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At the end of March, the President released the framework for the American Jobs Plan – to rebuild infrastructure and support economic recovery. This is a $2T investment over 8 years to grow and rebuild transportation, housing, energy, water and broadband infrastructure and expanded community-based long-term care. It also includes $400B to expand Home and Community Based Services under Medicaid for older adults. There is additional $100M funding for expanding vaccine access – $50M will go to State Units on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging. At this point the Federal Administration on Community Living has not announced when the American Rescue Plan Relief funds will be released to the states.
The Illinois General Assembly met both in-person and remotely during the month of March. The House had one in-person session on March 10 to vote on several measures including the Illinois Joint Black Caucus Health Care agenda and election law. The latter made permanent last year’s changes to the use and availability of mail–in ballots and drop boxes for voting. The Senate passed these bills and sent them to the Governor. Both chambers will be in session April 13 through May 31.
In early April, the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging (I4A) testified at the Senate and House Appropriations Committee meetings in support of the Governor’s FY22 Proposed Budget for Aging. This includes the additional $11.3M for Home Delivered Meals. During the pandemic, our network delivered 10.4 million meals from March-December 2020. An average of 48,000 meals are being delivered per day (49% increase). We also supported the continuation of the $1M for reducing Social Isolation and $1M for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia programs.
I4A also gave testimony on the Illinois Family Caregiver Act Funding bill (HB 283 and SB 1766). Five additional co-sponsors added their names to SB 1766 (Senators Hunter, Sims, Van Pelt, Johnson and Majority Leader Lightford). In the House, Representative Hernandez signed on as a co-sponsor to the bill.
Join us in advocating for older adults. You can support both the Family Caregiver Funding bill and the aging funding in the state budget by clicking here and sending letters to your legislators.
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