12
December , 2017
Tuesday

Anti-Crime Organization’s donation of food baskets will feed families from Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, ...
Protesters urge President Aquino to be accountable and "Resign Now!" Picket Today, Wednesday, May 6, ...
  Police Accountability is part of the answer   Frank Chapman called for swift enactment of legislation creating ...
The Illinois Department of Corrections has entered into a settlement agreement in the case of ...
Community activists challenge Chicago's latest attempt to intimidate homeless people in the Uptown neighborhood   Activists are ...
Commentary By Juanita Bratcher  The Year 2009 was a tumultous year for many Americans, much of it ...
Historians to discuss findings of two-year National Endowment for the Humanities project at Roosevelt University ...
Springfield, IL – Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said winning the Congressional seat being vacated ...
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room President Barack Obama:  Good morning, everybody. Yesterday, Malaysian Airlines Flight ...
CHICAGO, IL – A coalition of University of Chicago student library workers filed a petition ...

Archive for January, 2017

Millions for Prisoners March for Human Rights

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to Editors

The Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows:
Section 1. Slavery prohibited. “Neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have
been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place
subject to their jurisdiction.”

Salamu! Greetings of solidarity from behind enemy lines. Thank you for
giving me the opportunity to publish this communication. I am a new
Afrikan freedom fighter from the ranks of JLS (Jailhouse Lawyers Speak).
A collective of Jailhouse lawyers organized to educate and fight for
prisoners human rights, against a system that is designed to dehumanize
its captives. I am also the National Secretary for Amend the 13th, an
inclusive coalition based national campaign and community based
organizing effort to address the legal and social basis for
dehumanization in Amerika.

The purpose of this press release is to notify prisoners, community
organizers, and all those who care of the upcoming Millions for
Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington D.C. scheduled for August 19,
2017. This is a national effort to bring world attention to the 13th
amendment enslavement clause, its ramifications, and to solidify
organizing efforts to amend it.

MILLIONS FOR PRISONERS HUMAN RIGHTS CORE DEMANDS OF ACTION:
1). We DEMAND the 13th amendment EXCEPTION CLAUSE of the United States
Constitution be amended to abolish LEGALIZED slavery in America.
2). We DEMAND a Congressional hearing on the 13th Amendment EXCEPTION
CLAUSE being recognized in violation of international law, the general
principles of human rights, and its direct links to:
a). Private entities exploiting prison labor
b). Companies overcharging prisoners for goods and services
c). Private entities contracted by states/federal government to
build and operate prisons. This would also include  immigration
detentions
d). Racial disparities in America’s prison population and
sentencing
e). Policing: the disproportionate (unaccountable) killings by
police in the black and brown communities
f). Felony Disenfranchisement  laws
g). Immigration and Customs Enforcement 34,000 detention quotas
h). Producing the world largest prison population

In essence this is an abolitionist movement to abolish legalized
enslavement. A practice that is not solely limited to prisoners making
products, but extends to a prisoners mere body in an isolation cell,
being profitable.

“U.S. Supreme Court in its long standing precedent in Ruffin v.
Commonwealth, 62, Va (21 Gratt.) 790, 796 (1871):“A convicted felon,
whom the law in its humanity punishes by confinement in penitentiary(s)
instead of death, is subject while undergoing punishment, to all the
laws which the legislature in its wisdom may enact for the government of
that institution and control of its inmates. For the time being, during
his term of service in the penitentiary, he is in a state of penal
servitude to the state. He has, as a consequence of his crime, not only
forfeited his liberty, but all of his personal rights except those which
the law in its humanity accords him. He is for the time being a slave of
the State. … They are slaves of the State undergoing punishment for
heinous crimes committed against the laws of the land. …”

In other words, prisoners themselves are the commodity. Which explains
why law enforcements entire appartus is geared towards capturing and
bottling humans for the highest bidder, dead or alive. It should not be
of any surprise that the black and brown communities are prime targets
for extractions. We cannot over emphasize the connection between slavery
and the Prison Industrial Enslavement Complex.  Prison slavery is a
direct outgrowth of the thirteenth amendment and the thirteenth
amendment enslavement exception clause is a direct outgrowth of the  pre
1865 chattle enslavement period. You can analyze the different periods
of transitions from convict leasing, black codes,  Jim crow,  Nixon’s
war on drugs, to the Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill to see the
connections and the architectural  designs developed, to maximize
profits through the INjustice systems criminalization of generations.
All across Amerika people are becoming more aware of the thirteenth
enslavement exception clause. Particularly prisoners around the nation,
who have been strategizing and directly challenging the thirteenth as
witnessed by the September 9, 2016 prison strikes. Jailhouse Lawyers
Speak has been planning its challenge to the thirteenth in collaboration
with iamWE Prison Advocacy Network since mid 2015. This challenge is the
Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March, hosted by iamWE Prison
Advocacy Network. Presently coalitions are being formed that we envision
will become a recognizable force for change beyond the March. Just as we
envision every August 19th afterwards being a day of solidarity and
demonstrations in recognition of Prisoners Human Rights and highlighting
the violations of such for collective action.

“Black August is a month of divine meaning, of repression and radical
resistance, of injustice and divine justice; of repression and righteous
rebellion; of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and
break the chains that bind us.” -Mumia Abu-Jamal

Black August was selected by JLS prisoners, due to it’s significance as
being a historical month of commemoration of fallen new Afrikan freedom
fighters and resistance. This is a month in which the spirit of
liberation is encouraged amongst prisoners and within our communities.
Black August is a special month to many of us confined. Comrade George
L. Jackson is a light to many of us struggling to maintain our sanity
and dignity within these concentration camps. It is only fitting that
this event be scheduled during this month, in hopes of connecting more
people to the prison resistance movement history, challenges, and needs.
Today as I write, confirmation is coming in that prisoners are in
collective discussion around the country to be in solidarity with the
Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March.

For those prisoners that would like to participate, it is asked that
you:
– Fast from sun rise to sun set
– Participate in intense political studies with emphasis on the 13th
amendment.
– Daily prayer or meditation
– Daily exercise regimen
– Refrain from purchasing any and all prison products to that require
spending of money during this month
– Refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages
– If possible, wear a black arm band or wrist band (i.e.shoelace) around
left wrist.

Around the Nation and across the world, August 19, 2017 will be
remembered as a day of collective action, strategizing, and execution of
the national objective to abolish legalized enslavement in Amerika.
People from all walks of life from both sides of the walls have answered
the call. Many are organizing their areas to be at the march, others
will be hosting local solidarity demonstrations in their state or
country, others are distributing info and many others are sharing
resources and time.

To learn more about this event and how you can get involved  visit
www.iamweubuntu.com or write iamWE Prison Advocacy Network P.O. Box
58201 Raleigh NC 27658

The Prison Resistance Movement
New Abolitionist
In Solidarity,

JLS

Contact: iamWE Prison Advocacy Network P.O. Box 58201 Raleigh NC 27658

Contact: Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a committee
of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 816-866-3808,
iwoc@riseup.net

Learn more at www.iamweubuntu.com

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and not those of Copylinemagazine.com.

 

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Announces 2017 Legislative Research Fellows

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation announced its inaugural class of legislative research fellows. Fellows were selected from a large pool of talented applicants that were, after much deliberation, narrowed down to four recipients. Applicants were tasked with developing a legislative proposal that aimed to positively impact the Black community.  Fellows are responsible for drafting memos, developing fact sheets, executing communication strategies, preparing presentations, legislative analysis and impact analysis. Our fellows will be providing the Council on Urban Affairs information to help ILBC members make informed decisions that helps that black community, while developing the next group of leaders through work experience.

Below are a list of the fellows:

Crystal Martin

Presently, Crystal is a high school counselor at the Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men, in Chicago Illinois.  She is a 2nd year PhD student of Community Psychology at National Louis University with a dissertation entitled “Survivors Guilt vs. the ‘Sell Out’: Social Barriers to College Persistence for African American First Generation College Students”, which explores the self sabotaging behaviors of this student population.  Crystal holds a BA in Television Production and Directing from Columbia College Chicago; an MA in Counseling and an MEd in Educational Leadership from Lewis University, and Post Graduate Certification from the National Institute for Urban School Leaders at Harvard University. Through a grant from the Pollination Project, in December 2016, Crystal started First2Finish, a non-profit college access program targeting first generation students and making investments for college readiness beginning in the first grade.  First2Finish will enroll its “First Class” of participants in Fall 2018.

 

Subria A. Whitaker

Subria A. Whitaker is from Chicago’s South Side and currently resides in the Morgan Park Neighborhood. An alumna of Morgan Park High School, Subria graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences with Distinction in Communication in May, 2016. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sport Administration from Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies.Last summer, Subria was selected by the Delta Research and Educational Foundation to participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Emerging Leaders Program where she served as the 2016 Stephanie Tubbs Jones Intern in the Office of United States Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge. She’d previously served as an Undergraduate Intern in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

Malayzja D. Anderson

Malayzja D. Anderson is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in World History from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Her current research interests include student activism, 20th century social movements and Middle Eastern history. As a Graduate Assistant in UIS’s Diversity Center, Malayzja develops student programing aimed at retaining minority students and facilitates micro-aggression reduction workshops. Malayzja is currently the Treasurer for the UIS Rotaract Club, Vice President of Graduate Assistants in their union and a mentor for the Necessary Steps Mentor Program at UIS. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in African American Studies and another in History from Chicago State University. In 2014 Malayzja served as a Public Policy Intern in Senator Kimberly A. Lightford’s district office.

NdjuohMehChu

NdjuohMehChu, a native of Jersey City, New Jersey, is a third-year J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School.  At the Law School, he is an active member of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project and previously served as a clinical student in the Law School’s Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project. Ndjuoh has extensive experience in issues at the intersection of social justice and human rights.  He has held positions at the ACLU of Illinois and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.  Ndjuoh previously served as an International Human Rights research fellow at the University of Lucerne School of Law in Lucerne, Switzerland and again at the University of Milan, Cattolica in Milan, Italy. Prior to Law School, Ndjuoh worked as a Special Education and Math teacher in the South Bronx. Ndjuoh is also a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick with degrees in Economics and Africana Studies.

Rep. Slaughter Asks Residents to Recognize American Heart Month, Review Personal Health

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, is urging residents to recognize American Heart Month in February by reviewing the facts about heart health and how they can make healthy choices.

“I urge residents to research the facts about heart health and make sure that they are making healthy choices for themselves and their families,” Slaughter said. “Heart disease affects every family, and it’s critical that residents understand the risks and how they can avert them.”

According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 85.6 million people in the United States are living with cardiovascular diseases, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and chest pain. Among American adults, 32.6 percent (about 80 million) have high blood pressure. Despite an overall 28.8 percent drop in cardiovascular disease death rates from 2003 to 2013, the high blood pressure death rate has steadily increased by 8.2 percent over that same time.

For more information about heart health, and to learn about ways to reduce risk, residents can visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org.

“It is important for residents to be proactive in making sure they are taking care of their health and well-being,” Slaughter said. “Whether it’s making a healthier eating choice, going to the gym or visiting a doctor, any step toward a healthier life is a positive move.”

For more information, please contact Slaughter’s constituent service office at 773-445-9700 slaughterj@ilga.gov.

 

Mystery & Comedy Warm Up Spring With Piccolo’s Private Eyes

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

EVANSTON, IL – New year, new home, new comedy!  Recently relocated to the Parish House at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, in Evanston, Piccolo’s 2016/2017 season continues with Private Eyes, by Steven Dietz, a modern comedy/relationship/thriller set in the theatre, or restaurant, or therapist’s office, or real life.  Matthew’s wife, Lisa, is having an affair with Adrian, a British director.  Or perhaps the affair is part of a play being rehearsed.  Or perhaps Matthew has imagined it all.  But a mysterious woman who seems to shadow the others brings the story to its surprising conclusion…or does she?  The audience plays the role of detective in this hilarious, multi-layered comedy of suspicion about love, lust, and the power of deception in which nothing is ever quite what it seems.

 

Cast: Edward Fraim, Kurt Proepper*, Megan DeLay, Shantelle Szyper, David W.M. Kelch*, with Scott Sawa and Maeghan Looney.  Creative: Michael D. Graham* (Director), Chris Chapin (Production Manager), Megan Chaney (Stage  Manager), Milo Bue (Scenic Designer), Elyse Estes* (Master Carpenter), Lee Moore* (Charge Artist), Joshua D. Allard* (Costume/Props Designer), Aimee Warshall* (Lighting Designer), Aaron Quick* (Sound Designer), Bethany Woodard* and Beep Trefts* (Backstage Floor Managers).   *denotes Piccolo Theatre Company Member.

 

Private Eyes previews February 16 & 17 at 8:00p; opens Saturday, February 18 at 8:00p; and runs February 18 – March 19, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00p, and Sundays at 3p.  All Performances at Piven Theatre Workshop, 927 Noyes St, Evanston, IL 60201.  Tickets are only available through the Piccolo Theatre Box Office, (847) 424-0089, Tuesday-Friday 10a-5p.  Tickets are $25 (Regular), $20 (Senior), $15 (Student / Industry), $15 (Previews Only); Group Discounts Available for groups of 8 or more.

 

PETAL et al. Executives’ Electrifying “Hero” Presentation Shared Career Goals With Students at Olive-Harvey College Alternative School

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Pamela McMillan, CEO, of PETAL et al, and Clarence McMillan, PETAL et al. Vice President of Technology and Communications, gave an electrifying presentation to students at Olive Harvey College Alternative High School titled, “Hero.”

The McMillan’s presentation focused on defining a hero and how everyone has the potential to be a hero, or may already be a hero. The pair discussed their education endeavors and paths taken to get their careers off the ground, and successful efforts that led to a promising career today.

Pamela informed students of strategies they could take before getting to college that would increase their chances of success in school, or having the potential of getting a good job before finishing college.

In addition, the McMillans discussed with students how they can take advantage of minimum wage or low wage jobs they may be working in now and looking at them as not having that much of a benefit.

Both McMillans answered questions from students after their presentations.

Illinois Black Caucus Members Express Disappointment in Governor Rauner’s Lack of Leadership

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Black Caucus member’s held a press conference to respond to Governor Rauner’s State of the State Address.

 

In what proved to be the highlight of an otherwise redundant State of the State Address day, in a show of unity, members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus faced the governor’s office for a scathing press conference. The Illinois Black Caucus is a collection of black legislators from both the House of Representatives and Senate.

Members voiced disappointment and pointed out the lack of solutions that plagued the governor’s speech. There was no clearer message than that of Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus: “I really feel like the governor avoided our real problems and didn’t offer up any solutions.”

The caucus has continued to focus on social justice, equitable access to education for students and social service funding for our most vulnerable population. The caucus fights for these causes while advocating for responsible fiscal management on behalf of state government without saddling these vulnerable populations with an undue financial burden.

Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), chairwoman of the Senate Revenue Committee and Senate Black Caucus, spoke about the importance of revenue and how it contributes to a balance budget. “It is a fact that none of the goals that any of us have can happened with an $11 million in backlog of bills or a $4.5 million deficit.”

Chairwoman of the House Black Caucus, Representative Camille Lilly also offered her take on the Governor’s leadership.

“Illinois has gone without a budget for far too long. This is unacceptable and we must work together to ensure that we provide relief to Illinois families that have suffered as a result of this impasse. Passing a budget continues to be a top priority of the Black Caucus.

Representative Chris Welch (D-Hillside) challenged the Governor to consider listening to the people affected by his austerity measures.

“We will continue fighting for a state budget that protects vital services and the middle class. I share thousands of families across the state’s frustration about the stalemate going on in Springfield, but I refuse to support an agenda that hurts families. I encourage the governor to come to my district and listen to the concerns of our community to understand that it’s time to move Illinois forward.”

 

Madigan Requests House Panel Consider Gov. Rauner Proposals to Cut Cost of State Government

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, D-Chicago, has requested a legislative committee take up potential cost-cutting changes to the state’s procurement process offered by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

 

“Governor Rauner has proposed a series of changes to the state’s procurement process that could generate savings for the state, and I believe they are worth considering,” Madigan said. “I want to work with the governor to reduce the cost of state government while maintaining transparent and ethical conduct in contracting.”

 

Illinois enacted procurement reforms in 2009 following the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The reforms created a system of checks to reduce conflicts of interest, including the use of chief procurement officers, state purchasing officers, procurement monitors, and the Procurement Policy Board.

 

In a letter to state Rep. Al Riley, chairman of the House State Government Administration Committee, Madigan urged members of the committee to immediately begin vetting Rauner’s proposed changes to the state procurement code, and consider the governor’s proposal to streamline the process and reduce costs. In doing so, the committee will thoroughly vet the current procurement process and determine how the Legislature could eliminate unnecessary costs while ensuring ethical conduct.

 

“Considering these changes is an important step in making state government run more efficiently and at a lower cost to taxpayers, but also in fostering cooperation between the governor and the Legislature,” Madigan said. “The state’s procurement process must provide adequate protections for taxpayer dollars, but we must always be open to considering ways to implement this process with reduced cost.”

 

 

Amidst Trump Executive Orders, Suburban Communities Unite Against Muslim Ban, Call For Sanctuary Cities

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Multiracial and multi-faith group will call on suburban residents to express solidarity with Muslim and Arab communities, urge that suburban towns pass immigrant sanctuary laws

On Sunday, North Suburban residents of all walks of life, ages, religions, genders, sexualities, abilities, ethnicities, races, etc. are coming together to build a vision for a society based on acceptance, peace and justice for all.

Participants will express their opposition to Trump’s Muslim ban and call on Chicago suburban communities to become sanctuary cities, committing not to cooperate with federal authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants. 

They are coming together in wake of President Trump’s ongoing flurry of executive orders banning refugees and immigrants from Muslim and Arab countries, expanding deportation forces and threatening to punish sanctuary cities is worsening the climate of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and discrimination against African-Americans, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ people and those with disabilities.

Dilnaz Waraich, Muslim Community Center: “Each day it’s imperative we live in concern and know what our government is doing. It’s also imperative that we don’t live in fear but Live in hope, that as a collaboration we can make an impact. This march/rally on Sunday, Jan 29th is to empower all marginalized groups and give hope for the future. We CAN make a difference together.”

Lesley Williams, Jewish Voice for Peace: “At a time when refugees face terrible dangers abroad, it is unconscionable that Donald Trump would restrict their access to safety. Our local governments must stand in firm solidarity with our Muslim and Arab neighbors in showing their opposition to these immoral executive orders by passing sanctuary laws declaring their commitment not to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.”

The event will be held Sunday, January 29, 1:45 pm – 4:00 pm (full schedule below) at the Muslim Education Center, 8601 Menard Ave, Morton Grove.

WHO (speaking program in formation): 
Dilnaz Waraich, Muslim Community Center
Lesley Williams, Jewish Voice for Peace
Reverend Michael Nabors, Second Baptist Church of Evanston, Evanston NAACP
Pastor Liz Munoz La Reve, Iglesia Episcopal Nuestra Senora de las Americas
Sarwar Nasir, President of Muslim Community Center
Nashiha Alam, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Local students
Rabbi Andrea London, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue

Co-sponsored by:  Jewish Voice for Peace, the Muslim Community Center, Open Communities, Tzedek Chicago, Iglesia Episcopal Nuestra Senora de las Americas, and the Jewish Reconstuctionist Congregation of Evanston

Organizations with tables: Planned Parenthood, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Open Communities , Evanston YWCA, League of Women Voters, National Organization of Women, Access Living, Equality Illinois, and Chicago Now

SCHEDULE: 
 
1:45-2:10pm- Sign Making and Entertainment- Cantor Jay O’Brien from Congregation Solel in Highland Park, Niles West Choir 

 2:15-Welcome and Agenda by Dilnaz Waraich, Lesley Wiliams, Nashiha Alam

2:25-March throughout neighborhood (about 1.5 miles)

2:50- 4:00 Continue Speaking Program/Call to Action/Prayer/Student Speakers

AARP Outlines Priorities to President-elect Trump

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Includes Protection of Social Security, Medicare Benefits, Access to Affordable Health Care, Prescription Costs

WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins outlines AARP’s priorities for Americans age 50 and older including protecting Medicare and Social Security, ensuring access to affordable health care coverage, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

In the letter Jenkins writes to President-elect Trump that “Our nearly 38 million members nationwide and all older Americans are counting on you to protect their Medicare and Social Security benefits, protect their access to affordable health care, and to tackle the high cost of prescription drugs. Throughout the campaign, your statements on these important issues of health and financial security set you apart from many other candidates. Now, as you assume office, older Americans are looking to you to protect them from efforts to cut their benefits, increase their costs, or otherwise harm the crucial programs they rely on.”

The full text of the letter to President-elect Trump is below:
President-elect Donald J. Trump
Presidential Transition Headquarters
Washington, DC

Dear President-elect Trump:

Congratulations on your election. We look forward to working with you on your campaign promises to America’s seniors. Our nearly 38 million members nationwide and all older Americans are counting on you to protect their Medicare and Social Security benefits, protect their access to affordable health care, and to tackle the high cost of prescription drugs. Throughout the campaign, your statements on these important issues of health and financial security set you apart from many other candidates. Now, as you assume office, older Americans are looking to you to protect them from efforts to cut their benefits, increase their costs, or otherwise harm the crucial programs they rely on.

Medicare and Social Security
Our members count on these programs and they believe Social Security and Medicare must be protected and strengthened for today’s seniors and future generations. Unfortunately, some congressional leaders have discussed plans to use the health care debate to fundamentally change the Medicare program and undermine the contract made with generations of Americans. Proposals creating a defined contribution premium-support program; restricting access by raising the age of eligibility; or allowing hospitals and providers to arbitrarily charge consumers higher prices than Medicare; all betray the promise made to older Americans who have paid into Medicare their entire working lives. Indeed, these proposals do little to actually lower the cost of health care. Rather, they simply shift costs from Medicare onto individuals – many of whom cannot afford to pay more for their care. Again, we are ready to stand with you to oppose attempts to cut the Medicare program or otherwise harm seniors.

The average senior, with an annual income of under $25,000 and already spending one out of every six dollars on health care, counts on Social Security for the majority of their income and on Medicare for access to affordable health coverage. We will continue to oppose changes to current law that cut benefits, increase costs, or reduce the ability of these critical programs to deliver on their benefit promises. We urge you to continue to do so as well.

Prescription Drugs
Older Americans use prescription drugs more than any other segment of the U.S. population, typically on a chronic basis. In 2015, retail prices for 268 brand name prescription drugs widely used by older Americans increased by an average of 15.5 percent. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 0.1 percent over the same period. For older adults, affordable prescription drugs are critical in managing their chronic conditions, curing diseases, keeping them healthy and improving their quality of life. As you have stated, older Americans and the American people deserve a better deal on prescription drug costs.

Again, we stand ready to work with you to lower drug prices. For example, AARP supports providing the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of millions of Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, we agree with you that we should reduce barriers to better pricing competition worldwide by allowing for the safe importation of lower priced drugs. American seniors should not have to continue paying the highest Rx prices in the world.

Access to Health Care pre-Medicare
Millions of older Americans age 50 and older have gained access to affordable health coverage through important changes in the health insurance market, including the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions, the ban on lifetime and annual coverage limits, the restriction on charging working as well as retired older Americans many times more for insurance than younger persons (through important limits on age rating), and additional help for those who cannot afford insurance. We urge you to protect these vulnerable older Americans (many who have lost their jobs, are self-employed or own their own businesses) from losing health coverage by maintaining these important insurance market reforms in any new health legislation.

Medicaid and Long-Term Services and Supports
Medicaid serves as a critical safety net for millions of people in every state, including over 17 million children with disabilities, adults with disabilities and poor elderly who rely on vital Medicaid health and long-term care services. We urge you to continue to protect these vulnerable populations.

Efforts to reduce or cap Medicaid funding could endanger the health, safety, and care of millions of individuals who depend on the essential services provided through this program. Furthermore, caps would likely result in overwhelming cost-shifts to state governments unable to shoulder the costs of care without sufficient federal support. As your Administration considers changes to Medicaid, we urge that home and community-based services be available to individuals in the same way they can access nursing home funding. Any health law changes should ensure that more individuals are able to receive services in their homes and communities rather than costly institutional care.

We look forward to working with you to protect Medicare and Social Security, to lower prescription drug prices, and to maintain older American’s affordable access to quality health coverage. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, or have your staff contact Joyce A. Rogers, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.

Sincerely,
Jo Ann C. Jenkins
Chief Executive Officer

Treasurer Frerichs Releases Fourth Quarter Missed Investment Earnings Due to Budget Impasse

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois’ Portfolio Reveals Millions in Missed Investment Opportunity

CHICAGO, IL – The state of Illinois could have earned $8.8 million more in investment income in the fourth quarter of 2016 as a result of the year-long budget impasse, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today.

“Following yesterday’s state of the state address, we can all agree that the state is in dire need of a full, balanced budget plan that brings fiscal stability to Illinois,” Frerichs said. “Our office continues to maximize returns on our investments, but we could be bringing in millions more in investment income with a sound budget in place.”

In 2016, the state of Illinois earned $68 million, but could have earned $30 million more in investment income. Threats of unplanned fund sweeps and the need to pay court-ordered bills required the treasurer’s office to make short-term investments that prioritized cash availability rather than longer-term, higher-yielding investment opportunities.

A six-month budget was passed on June 30, 2016. With no budget in place for a full-year, the treasurer’s office remains faced with a number of cash management and investment challenges. The treasurer’s office is responsible for managing the state’s investment portfolio, ensuring the liquidity, safety and diversification of investments, and producing earnings at or above industry standards.

Frerichs’ office increased the 30-day rate of return in 2016 compared to 2015.

During the budget impasse, the state increased its position in short-term, lower-yielding assets, such as overnight investments and money market funds, to ensure it had cash available in case of a multi-billion dollar fund sweep or another court-ordered increase in billings.

The analysis compares the state’s overall asset allocation and term maturities each month and compares to March 2015, pre-budget impasse.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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