Pols in Springfield keep letting down disabled people and their families
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Kudos to Mark Brown for bringing to light yet another flaw in Illinois government with an article about the closing of two Easterseals day programs (Day program’s closing like a gut punch to family of autistic man – Jan. 29).
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My husband and I were born and raised in Chicago and have no immediate intentions of moving since family is near to help us. We have two boys, 19 and 18, and our 18-year-old has severe developmental delay. He functions at about a 2- to 3-year-old level. He has no speech and walks only with braces on his legs and assistance.
We are fortunate that he will attend an excellent school/program in Frankfort until the age of 22. But we are now getting to the point of: What happens after that? We want to take care of him but what about when we are gone? And will there be somewhere for him to go every day once he is 23?
It is also difficult for us to get away by ourselves, even for a couple nights, as we have no caretaker. We are unfortunately faced with looking to move out of state because Illinois ranks so low when if comes to adults and children with disabilities. We would love to stay in Chicago but why hasn’t more been done to help parents, guardians and caretakers — especially when autism is on the rise?
Why are workers so poorly compensated and, as said in the article, “in many cases getting paid less than fast food establishments?” Why haven’t our governors and state representatives cared more about this issue?
Unfortunately this is, in my opinion, a large reason so many are fleeing Illinois. Please contact your local state representative regarding this issue. Please, let’s elect a governor in the upcoming election that stands for this issue. Let’s get noticed in Springfield! I know nothing is guaranteed, but we cannot let this go on. We need more funding for this very important cause.
Julie Miklos, Clearing
Invest in an American company
President Donald Trump declared shortly after the election that Harley Davidson was “a great American company.” But Harley has struggled during the last two to three years. The company has failed to achieve sales and profit goals, it has closed a plant near Milwaukee, it has consolidated domestic production and has built their first plant overseas to save money with cheaper labor, benefits and less regulatory protections for workers.
Perhaps, Trump, Ryan and especially Walker, could have redirected some of the millions of taxpayer dollars they’re giving to the Chinese company Foxxconn in Kenosha, and invest it in Harley Davidson to save American jobs in Milwaukee at a truly iconic American company. Instead, we pay a much higher price to reward a Chinese company to make components for cell phones to ship back to China for assembly and we thus encourage “a great America company” to continue down the path of sending jobs overseas.
This doesn’t appear to be a prudent method of retaining American jobs or of spending taxpayer funds.
Tom Minnerick, Elgin
Lower the age for Medicare to open up jobs
If President Trump wants to see really great economic and unemployment numbers, he should lower the age to qualify for Medicare to 62. Everyone is currently able to receive Social Security benefits at age 62, albeit at a reduced rate, so why not make Medicare coverage available at 62 with a co-pay? Many Americans are working to age 66 just to maintain their health care benefits through their place of employment. With both Medicare and Social Security available at age 62, many Americans would retire immediately, opening up the vacated jobs for younger people. This would be a win-win for all.
Daniel M. Filipek, Mount Prospect
A bit of an understatement
Phil Kadner’s column (The same old flimflam game on school funding – Feb. 1) is right-on about bipartisan malfeasance in Springfield but he, and the pull quote, understate one thing; “30 years.”
The state has failed to live up to its “primary responsibility for financing the system of public education” ever since the voters approved the current Illinois Constitution on Dec. 15, 1970. That’s almost 48 years. The recent legislation, a baby step, was, generously speaking, about 46 years overdue.