— Through a recently launched campaign called Enough is Enough, AARP Illinois is encouraging state residents to demand that their elected officials come up with a plan to balance the state budget. For two years, the state has operated with a stopgap budget, leading to a 2017 deficit estimated to run between $5.6 billion and $7.2 billion. In addition, the state faces $13.2 billion in unpaid bills from previous years. The legislative impasse over the budget has stymied services, adversely affecting …

— 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 …