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*The term ‘Grinchy’ shall apply when Christmas spirit is in short supply. ― Mayor May Who, Movie: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
While we would love to bring you holiday cheer, there’s not much to celebrate in Springfield or Washington this year. (“Oh, no. I’M SPEAKING IN RHYME!” ― The Grinch)
While political bickering continues and the pandemic rages on, if there is one silver lining in a very devastating year, it is that the needs of older adults have become more visible and garnered more attention from policymakers and the public. Long-standing issues that were ignored pre-pandemic are now headlines as the failings of our systems for protecting and caring for older adults become painfully evident. Clearly, there’s plenty of work to be done as we head into the new year.
The Illinois House and Senate are not meeting at this time and neither chamber has put out a calendar for 2021 yet. There is uncertainly around whether Speaker Michael Madigan will be able to retain his position of nearly four decades and much consternation around the state budget after the failure of the proposed graduated income tax referendum. In addition, on January 13, there will be 24 new Illinois legislators sworn in (11 from AgeGuide’s region).
Last week, Congress postponed a potential government shutdown by passing a one-week Continuing Resolution to fund the budget. With only a few days remaining until the end of the legislative session and the funding deadline, time is running out to cut a deal on a coronavirus relief package. Even as the daily death toll increases, unemployed numbers rise, and cities impose new restrictions, lawmakers remain deadlocked over the details of an agreement. The sticking points are state and local aid and legal protections for businesses from coronavirus lawsuits. The latter would provide nursing homes immunity from negligence suits related to COVID-19.
“And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Clearly 2020 held many surprises and we have yet to find out what 2021 will hold. It will certainly bring many changes; a new presidential administration, a new Congress, and vaccines for COVID-19. One thing, however, will remain constant – AgeGuide will be here, committed to working for the health and well-being of older adults. Stay tuned for AgeGuide’s 2021 legislative priorities to be released in January.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.
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