Several local senior citizens came together on Thursday with Democratic candidate for State Representative and former Lane Evans aide Mike Halpin, as he announced his strong opposition to a state income tax on retirement earnings, such as Social Security and pension payments.
“Every day I walk door-to-door and talk with residents who are hurting because of the gridlock in Springfield and Governor Bruce Rauner’s war on the middle-class,” Halpin said. “Seniors living on fixed incomes are in jeopardy of losing access to in-home care, home-delivered meals and programs to prevent elder financial abuse because of the state budget impasse. The last thing they can afford is a new tax on their hard-earned retirement.”
The retirement tax has been proposed by a Rauner front group pushing his anti-senior agenda.
Ginny Shelton, Lane Evans’ long time Veterans Affairs staff person, attended Halpin’s press conference because she believes Halpin will be the strongest voice for local senior citizens.
“Like Lane, Mike Halpin puts a high value on being a community advocate,” Shelton said. “Mike isn’t going to back down to Rauner. Our senior citizens are the unfortunate victims of the gridlock in Springfield, so we need someone like Mike Halpin who will focus on solving our problems and standing up for our seniors.”
Halpin has plenty of experience advocating on behalf of older residents. He currently serves as Rock Island County’s Public Guardian, where he intervenes on behalf of individuals without friends of family nearby, often senior citizens, who need legal advocacy. He has also worked to ensure older homeowners do not have their property tax benefits unjustly removed.
“I am outraged that Governor Rauner created a plan to kick more than 50,000 elderly residents and disabled persons out of nursing homes,” Halpin added. “I’ll fight to restore services for frail elderly residents to make sure they get the care they need. I’ll also be a partner with our federal officials to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare in order to help ensure some financial security for our older friends and neighbors.”