Rep. Meier Honors Vow to Support Amended HB 793, Encourages Further Improvements

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) has continued to legislate on behalf of workers with severe developmental and intellectual disabilities. Meier, a member of the House Human Services Committee and longtime defender of disabled Illinoisans, has been an outspoken critic of House Bill 793. The legislation, titled the “Dignity in Pay Act,” directs the Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities Task Force to create a plan to eliminate 14c certificates that allow employers to pay disabled workers a subminimum wage. This change, as noted by Rep. Meier, could put up to 70% of said workers out of a job.

“Throughout my time here, it has been my honor to work alongside the families and the disabled community passionately and fight for positive change,” said Rep. Meier. “Last year, this bill was introduced to eliminate subminimum wage. I, as well as many of us, were concerned for the very community and their families I have been advocating for. Many of us under this dome have 14c workshops and understand this valued population’s contributions to their communities in a very meaningful way.”

HB 793 took on several substantial amendments during its time in the House as a result of continued conversations between 14c workshops and members of the General Assembly. The list of amendments includes added provisions to raise personal needs allowances for individuals in care facilities, improve representation on the EEOPD Task Force, add a $2 million transition grant fund to assist community providers in the phaseout, and incorporate a study for the older population (40–59-year-olds) on how best to take care of them if the subminimum wage ends. The bill also moves the effective date of the Act to Dec. 31st. 2029, a change that Rep. Meier had long pushed for.

During the bill’s lengthy discussion on the House Floor, legislators on both sides of the aisle voiced their appreciation for Meier’s unwavering stance on the issue, noting that his continued efforts to add federal funds and protections for vulnerable Illinoisans helped bring about necessary changes to the bill’s text. Rep. Meier acknowledged the bipartisan efforts made to improve the Act and reiterated his vow to vote in favor of the amended legislation despite its imperfections. “Many of my concerns regarding this bill have been addressed,” said Meier. “I gave my word, which has always been good, that if the House votes with more than 60 votes, I would vote for this bill, because it’s a lot better than what we had last year, but we still have much to do over next five years.”

Meier upheld his promise to vote in favor of the bill, which passed the House with a vote of 078-030-003. While he offered his support of the amended legislation, he also urged his colleagues to continue efforts to improve the EEOPD Task Force and the phaseout of 14c certificates in the following years.

“I am holding everyone accountable in this chamber and those who come after us to make sure this task force works and it does what it’s supposed to, not what we were told it was going to do. It needs to represent the people of Illinois, not other states, not national organizations, but our most profoundly disabled and their families. This bill is a start. We can do a lot better. We can work towards a goal to do better.”

Rep. Meier made it clear that he would continue to monitor the Task Force as it begins to move disabled individuals away from sheltered work. “I will be watching everybody and what’s going on closely,” he said.

HB 793 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

You can track HB 793 here.


State Representative Charlie Meier represents the 109th District which includes portions of Bond, Clinton, Madison, St. Clair, and Washington counties. For more information, please visit or contact Rep. Meier’s district office at 618-651-0405