Senator Steans presents legislation to leverage federal funds to support the Medicaid program.SPRINGFIELD – Hospitals that serve Medicaid patients would continue to benefit from federal funding under a measure sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) which passed the Senate today.

“I have worked with my colleagues in both chambers for several months to develop a new Medicaid Hospital Assessment Program that is fair to patients and hospitals,” said Steans. “This new program supports hospitals that serve a vital role in communities while distributing funding in a more accurate manner.”

The Medicaid Hospital Assessment Program was designed to leverage federal matching funds to cover the cost of services provided to Medicaid patients in private Illinois hospitals. Currently, hospitals receive a flat payment based on a variety of factors, such as the number of Medicaid patients served. The new program would use more recent patient data and phase in a claims-based payment model over the next six years.

“Hospitals are not reimbursed for the full cost of treating Medicaid patients and rely on these payments to help some of the neediest Illinoisans,” Steans said. “I urge the federal government to review this proposal immediately so that service to patients in Illinois will not be disrupted.”

Nearly half of the annual Medicaid payment funds are set to expire under Illinois statute on June 30, 2018. The assessment laid out in Senate Bill 1773 requires state and federal approval before it can take effect.

###

Senator Steans

February 27, 2018

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Steans in a committee hearingThis week the Senate is scheduled to hear several pieces of legislation to address the teacher shortage in Illinois. The Senate will also hold three budget committees and will hear from the State Board of Education, several public universities and The Department of Innovation and Technology, among others.

 

Below please find a list of noteworthy bills that are scheduled in committee. For directions on how to submit a witness slip to show your support or opposition to a particular bill, click here. You can listen to committee hearings live by clicking here.

 

The Senate will not be in session next week. I will send you an email with noteworthy bills in committee the following week when we return.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Noteworthy bills in committee this week

 

Criminal law issues

• Testimony – SB 2479 regulates the use of incriminating testimony in courts.
     o Sponsor: Senator Michael Hastings
     o Committee: Senate Criminal Law

• Criminal justice alternatives - SB 3023 authorizes law enforcement to develop and implement programs that offer alternatives to traditional involvement in the criminal justice system by creating immediate pathways to substance use treatment and other services.
     o Sponsor: Senator Melinda Bush
     o Committee: Senate Human Services

• Records of minors – SB 2915 allows the parents, guardian and counsel of a minor who is the subject of record to inspect and copy law enforcement records.
     o Sponsor: Senator John Mulroe
     o Committee: Senate Criminal Law

• Criminal history - SB 2853 requires the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to publish information on how it uses criminal history information when making licensure decisions on its website.
     o Sponsor: Senator Pam Althoff
     o Committee: Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions

• Records – SB 2560 requires websites that publish a person’s criminal record to remove the information upon written request.
     o Sponsor: Senator Steve Stadelman
     o Committee: Senate Judiciary

 

Consumer and civil law issues

• Condo lawsuits – SB 2556 excludes attorney’s fees from the demand in certain condo lawsuits.
     o Sponsor: Senator Laura Murphy
     o Committee: Senate Judiciary

• Price posting – SB 2953 requires automotive repair facilities to post a sign detailing the hourly labor charge, the prices of commonly used repair parts, the charge for diagnosis as well as the charges and conditions under which a facility may impose storage charges.
     o Sponsor: Senator Tom Cullerton
     o Committee: Senate Judiciary

• Identity protection – SB 3007 requires companies that collect personal information to report data breaches that affect more than 100 Illinoisans to the Attorney General.
     o Sponsor: Senator Kwame Raoul
     o Committee: Judiciary

• Student loans – SB 2439 prohibits the state from denying, revoking or suspending a professional license because the holder defaulted on a student loan.
     o Sponsored: Senator Scott Bennett
     o Committee: Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions

 

Education issues

• Free lunch – SB 2428 requires schools to provide a federally reimbursable lunch to students who wish to eat lunch, regardless of their ability to pay.
     o Sponsor: Senator Steve Stadelman
     o Committee: Senate Education

• STEM teachers – SB 3047 requires universities to waive tuition, fees and campus housing costs of students who agree to pursue a bachelor’s degree in STEM areas for a teaching occupation.
     o Sponsor: Senator Andy Manar
     o Committee: Senate Higher Education

• Teacher shortage – SB 2838 addresses the shortage of substitute teachers by allowing schools to use recruiting firms to find substitutes.
     o Sponsor: Senator Terry Link
     o Committee: Senate Education

• ESL teachers - SB 2844 requires the State Board of Education to establish the Growing Future Educators Program to train high school graduates who at one time were English language learners to become secondary language educators.
     o Sponsor: Senator Omar Aquino
     o Committee: Senate Education

• Teacher salary – SB 2892 sets the minimum salary for a full-time teacher in Illinois at $40,000.
     o Sponsor: Senator Andy Manar
     o Committee: Senate Education

• Retired teachers – SB 3045 increases the amount of time a retired teacher can work without affecting their retirement status to help reduce the teacher shortage.
     o Sponsor: Senator Andy Manar
     o Committee: Senate Education

• Dual credit – SB 2527 bars school boards from limiting the number of dual credit courses a student may enroll in or the number of credits a student may receive from dual credit courses.
     o Sponsored: by Senator Chuck Weaver
     o Committee: Senate Education

• Asthma medicine – SB 3015 allows school nurses to keep asthma medication prescribed in the school’s name.
     o Sponsor: Senator Dave Koehler
     o Committee: Senate Education

 

Environmental issues

• LEED buildings – SB 3031 requires all new state-funded building construction and major renovations to be designed have to achieve silver certification of LEED rating system.
     o Sponsor: Senator Chuck Weaver
     o Committee: Senate State Government

• Emissions testing – SB 2643 allows auto service and repair stations to apply to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for certification as an official emission inspection station.
     o Sponsor: Senator Dan McConchie
     o Committee: Senate Environment and Conservation

 

Government reform issues

• Workers' compensation insurance - SB 2973 creates an independent nonprofit insurance company to insure Illinois employers for workers’ compensation.
     o Sponsor: Senator Daniel Biss
     o Committee: Senate Judiciary

• Workers’ compensation reform – SB 2863 intends to pass savings from previous workers’ compensation reform on to employers by reducing premiums. This legislation allows the Department of Insurance to declare a rate excessive, among other measures to regulate insurance companies.
     o Sponsor: Senator Kwame Raoul
     o Committee: Senate Judiciary

• Gender neutral – SB 2854 amends the election code to make titles gender neutral. For example, under this legislation, “chairman” would become “chairperson.”
     o Sponsor: Senator Melinda Bush
     o Committee: Senate Government Reform

 

Human service issues

• Reimbursement rates - SB 2898 reforms reimbursement rates for licensed Medically Complex for the Developmentally Disabled facilities that serve severely and chronically ill patients.
     o Sponsor: Senator Heather Steans
     o Committee: Senate Human Services

• Dental care for Medicaid patients – SB 2429 requires preventative dental care to be provided to all Medicaid-eligible adults. Currently, services are only available to people under 21 and pregnant women.
     o Sponsor: Senator Omar Aquino
     o Committee: Senate Human Services

• Identification cards – SB 2903 requires the Secretary of State to issue standard Illinois Identification Cards and limited-term Illinois Identification Cards to persons upon conditional release or absolute discharge from the custody of the Department of Human Services with specified requirements. The purpose of this legislation is to make it easier for individuals to apply for benefits and transition into the community.
     o Sponsor: Senator Karen McConnaughay
     o Committee: Senate Human Services

• Early Mental Health Act - SB 2951 requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to create two pilot programs for Medicaid beneficiaries to provide community-based services for young people with mental health conditions and one for young people with substance use disorders.
     o Sponsor: Senator Melinda Bush
     o Committee: Senate Human Services

 

Labor issues

• Workers’ rights – SB 2213 maintains protections for workers, workplace safety and environmental provisions that are currently in place regardless of what happens at the federal level.
     o Sponsor: Senator Daniel Biss
     o Committee: Senate Labor

• Graduate workers – SB 2546 classifies research assistants and graduate students as employees, providing them with all rights and remedies under labor laws including the right to unionize.
     o Sponsor: Senator Daniel Biss
     o Committee: Senate Labor

• Job costs – SB 2999 requires employers to reimburse employees for their costs incurred to fulfill job responsibilities including policies that require employees to use personal cell phones, tablets or computers for work purposes.
     o Sponsor: Senator Patricia Van Pelt
     o Committee: Senate Labor

 

Pension and state contract issues

• Retired CPD officers – SB 2525 makes the 3 percent increase in pension benefits for retired Chicago Police Department officers over the age of 75 compounded.
     o Sponsor: Senator Bill Cunningham
     o Committee: Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions

• Tier 2 – SB 2607 lowers the minimum age at which Tier 2 state police are eligible for the alternative annuity from 60 to 50.
     o Sponsor: Senator John Mulroe
     o Committee: Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions

• Vehicle allowance – SB 2307 eliminates teachers’ vehicle allowance from counting as pensionable earnings.
     o Sponsor: Senator Julie Morrison
     o Committee: Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions

 

Public health issues

• Nursing homes – SB 2232 prioritizes long-term care facilities for restoration of power during a power outage, regardless of reason.
     o Sponsor: Senator Dave Koehler
     o Committee: Senate Public Health

• Metal detectors in hospitals – SB 2334 requires hospitals to have metal detectors at each public point of entry and makes visitors subject to screening.
     o Sponsor: Senator Laura Murphy
     o Committee: Senate Public Health

• Dense breast tissue – SB 2442 requires health care providers to notify patients if they have dense breast tissue.
     o Sponsor: Senator John Mulroe
     o Committee: Senate Public Health

• Information on HPV – SB 2866 requires the Department of Public Health to provide all sixth grade students and their parents information on the link between the human papillomavirus and cancer. Currently only female students are provided with this information.
     o Sponsor: Senator Linda Holmes
     o Committee: Senate Public Health

 

Revenue issues

• Internet sales tax – SB 2577 requires out-of-state retailers to collect a use tax in certain instances. Currently, retailers that do not have a physical presence in a state are not required to collect sales taxes.
     o Sponsor: Senator Cristina Castro
     o Committee: Senate Revenue

 

Committee schedule for Tuesday, Feb. 27

 

• Senate Appropriations II Committee | 9 a.m., Room 212
Subject matter regarding FY 19 budget request for the Illinois State Board of Education.

• Senate Public Health Committee | 1:45 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Education Committee | 1:45 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Judiciary Committee | 3:15 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Higher Education Committee | 3:15 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Human Services Committee | 3:15 p.m., Room 409
Subject matter regarding the Hospital Assessment Program.
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Criminal Law Committee| 4:45 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Transportation Committee | 4:45 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee schedule for Wednesday, Feb. 28

 

• Senate Appropriations I Committee | 8 a.m., Room 400
Subject matter regarding FY 19 budget request for the following agencies: Central Management Services, the Department of Innovation and Technology, the Procurement Policy Board, and the Department of Insurance.

• Senate Gaming Committee | 8:30 a.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Local Government Committee | 9 a.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Government Reform Committee | 10:30 a.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Labor Committee | 10:30 a.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Executive Committee | 2 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate State Government Committee | 2 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee | 2 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Revenue Committee | 3:30 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Insurance Committee | 3:30 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee schedule for Thursday, March 1

 

• Senate Agriculture Committee | 8:30 a.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Appropriations II Committee | 9 a.m., Room 212
Subject matter regarding FY 19 budget request for the following agencies: Eastern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Illinois State University, and Western Illinois University.

• Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee | 11 a.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Environment and Conservation Committee | 11 a.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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Senator Steans on the Senate floorCHICAGO – As hospitals, police departments, judges, counselors and coroners grapple with an unprecedented opioid abuse crisis in Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to slash funding for local mental health services and addiction treatment.

That’s counterintuitive and irresponsible, said Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago).

“At a time when thousands of Illinoisans are dying across the state from the opioid epidemic, I do not believe it is prudent for the governor to cut funding for addiction and mental health services,” she said. “The opioid crisis is a serious and multi-faceted problem that requires substantial funding.”

According to an Illinois Department of Public Health report published in December, nearly 2,000 Illinoisans died from an opioid-related overdose in 2016, an 82 percent increase since 2013. More people died from opioids than homicides or car crashes in Illinois, the report stated.

The governor’s budget proposes the following cuts:

•    Community mental health services — $48.4 million
•    Addiction treatment for Medicaid-eligible — $16.1 million
•    Addiction prevention services — $483,000

Steans noted that access to medical marijuana can reduce reliance on opioids and help stem the abuse and overdose epidemic in Illinois. A report from Aclara Research revealed that 67 percent of respondents stopped using opioids after using medical cannabis.

“I believe that expanding access to cannabis could reduce the negative impacts of the opioid epidemic,” Steans said. “I think the governor needs to rethink his budget priorities and his policy stance on this issue.”

Senator Steans on the Senate floorCHICAGO – As hospitals, police departments, judges, counselors and coroners grapple with an unprecedented opioid abuse crisis in Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to slash funding for local mental health services and addiction treatment.

That’s counterintuitive and irresponsible, said Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago).

“At a time when thousands of Illinoisans are dying across the state from the opioid epidemic, I do not believe it is prudent for the governor to cut funding for addiction and mental health services,” she said. “The opioid crisis is a serious and multi-faceted problem that requires substantial funding.”

According to an Illinois Department of Public Health report published in December, nearly 2,000 Illinoisans died from an opioid-related overdose in 2016, an 82 percent increase since 2013. More people died from opioids than homicides or car crashes in Illinois, the report stated.

The governor’s budget proposes the following cuts:

•    Community mental health services — $48.4 million
•    Addiction treatment for Medicaid-eligible — $16.1 million
•    Addiction prevention services — $483,000

Steans noted that access to medical marijuana can reduce reliance on opioids and help stem the abuse and overdose epidemic in Illinois. A report from Aclara Research revealed that 67 percent of respondents stopped using opioids after using medical cannabis.

“I believe that expanding access to cannabis could reduce the negative impacts of the opioid epidemic,” Steans said. “I think the governor needs to rethink his budget priorities and his policy stance on this issue.”

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District Office
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Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

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Office: 217-782-8492