Wednesday, January 20, 2021
“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls
as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Welcome to the first AgeGuide legislative update of 2021! We wish all our readers a happy, safe, and healthy New Year.
As we adjust to a new year, new legislative session, and a new presidential administration, one thing seems to remain consistent, and that is change. This year started off with tumult and intensity in Washington and historic shifts in Springfield. Amidst all of this, AgeGuide remains constant in our commitment to advocate on behalf of positive quantitative change for older adults throughout our eight-county region.
At the state level, the new Illinois House of Representatives made history last week by electing its first Black Speaker, Emanuel “Chris” Welch, to replace Michael Madigan who had served as leader for decades. The Senate and House also made history, passing a criminal justice reform bill hours before the lame duck session ended and the new legislature was sworn in. If signed into law by the Governor, the controversial 700-page bill would end cash bail systems and require police body cameras by 2025.
The new Biden administration released their proposed legislative outline last week, which does not include funding for any Older Americans Act (OAA) programs. AgeGuide, in partnership with Area Agencies across the state and nation, will be advocating for additional funding for critical OAA services to address the increased needs of older adults as a direct result of the ongoing pandemic.
Significant house committee membership changes following the election include Illinois 14th district Representative Lauren Underwood, who covers several AgeGuide communities. She now serves on the Appropriations Committee.
As the nation adjusts to all these changes, count on AgeGuide to keep you informed on the latest news affecting older adults. Stay tuned for the release of AgeGuide’s 2021 legislative priorities in early February and be sure to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 resources and vaccine updates on our website.