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 Advocacy Update

Contributed by Maria Schmidt
Director, Public Policy

Last week's Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC was a great success. Our Chapter had excellent representation with the following persons attending: Dani Jachino, Cathy Edge, Judy Buchanan and Steve Mack, Erna Colburn and Maria Schmidt. In addition we were joined by Spencer Johansen (Chief of Police of Lexington) and his daughter, Amanda Harmon. We were able to meet personally with Congresswoman Melissa Bean and Congressmen Tim Johnson, Donald Manzullo and Bill Foster, and meet with aides for most of our representatives and senators (Senators Durbin and Obama, Congressmen Rush, Jackson, Gutierrez, Emanuel, Davis, Schakowsky, Kirk, Costello, Biggert, .Hare, LaHood, and Shimkus.). We also left packets for the remainder of the Congressional delegation.

We asked for support for additional funding for Alzheimer’s disease research and a phase out of the 24-month waiting period for disabled individuals to become eligible for Medicare benefits. Senators Durbin and Obama and Congressmen Davis and LaHood are sponsors of the legislation (H.R. 154 and S. 2102).

On Thursday morning, we attended the Illinois delegation "coffee and donuts hour" hosted by Senator Durbin and Congressman Dan Lipinski.

The highlight of the week was the awarding of the prestigious "Maureen Reagan Outstanding Advocate Award" to Judy Buchanan - Greater Illinois Chapter Board member and Chair of the GIC and Illinois Central Network Public Policy Committees. Judy is the seventh person to receive this award. Congratulations Judy! Click here for more information.

PS. The 2009 Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC. is scheduled for March 22-25, 2009. Save the dates.

State Legislative Update

The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 31, 2008. It is questionable whether the four caucuses can agree on a state budget by that time. If not, the Legislature will go into overtime session. Substantively, there was little passed this year that directly impacts persons with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, but we expect a large legislative package next year, after the Legislature receives the Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan which is currently being developed by seven subcommittees of the Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force.

If you have not commented on what you would like to see in the Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan, please take a few minutes to complete our survey by clicking here.

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