* Sen. Glowiak Hilton…
The governor signed a plan into law Friday led by State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton to invest in child care services for workers with non-traditional schedules, such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS personnel and more.
“Finding reliable child care can be difficult for first responders and other third shift emergency workers,” said Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs). “By creating the Off-hours Child Care Program Fund, Illinois is working to increase accessibility for parents in public service who work non-traditional hours.”
Under Glowiak Hilton’s law, the Department of Human Services is required to establish and administer an Off-Hours Child Care Program to assist first responders and other workers with access to off-hours, night, or sleep time child care. The program is appropriated $2 million in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget.
“Many state child care facilities don’t offer services outside of normal work hours,” Glowiak Hilton said. “This measure will help fund child care for hardworking individuals serving our communities.”
Under the law, DHS must implement the program by July 1, 2023.
* Sen. Peters…
Youth in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services are one step closer to receiving the financial resources they need to be ready for adulthood thanks to a measure championed by State Senator Robert Peters
“I’m pleased that we are taking this step to ensure that the state will be proactive at helping youth in care build a strong future during their final years of care,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “We need to do all we can to ensure that they have access to a financial head start before they have to live on their own.”
The new law, formerly known as SB 3470, will require DCFS to save or invest a minimum percentage of a youth’s benefits once they reach the age of 14. This will ensure that when DCFS no longer serves as the financial representative of the youth, they will have some money to help them transition into a successful adult life.
The minimum percentage that DCFS will be required to invest are:
● 40% for youth between the ages of 14-15
● 80% for youth between the ages of 16-17
● 100% for youth between the ages of 18-20
The law will also require the DCFS to take defined actions when applying for and managing certain federal benefits that the department receives on behalf of any youth in care.
“State services should help empower youth and give them strong support to enter our society,” Peters said. “We should not be sending young people out into the world without the resources they need to live independently, and we must ensure that they are able to make the transition into adult life.”
The measure was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.
* Sen. Munoz…
Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) spearheaded a measure to help reduce the number of stolen car parts by requiring people to keep record of the sale of catalytic converters that was signed into law Friday.
“The rise in crime in Chicago and across Illinois was addressed this legislative session,” Munoz said. “This new law will decrease catalytic converter thefts by closing the loophole many found a way around.”
The new law adds catalytic converters to the definition of recyclable metal, requiring record keeping on the purchase of catalytic converters. The license plate number of the vehicle, photographs or video of the seller, a verified name and address of the seller, and a signed declaration by the seller stating that the catalytic converter was not stolen are required.
In addition, the measure prohibits a recyclable metal dealer from purchasing a catalytic converter with a value over $100 with cash.
According to a recent State Farm study, Illinois ranks in the top five states in the nation for catalytic converter thefts.
“I’m hopeful innocent people won’t be affected by this senseless crime anymore,” Munoz said. “We need to keep our streets safe, and this is one way we will do that.”
The new law takes effect immediately.
* Sen. Martwick…
A measure advanced by Senator Robert Martwick to address Illinois’ ever-growing teacher shortage by bringing back retired educators was signed into law.
“There are thousands of classrooms across the state where students are left without a fully qualified instructor during the school day,” said Martwick (D-Chicago). “We need to put teachers in classrooms to ensure our children thrive.”
The new law, formerly known as Senate Bill 3465, amends the Chicago Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension code by allowing retired CPS teachers to return to work without it affecting their pensions. Schools are able to submit documentation with their regional superintendent to request help from retired educators in a “subject shortage area.” This emergency measure will remain in effect until June 30, 2024.
“Although our students have returned to in-person learning, we will not make up for pandemic learning loss without qualified teachers in classrooms to guide and support them,” Martwick said. “I am pleased that we are taking this step to remove a barrier that prevents retired professional educators from returning to schools during this epic shortage.”
SB 3465 was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.
* Sen. Crowe…
To streamline the detection process and determine hereditary risks for breast and ovarian cancers in women, a new law by State Senator Rachelle Crowe requires insurance companies to cover the cost of genetic testing kits.
“Early detection through genetic testing is essential for women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancers,” said Crowe (D-Glen Carbon). “By offering genetic testing at no cost, Illinois can offer comfort and stability to individuals who are at the most risk.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the genes most commonly detected in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. About 3% of breast cancers, approximately 7,500 women per year, and 10% of ovarian cancers, an estimated 2,000 women per year, result from inherited mutations.
Once a test is recommended by a health care provider, Crowe’s law requires insurance coverage for costs associated with genetic testing for the BRCA1 and 2 genes. The measure applies to Illinois residents with individual or group insurance policies issued on or after Jan. 1, 2024.
The Illinois Insurance code requires individual and group insurance health plans to cover annual cancer screenings for women who have tested positive for BRCA1 or 2 mutations. However, the code did not require health insurance plans to cover the gene mutation testing. Some insurance companies have specific genetic testing criteria or do not cover genetic testing in certain situations, even when considered medically necessary.
“By codifying the coverage into law, Illinois is creating a consistent, reliable process for genetic mutation testing for at-risk women,” Crowe said. “Hereditary breast and ovarian cancers pose significant threats to women’s health, and preventative medical treatment can be implemented once the risks are determined.”
House Bill 5334 is effective Jan. 1, 2024.
* Sen. Fine…
State Senator Laura Fine’s (D-Glenview) measure to ensure caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are trained on how to best treat these specific conditions is now law.
“Before this law, caregivers were not required to receive substantial training on how to specifically care for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s,” Fine said. “This important change will ensure our loved ones receive treatment specialized to their specific, changing conditions to achieve their highest quality of life possible.”
Over 230,000 people in Illinois are living with Alzheimer’s. Many take part in the Community Care Program, which allows seniors with or without these conditions to receive in-home and community-based services from their own homes. Employees that provide these services are currently required to complete 12 to 24 hours of training, but training specific to dementia and Alzheimer’s patients is optional.
Fine’s law requires employees and contractors with the Department of Aging Service who provide direct service to individuals in the Community Care program to complete at least two hours of training on Alzheimer’s and dementia prior to the start of their employment. Fine believes that condition-specific training is essential to ensuring adults living with these conditions are able to be cared for properly and better understood.
“We want our loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia to have access to the best care possible. This training prepares caregivers to respond to issues patients and their families may experience because of their conditions,” Fine said. “This will ensure all Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have access to the highest quality care possible and are able to receive informed support from their caregivers.”
Senate Bill 3707 was signed by the governor May 27, 2022. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.
* Sen. Koehler…
A new law championed by State Senator Dave Koehler will keep Illinois on track toward a greener future by expanding recycling opportunities for renewable energy technology.
“Sustainable energy isn’t really sustainable when it requires technology that can’t be reused and is difficult to recycle,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “As we look to expand the widespread use of renewable energy, we have a responsibility to safely dispose of any associated waste.”
As much as one million total tons of solar panel waste is estimated to accumulate in the United States by 2030, and the U.S. is expected to have the second largest number of retired solar panels in the world by 2050, with as many as an estimated 10 million total tons of panels.
States such as California, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington have already implemented strategies to address this excess waste, and Illinois would join these states by creating a Renewable Energy Component Recycling Task Force under Senate Bill 3790. The task force will be responsible for investigating options for recycling and other end of life methods for renewable generation components and energy storage devices, and is required to report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1, 2023.
“Our hope is that the task force is able to find new, innovative ways to recycle and reuse materials from our solar panels, ultimately increasing the sustainability of solar energy in Illinois,” said Koehler.
The legislation was signed Friday and goes into effect immediately.
* Sen. Villa…
Under a newly-signed law sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), school boards across the state will have the option to include safe firearm storage in their safety education curriculum.
“Guns are the leading cause of death of children in Illinois,” Villa said. “By giving students the opportunity to learn about safe, responsible firearm ownership, we are giving them the tools to protect themselves and others.”
Under House Bill 5193, safe gun storage will be added to existing safety education instruction taught in schools in Illinois. Automobile safety, CPR training, safety in the home, and safety while carrying out vocational training or work are all examples of what is already included in statewide safety education curriculum.
Under current law, when not in use, firearm owners in Illinois must keep their guns temporarily inoperable with a designated device or mechanism, kept in a securely locked container, or in a location that a minor under the age of 14 would not reasonably have access to. House Bill 5193 would bring this information to classrooms discussing safety in the home in an effort to raise awareness of firearm safety among young adults and to educate them about responsible firearm ownership.
Schools are not mandated to teach safety education, but if they elect to offer it they are required to teach all existing components.
“When firearms are not stored safely and securely, there is always a chance they may fall into the wrong hands, whether that be the hands of small children who don’t understand, or the hands of those who may be a danger to themselves or others,” Villa said. “Promoting positive messages about proper gun storage has the potential to save lives.”
The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
* Sen. Cunningham…
State Senator Bill Cunningham sponsored legislation that makes it easier for callers to reach 911 during an emergency was signed into law Friday.
“This new law helps children during times of an emergency,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “We are removing barriers that hinder people from calling 911 and we are making it easier for first responders to locate the caller.”
Under current law, multi-line telephone systems require dialing “9″ or another number to reach an outside line. Places like businesses, hotels and government buildings use these systems to handle two or more calls coming in at the same time. Under the new law, MLTS vendors and manufacturers must configure new systems to support direct dialing 911.
This goal of this legislation is protect people and specifically children. Back in 2013, a women was killed in a hotel room by her estranged husband. Her daughter attempted to call 911 four times, but the calls never went through because the hotel’s multi-line telephone system required her to dial “9” before making an outbound call. Illinois will follow suit with other states who have already passed this legislation.
House Bill 5502 will also update regulation on multi-line systems to provide accurate information about the caller’s location within a building or complex. Far too often, large hotels or complexes use multi-line systems and it is difficult for emergency response to get an exact location on the caller. This is ensures people needing help during an emergency are able to be located by first responders.
“This legislation will save lives and could save your child’s life,” Cunningham said.
House Bill 5502 is effective immediately.
* Sen. Johnson…
Schools fees will be waived for low-income students with veteran or active military parents under a new law championed by State Senator Adriane Johnson.
“Veterans and active military members endure many hardships, and families with young children are finding it difficult to keep up with school fees,” said Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove). “By offering support to our heroes and their families, we can assist them through difficult financial times.”
Johnson’s law allows school boards to waive fees for students with a parent who is a veteran or an active member of the military with an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, which is an estimated $55,500 for an average family of four.
“Education is critical for children to succeed,” Johnson said. “With this law, Illinois is working to ensure low-income students in military families are able to continue learning without financial burden.”
The law, previously Senate Bill 3867, is effective immediately.
* Sen. Belt…
People will have an additional opportunity to become an organ donor thanks to a measure championed by State Senator Christopher Belt that was signed into law Friday.
“Organ donors save countless lives every year,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “After living on dialysis for a year, I received a kidney transplant in January 2010. I know the importance of giving people more opportunities to become organ donors.”
House Bill 4696 allows the Department of Natural Resources to offer online hunting license holders the opportunity to be redirected to the First Person Consent Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. On average, 300 people die each year waiting for an organ donation. More than 4,700 Illinois residents are waiting for an organ or tissue donation. In 2020, there were 7 million Illinoisans registered as organ donors.
The first-person consent law provides an opportunity to save more lives and ensures that your wish to be an organ/tissue donor is honored. Prior to the first-person consent registry, many Illinoisans who signed the back of their driver’s license as a donor were unaware that family consent was still required in order for donation to occur.
“Hunting is a huge industry in Illinois,” Belt said. “Hunting license holders will soon be able to sign up to be organ donors in an easy, efficient way.”
The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.
* Sen. Van Pelt…
Building upon efforts to address maternal and infant mortality in the state of Illinois, the governor signed into law a measure led by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) to expand access to prenatal services.
“Maternal mortality is a serious matter both in our state, and across the country, especially for Black women,” Van Pelt said. “Making prenatal and perinatal services more accessible can set those expecting up for a healthy delivery.”
Maternal mortality rates increased by 14% since the beginning of the pandemic, with Black women facing maternal mortality rates nearly three times that of white women.
Regular prenatal care for mothers helps to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, keep track of the baby’s development, and more.
Under this measure, the number of providers a person could potentially choose for care is expanded.
Managed care organizations will pay for preventative prenatal services, perinatal healthcare services, and postpartum services rendered by a non-affiliated provider, as long as that the provider has not rejected a contract offered in good faith within the last twelve months or had a contract terminated for cause.
“Carrying a life inside of you is a precious experience, and every mother deserves quality care,” Van Pelt said. “Laws like this that ensure care for expecting mothers is how we save lives and change statistics.”
House Bill 5013 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect January 1, 2023.
* Sen. Castro…
Care providers for Illinois residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities will see specific funding go to their wages thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).
“Ensuring people who care for our state’s most vulnerable residents are properly compensated will help address high turnaround in this workforce,” Castro said. “I am proud to have worked on this legislation to hold employers accountable when it comes to passing along funding increases to their workers.”
Developmental service providers are vital in community residential settings, where they help residents with daily personal care like eating and hygiene as well as teaching life skills and attending to complex medical needs. While funding for these services has increased over recent years, starting wages remain barely above minimum wage, and vacancies remain high. This disparity is because the state does not always require agencies to pass wage increases through to the workers.
The law, formerly known as House Bill 4647, will require developmental services that are licensed through the Illinois Department of Human Services to certify that all legislatively or administratively mandated wage increases are passed on to the employees.
“Care providers are the backbone of our intellectual and developmental disability community. This law will help ensure hard workers are directly receiving funding that is meant for them,” Castro said.
Gov. JB Pritzker signed the law Friday. It goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Apparently, only Senators pass laws. Or at least, according to my inbox. /s