Changing eligibility rules for a home care program for seniors and people with disabilities isn't popular with either party.
The program is supposed to help those residents stay in their homes, with a Determination of Need, or DON score, deciding how much state aid they receive. The governor has proposed raising those requirements. State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) says it's only being discussed because of the unbalanced budget supported by Democrats.
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"The DON score really isn't the problem, it's indicative of the problem, and the problem is that we don't have a balanced budget before us today," Demmer said.
State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) defends the debate, saying the change would not only take away state aid from more than 20,000 people, but end up forcing them into more costly nursing home care.
"The interesting thing, I think, about the proposed solution, is the solution costs us more and makes the budget more out of balance," Harris said.
By Harris's estimation, the change could the state cost tens of millions of dollars  per year.
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