AARP Urges Legislature To Override Governor's Veto, Protect Older Illinoisans

House Bill 2482 Protects Home Services, Creates Jobs Statewide

Statement from AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo

Nov 09, 2015, 14:56 ET from AARP Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "In September, the General Assembly passed legislation that safeguarded the critical home and community-based services thousands of our state's most vulnerable populations rely on for in-home care, meals on wheels, transportation, and respite care. HB 2482, sponsored by State Representative Greg Harris, was a response to Governor Rauner's policy proposal to significantly raise the minimum Community Care Program (CCP) eligibility level, effectively cutting 24,000 seniors off from critical services.

The Determination of Need (DON) scores an applicant's need for services under the CCP, Home Services Program for individuals with disabilities (HSP) and nursing home admission.  Governor Rauner proposed raising the minimum eligibility from 29 to 37.

HB 2482 offers realistic and compassionate, long term transitions plans for Illinois' seniors until the upcoming federal assessment tool is approved by the federal CMS. However, Gov. Rauner has issued an amendatory veto of HB 2482.

Home and community-based services are fiscally responsible programs for Illinois, saving taxpayers millions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs across the state. In FY2013 alone, these programs directly created over 144,000 caregiver jobs in Illinois and indirectly an additional 66,000 jobs in communities across the state, bringing over $1.1 billion in federal dollars back to Illinois' taxpayers, and generating savings of approximately $1 billion each year.

Every dollar of GRF spending invested in caregiver programs generated an average of $3.74 in economic activity.

On behalf of AARP's 1.7 million Illinois members and all individuals age 50+ and their families, we support the motion to override the Governor's Amendatory Veto of the DON Protection bill (HB 2482). The underlying bill safeguards critical home and community-based services thousands of our state's most vulnerable population relies on to live independently and with dignity in their home setting of choice.

Countless Illinois seniors are already suffering due to the current budget impasse as the organizations that serve them have been forced to cut services, cut hours, or lay staff off. We urge the General Assembly to rise above politics, protect thousands of Illinois seniors and help restore our state's fiscal and economic health by voting to override the Governor's amendatory veto on HB 2482."