State Budget Means Good News For Illinois Seniors

Statement from AARP Illinois Advocacy Manager, Nancy Nelson

May 31, 2013, 10:26 ET from AARP Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "AARP applauds the Illinois General Assembly for passing a budget that more adequately addresses the needs of our state's senior population and recognizes the value and cost effectiveness of home and community based senior services.

The budget passed by the General Assembly finally addresses a backlog of unpaid bills that have been crippling senior service organizations for the past several years.  While the backlog still exists, the budget ensures that no additional bills will go unpaid moving forward.  For the first time in a decade, the state's Community Care Program – a program that enables seniors to stay in their own homes and live independently as they age - was looked at realistically and we saw an appropriation that more adequately reflects the true cost of services, without allowing a long list of prior year bills to compound behind the scenes.

The budget means that approximately 10,000 more Illinois seniors will have access to the Community Care Program and will be able to stay in their own homes as they age - avoiding more costly institutional placement.  It also means additional funding for critical programs such as the Elder Abuse and Neglect Program, the Adult Protective Services Program and home delivered meals.

We all understand that the state budget faces many challenges – but AARP commends the General Assembly for passing a budget that protects the community services and supports that Illinois seniors rely on to remain in their own homes as they age and we urge Governor Quinn to sign the measure into law."