Rep. Rosenthal Wants to Protect Workers with Disabilities


Springfield, IL…Legislation pending in the House of Representatives (HB 793), would have a negative impact on 14(c) workshops across the state of Illinois if passed through the General Assembly. State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville) and State Representative Mike Coffey (Springfield) both agree that this bill would create lost jobs, lost opportunities, and put service providers out of work.

Rep. Rosenthal said this: “Ending 14(c) workshops would create a mass layoff from service providers and that would be devastating to thousands of people who would be left with no job at all,” said Rep. Rosenthal. “HB793 is guaranteed to reduce the quality-of-care service providers currently offer. We must preserve commonsense legislation that protects jobs and creates opportunities.”

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities work under a 14(c) certificate. This certificate allows them to earn subminimum wage. This approach does two things: Provides job opportunities and allows service providers to offer efficient services to disabled individuals.

Rep. Coffey added his thoughts:

“While this bill sounds good in theory, it would ultimately lead to individuals losing their job and having zero income,” said Rep. Coffey. “Service providers do a fantastic job, but many of them would be unable to pay minimum wage to their employees if this bill is passed. Protecting our job force should be a priority and this bill does the opposite.”

HB793 would require 14(c) workshops to pay minimum wage to all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As written, this bill provides no financial assistance and would leave service providers scrambling to find a way to pick up the extra costs. Illinois needs to support workers, but this approach is an unknown strategy to work that will have consequences on employees and providers.

The CEO of SPARC, Douglas McDonald, voiced his concerns around this bill:

“Implementing HB793 would be a tremendous undertaking with high risks,” said McDonald. “It is essential that any substantial change in services be carefully considered before any action is taken. This bill pushes for implementation before studying the needs, protections and costs involved.”

The mission of SPARC is simple: To enrich the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities by enabling them to successfully live, learn, work, and socialize in the community.


Rep. Rosenthal Visits Sparc Work Center