The members of Chicago ADAPT cannot remain silent as Illinois Senate President Don Harmon and representatives in the Legislature work to override Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s veto of a scheme to give millions in tax breaks to the nursing home industry.
The measure, as reported in the Sun-Times, would provide tens of millions of dollars in property tax relief to Illinois’ nursing home industry. It’s no coincidence that Harmon is pushing for this, as he’s received nearly $2 million from an industry lobbying group called the Health Care Council of Illinois. In the past year alone, he’s accepted $700,000 from HCCI.
Last month, members of Chicago ADAPT and other disability advocates rallied outside of HCCI’s Springfield offices. There, activists protested HCCI’s continued efforts to pour tens of millions of dollars to prop up an industry that denies disabled Illinois residents their right to an independent life in their own community.
The same industry that can afford to spend millions of dollars in the hopes of buying politicians certainly can afford to pay its property taxes like every other Cook County property owner.
Clearly, though, Harmon and others supporting this veto override would rather see Cook County residents pay the nursing home industry’s bills. Perhaps Illinois legislators forgot that Cook County residents are already “overburdened by property taxes,” according to a 2020 report from Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.
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Does Harmon care? After all, this tax break would free up more money for the nursing home industry to put money into his campaign’s pockets.
The question that each Cook County resident should ask their representative and senator ahead of the vote is this: Are you going to put the nursing home industry above your own constituents?
It is imperative that members of the Illinois General Assembly vote against Harmon’s campaign to take more money from Cook County residents as a favor to the nursing home industry. This industry has failed to provide even a decent standard of care to Illinoisans.
Curtis Harris, Chicago ADAPT co-chair; Mike Tish, secretary; Lyndsay Sullivan, officer; Mike Ervin, officer
Support for Child Care Stabilization Act
On Sept. 30, American families and workers were thrown over a cliff when child care stabilization funding expired. It might not have gotten a lot of attention on Capitol Hill because of all the chaos, but I’m here to say: This is an emergency for workers and families in our community.
The ongoing circus in Congress has resulted in paralysis and the prevention of taking action on behalf of the American people, including the continuation of funding support for families with children. Child care for working parents is outrageously expensive and without good child care, parents can’t focus on work. Rather than spending time on attempting to cut funds for the IRS to benefit the wealthy donors to a certain political party, Congress should focus on restoration of the Child Care Stabilization Act. It’s that simple.
Michael Reich, Glendale Heights