back in Springfield last week? They have three bills. One is particularly important to me, because, as you know, my intention is to advocate for families in Illinois, like my family, who are providing care for a loved one at home. And to this Senate Bill was heard before the human services committee last week, and VHS, Vivian Anderson was the last person to testify. And this bill, this SEIU bill, and it can really be called nothing other than that, will cost 86 million dollars, and they want it to begin in three months. They want to increase the pay to no less than $15/hour on July 1st, and then the big thing is the SEIU wants to require in person orientation, and then further require in person annual training. This is a bad bill. Dan Proft: And that would include parents like you. Pam Harris: Well, absolutely, but I’d like to know in this digital age it’s incomprehensible to me that individuals should be dragged from their homes of those that they’re caring for to attend mandatory union meetings. Who’s providing the critical care when we’re forced to attend? And why isn’t the current online orientation; or the current online training that SEIU offers now, why isn’t that sufficient? Dan Proft: So SEIU is doing this; the old public sector union two step. It’s all about the clients, it’s all about the children, and it’s all about persons with disabilities. But do you know what it’s really about? It’s really about our money. Pam Harris: Yes, the bottom line is the SEIU is doing this for more money and more power. It’s nothing to do with the personal assistance, there’s absolutely nothing to do with the individuals with the disability. Amy Jacobson: Well, give Josh our best. Is he doing well? Pam Harris: He is, he’s doing well. But like all the rest of us who not visited Cabo Dan Proft: We got to get it next year. We’ve got to get them to Cabo next year, or wherever we wind up next year. Pam Harris: We need some warm weather here. Dan Proft: I tell you. Alright Amy Jacobson: It’s coming. Dan Proft: Pam Harris, our best to Joshua. Thank you so much for joining us, and the work that you do, appreciate it, as usual. Pam Harris: It’s my pleasure, and thank to both of you for inviting me on today. Dan Proft: Alright, she is Pam Harris, of Harris v. Quinn Fame and one of the leading lights and spokespeople for Persons with Disabilities and families with their family member with disabilities in the state of Illinois; really nationally now. Tim, from Woodstock, you’re on Chicago’s Morning Answer. Tim: Hey, good day everybody. Dan Proft: I just wanted to say I’m an SEIU member for 34 years, and they have done absolutely nothing to better my internment, my life in any way, other than take $200 every quarter, tax money, and do whatever they want with it. They sure don’t help the members, I’ll tell you that, because we’ve got no benefits out of them whatsoever. The company fixed their revenue. Dan Proft: Thanks for the call, Tim, and you know, that goes to pay Jerry Morrison, that fowl mouth political director of SEIU; what a disreputable character he is; goes to pay his exorbitant salary in his exorbitant Tom Balanoff and all of the “protectors of the common man”; my behind…

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