Retirement Security

April 19, 2022

Illinois Seniors Win Big with Budget Victories

The Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans is celebrating key victories passed in the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget passed by the Illinois General Assembly in April.

Governor Pritzker signed a balanced budget that includes $1.8 billion in tax relief, a $1 billion investment in the state’s “rainy day fund”, as well as increased investments in programs seniors rely on.

IARA successfully mobilized for a budget that includes the first investment in paying down the state’s pension debt beyond the minimum requirement since 1994. This additional $500 million investment above and beyond the minimum pension payment was paid for by strong returns from the State’s investments, cannabis sales tax revenues, among other sources of unanticipated gains. Over time, this investment is projected to save taxpayers $1.8billion by 2045, while keeping our promise to our retired teachers and public service workers who rely on their pensions everyday.

Seniors will benefit from the $1.8B billion in tax relief that passed in the budget, which includes expansion of the earned income tax credit to those 65 and older, a one year grocery tax freeze, a 6 month freeze on the scheduled gas tax increase, as well as a 5% one time property tax rebate to homeowners.

We are also proud that our work, along with that of our allies, was successful in increasing the investment in aging services by 14% in the overall Health & Human Services budget for FY23.

  • The Department on Aging budget saw a significant increase from FY22 – $198 million (13.5%) over FY22
  • Community Care Program – $100.7M for caseload growth & a $.70/hour rate increase starting 1/1/23 to accommodate caseload growth & utilization, with the assistance of increased federal aid & $14 million to fund a rate increase for CCP providers.
  • Adult Protective Services – $9.3 million increase (+28% over FY22) to expand capacity of APS through a combination of grants & new staff.
  • Home Delivered Meals – $14 million increase (+47% over FY22) to cover expansion in home delivered meals, covering an additional 260,000 meals to seniors.
  • Long Term Care Ombudsman – $2.3 million increase (+10% over FY22) to expand capacity of the LTC ombudsman program through a combination of payroll increases and conversion of some existing contract staff to full time employees.
  • Family Caregiver Program – new $4 million for the Family Caregiver Program, to provide support to spouses & family members caring for older adults.

Its going to take all of us to keep up our momentum in achieving our mission of retirement with dignity & economic security for every worker.

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