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WESTCHESTER, IL – A bi-partisan measure introduced by Illinois State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside) to help ensure that children with developmental disabilities are enrolled in the required state database to be eligible for services, was recently signed into law by the governor.

“It is critical that children with developmental disabilities are enrolled in the PUNS database so that they are eligible for services they need to succeed in the future,” Welch said. “This measure will ensure that schools and parents understand what the PUNS database is and that children in need of these services are not left out.”

The Department of Human Services (DHS) maintains a statewide database called the Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS) that records information about those with development disabilities who are potentially in need of services. Welch’s bill, now Public Act 99-0144, requires (DHS) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), subject to appropriation, to develop and implement an online, computer-based training program for one designated employee in each public school across the state to educate them about the PUNS database and the steps needed to ensure that children in need of developmental disability services are enrolled.

The new law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Welch represents the 7th District which includes all or parts of Bellwood, Berkley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, La Grange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Forest, Westchester and Western Springs.

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