This year the Iowa SILC, the seven Iowa Centers for Independent Living, and other partners came together in an organized effort to obtain state funding for Iowa Centers for Independent Living. The result was $250,000 in state funding for Iowa CILs, the first time that state funding has ever been obtained for Centers!
Iowa CILs are severely underfunded, mainly because they only receive federal IL funding, which is based on state population. Since Iowa has such a small population, Iowa receives a much smaller amount of IL funding than many other states. Five of the seven CILs receive less than $100,000 to operate. Most CILs operate with 2 or less full time equivalent staff. The first priority in the new Iowa SPIL was to obtain state funding to strengthen existing CIL operations, to bring them up to a Minimum Operational Funding Level. While Centers actually needed about $750,000 to accomplish this, the $250,000 is a great start, and will help them to each hire an additional part-time staff to more adequately serve Iowans with disabilities in their service areas.
Senator Bob Dvorsky, Senator Mike Gronstal, and Representative Ro Foege were instrumental in helping to find state funding for Centers this year! The disability community is very grateful that they and other legislators LISTENED to our voices, HEARD our voices, and TOOK ACTION to meet the needs of the Iowa Disability / Independent Living Community!