Rep. Mitchell: Protect senior services, pass welfare reform now

Decatur, IL – State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) visited senior centers in Clinton, Decatur and Monticello Tuesday to call for the protection of funding for vital senior services and to urge passage of welfare reform to resolve the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

Rep. Mitchell discussing vital senior services with constituents.
Mitchell, a long-time advocate of welfare reform, believes State officials should make senior services the priority over welfare handouts.

“We’re now in the State’s new fiscal year and no budget agreement is in sight,” Mitchell said. “The Chicago politicians want to hold our senior citizens hostage so they can continue to spend recklessly on welfare for the able-bodied. That’s not right. I’m here to talk to seniors about why we should be prioritizing our limited resources for our retirees who worked hard their whole lives and paid their taxes year in and year out.”

With the Fiscal Year 2016 Illinois State Budget in limbo, funding for critically important senior services is at risk, including community care programs, in-home care programs, and senior congregate and home-delivered meals programs.

“These programs are so important for our seniors,” Mitchell added. “Without funding for these programs, many of our senior citizens would lose their independence and be forced into nursing homes.”

Representative Mitchell is once again sponsoring welfare reform legislation to require drug testing of welfare recipients, to include a work requirement in order to receive food stamps, to crack down on LINK card fraud, and to ban illegal immigrants from receiving taxpayer-funded benefits.

“The General Assembly needs to pass strong welfare reforms to put a stop to the waste, fraud and abuse of the welfare system,” Mitchell said. “With 4.7 million Illinoisans on welfare, more than one-third of our citizens are receiving taxpayer-funded benefits. We simply cannot afford to do nothing.”