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Issue Position: The Mentally Ill and Seniors

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Jack Franks is a member of the Aging Committee of the House of Representatives and has worked hard to provide Illinois seniors with expanded benefits. These citizens, who have worked for our state and our country for decades and are experiencing increasing property taxes and a broken healthcare system that has led to some of the highest medication costs in the world.

Franks believes that we have made a promise to our citizens for a better life. In working to fulfill that promise, he has continually worked to expand services and benefits for Illinois seniors and disabled citizens. Seniors should never have to choose between paying rent and purchasing necessary prescription medication.

In 2009, Franks sponsored a bill to expand Illinois' Circuit Breaker program so more seniors and disabled citizens would be eligible to receive benefits such as property tax abatement, a discount on license plate registration renewals and assisantance with the cost of their prescriptions through Illinois Cares Rx. The bill increased the income limitations one must meet to qualify for the Circuit Breaker program and made additional medications available to participants.

Franks' ongoing effortsto expand the Circuit Breaker program were recognized by the Make Medicare Work Coalition in 2009 when he received the organization's Make Medicare Work Award.

In 2005, Franks helped establish the Rx Buying Club in Illinois, which provides cheaper prescription drugs for those with an income of 300 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Level.

Other key senior issues Franks has worked on include sponsoring legislation to allow persons aged 75 or older to request preference over other persons in obtaining and casting ballots. With safety in mind, Franks also co-sponsored and passed legislation to expand the alert system law enforcement agencies use when a senior citizen, person with disabilities, or other "high-risk" person is missing or endangered. Franks has repeatedly filed legislation to increase the Personal Needs Allowance provided to Illinois Nursing Home residents, who often are unable to afford even simple hygiene products like toothpaste.

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