— Individuals ages 50 and older make tremendous contributions to improve our communities. Their life and professional experiences shape and inform their ability to disrupt, innovate, and create. They truly are champions and trailblazers, and their efforts and groundbreaking contributions need to be recognized. That’s why AARP Illinois and Crain’s Chicago Business have joined together to launch 50@50+ Illinois – a recognition of Illinoisans over the age of 50 who are making a positive impact in their communities. They don’t adhere …

— By Ryan Gruenenfelder   For too long Illinois has been without a comprehensive, balanced budget that helps make life better for residents of all ages. Since 2002, the Governor and the General Assembly have failed to pass a truly balanced budget. And for almost two years, the State has operated without anything beyond a ‘stop-gap’ budget.  This budgetary inaction has led to a current fiscal year 2017 budget deficit of somewhere between $5.4 billion to $7.8 billion, depending on whose …

— Millions of family caregivers in Illinois will have many reasons to celebrate during National Caregiving Month in November, as new laws will provide much and urgently needed help for them as they take care of their loved ones. Thanks to the tireless advocacy of AARP, the Hospital Association and other groups, the Illinois CARE Act will help to significantly increase coordination between caregivers and hospitals. The law requires hospitals to: Provide your loved one the opportunity to designate a family …

— By Jackie Spinner Illinois’ continuing budget crisis put Joy Paeth in a bind. As chief executive of AgeSmart Community Resources in Belleville, which provides legal assistance, home-delivered meals and transportation services to older people in seven counties, she was finding it difficult to hire a key employee because of uncertainty over continued state funding. After a year without a budget, the state last summer finally approved a spending plan through the end of 2016 that allowed public schools to open …

— As part of the Independent Map Amendment campaign, AARP Illinois is backing a proposed constitutional amendment that would make the process of drawing legislative districts nonpartisan and transparent. “With the state mired in a budget crisis, it’s critical that citizens have the ability to elect their representatives, rather than the other way around,” said Bob Gallo, AARP state director. “Under the current process, politicians are gerrymandering districts to choose constituents who will keep them in office.” In 2014, 82 of …

— AARP Survey Reveals Voters Worried About Public Safety, Job Security, Caregiving and High Cost of Living in Chicago With just a few days left before the Chicago Mayoral election runoff, older voters are sending a clear message to both candidates: address the issues of Chicago’s aging population. AARP Illinois today released a citywide survey of registered voters 45 and older showing that public safety, job security, caregiving, and the high cost of living are top of minds issues, and that …