STATEMENT BY HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER, JIM DURKIN
“I applaud the United States Supreme Court's decision today by siding with Illinoisans Pam and Josh Harris by ruling that a home is not a union shop and that the sensitive decisions regarding the care for a disabled loved one needs to remain with the caregiver and in the home.
In June of 2009, the Governor issued Executive Order 15 which allows for collective bargaining in the home based support services provided, for the most part, by parents and family members of the disabled. Josh Harris suffers from Rubenstein-Taybi syndrome and other physical and mental disabilities. Josh's mother Pam Harris, is his caregiver. At that time, Pam and Josh lived a few blocks from me and she reached out to me expressing her grave concerns with the Executive Order 15 and how its full implementation would affect her son. I spent an afternoon with her and Josh and witnessed first-hand the daily care she provides her son. I soon introduced HR 720 which called upon the Governor to withdraw EO 15. Despite Pam's testimony with Josh present, the resolution failed in the Democrat controlled State Government Administration committee. This past year I reintroduced the Resolution.
Pam Harris speaks for the thousands of parents and family members who serve as caregivers. No one other than Pam Harris knows what’s best for Josh and the United States Supreme Court agrees.