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AARP Response To Proposed Illinois Budget

Posted on 02/20/19

AARP Illinois applauds Gov. Pritzker for protecting retirement income and fully funding Community Care Program

Springfield – AARP Illinois commends Gov. Pritzker for his continued commitment – both in his proposed budget and in his stance during his first 180 days in office — to not taxing retirement income as a means of solving the state’s fiscal crisis.

AARP Illinois has noted that retirees did not create the current state fiscal crisis, nor did they anticipate in their lifetime of planning for their retirement years, that their retirement income would be fully taxed by the state.

In fact, a survey commissioned by AARP Illinois last year showed that 71 percent of voters 25-plus opposed taxing retirement income and 49 percent of voters considered leaving Illinois in the past year, with the top three reasons cited for leaving being high taxes, government mismanagement, and the high cost of living.

Another 85 percent of the survey respondents said it was very important that the governor and General Assembly solve the state’s fiscal problems. The survey was conducted as part of AARP Illinois’ “Enough is Enough” campaign, which calls on Illinois voters to demand that elected officials restore financial health to the state after years of inaction, political stalemate and budget tricks.

“Our members have repeatedly told us they are fed up with the fiscal crisis in Illinois which leaves vulnerable residents without services and hard-working residents questioning whether they can remain in their homes,” AARP-Illinois State Director Bob Gallo said. “AARP Illinois is hopeful that the Governor’s plan will be a step in the right direction in fixing the state’s fiscal mess.”

AARP Illinois, which has 1.7 million members, commends Gov. Pritzker’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget that fully funds the Community Care Program.

“We remain committed to conversations with the Governor’s administration, the General Assembly, the Illinois Department on Aging, and fellow aging partners on how to ensure these critical funds best serve to sustain home and community-based services for our aging population and their family caregivers,” said Ryan Gruenenfelder, director of advocacy and outreach for AARP Illinois.

The Community Care Program serves over 80,000 nursing home-eligible seniors, who may continue to age in their home and community with dignity and prevent premature and unneeded nursing home placement.

“By fully funding the Community Care Program, Governor Pritzker is offering much-needed relief to senior service providers that will be able to keep their doors open and continue to offer services desperately needed by the state’s aging population and their family caregivers,” Gruenenfelder said.

AARP Illinois also commends Gov. Pritzker for allocating $24 million in his proposal for Case Coordination Units (CCU).  These aging providers help direct person-centered, care plans for CCP clients to ensure they may age in the home setting of their choice.

The support of $24 million to CCUs will become a catalyst for ensuring Medicaid-eligible CCP seniors can receive services while reducing state funded costs. The initiative was supported by AARP during the FY19 session and budget discussions.

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media

This story is provided by AARP Illinois. Visit the AARP Illinois page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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