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The Illinois State General Assembly is on recess for the summer but that does not mean our advocacy work is done. AgeGuide is busy meeting with legislators, while they are home in their districts, to share our services and advocate for our priorities.
Join the AgeGuide Legislative Committee for a Special Advocacy Panel on July 27, 10-11:30 AM. Hear the latest legislative updates impacting aging services and learn what you can do to advocate this summer. Panelists include Congressional, State and local policymakers. Register here.
Even with almost 80% of Illinois older adults vaccinated from COVID-19, vaccination rates lag behind those needed for herd immunity. You can help by reminding your friends, family and neighbors to get vaccinated.
Need an incentive? Getting the vaccine gives you a shot at winning up to $1 million! As an Illinois resident, if you’ve been vaccinated, you’re automatically entered for a chance to win. Vaccinated adults are entered into a $7 million cash prize pool. Vaccinated youth are entered into a drawing for one of twenty $150K scholarship awards.
Fiscal Year 2022 Budget
On July 12th, the House of Representatives Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) Appropriations Subcommittee passed its 2022 budget bill. This bill provides federal funding for Older Americans Act Programs as well as other crucial supportive programs for older adults and caregivers.
This budget includes more funding than the original Biden Administration FY22 budget proposal and is a testament to, and recognition of, the important role Older Americans Act services play in supporting older adults in the community. It also signals that our AgeGuide calls to action and advocacy efforts are being heard. The spending bill now moves to the full House Appropriations Committee for consideration before heading to the floor for a vote.
The House Labor-HHS-Ed Bill includes $3.1 billion overall for the Administration for Community Living (ACL) ($846M increase) including:
Other supportive federal programs in the bill that received increases include:
Child Tax Credit
Grandparents raising grandchildren may soon receive some relief from Child Tax Credit payments, a part of the American Rescue Plan. Monthly payments begin in July. Find more information on the White House website.
Federal Legislation Worth Watching
Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an add-on program to the Social Security system that provides modest financial assistance for older adults and people with disabilities who are unable to work enough to meet their basic needs. This bill proposes adjustments to SSI benefits to address poverty.
Better Care Better Jobs Act
This bill aims to support Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) that allow older adults and people with disabilities to live in their own homes and communities. It would increase Federal investment in HCBS, bolster unpaid caregiver support, and expand the caregiver workforce.
Mental Health Access Improvement Act
While people over 65 are among the highest rates of mental health-related hospitalizations and suicide, they are the least likely to receive mental health services. This bill would increase access to mental health services for older adults, Veterans, and people with disabilities by shrinking the provider gap for Medicare enrollees.
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