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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus…

To ensure that Illinoisans in need of insulin have affordable access to the life-saving medicine, the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus is leading a measure to cap its price at $35.

“It’s vital we make insulin more accessible to the people who need it,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “It’s past time to put people’s health ahead of financial gain.”

Building off their 2019 efforts to cap the price for a 30-day supply of insulin at $100, the Senate Democrats are spearheading a measure to cap the price at $35. Recently, drugmakers announced their new $35 threshold, leading Murphy – the chief sponsor of the bill – and her colleagues to enshrine the price into law in case the companies choose to raise the price in the future.

“This has the opportunity to provide much needed relief to many people in our state who rely on insulin to survive,” said State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea). “It is time for Illinois to lead the way in making healthcare more affordable and accessible for all.”

In addition to capping out-of-pocket insulin costs, the measure would also outline a plan to ensure that residents in urgent need of insulin are able to receive it in a timely manner. […]

Senator Murphy expects to call Senate Bill 1559 this week.

* Crain’s

A bill to authorize a pilot wind farm in Lake Michigan just off of the south shore has resurfaced in Springfield and has picked up major political momentum, even though it could cost electric ratepayers $680 million in subsidies over the next 20 years.

Approved on a bipartisan 85-21 House vote, the measure would authorize creation of a 10- to 20-windmill facility several miles from Chicago’s lakefront and entitle the developer to $34 million in annual subsidies via a mandatory purchase deal with the Illinois Power Agency. […]

One major green group, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, remains opposed to the legislation, suggesting it would end up being an unwarranted boondoggle for some lucky developer.

The group’s legislative director, David McEllis, testified to a House committee that the proposal “could lead to future private developments in Lake Michigan,” that lake-based offshore wind “is unproven and expensive” and that the subsidy could result in “a significant utility rate increase to pay for a single unproven project.”

* AG Raoul…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced the Illinois House of Representatives on Friday passed his legislation to increase oversight of health care transactions, namely mergers and acquisitions that include health care facilities and large provider organizations, which can lead to higher prices for health care services while quality of care worsens or remains stagnant. […]

Specifically, House Bill 2222 would:

    - Require health care facilities to notify the Attorney General within 30 days of a proposed merger or acquisition.

    - Establish a premerger notification program at the state level for health care facility mergers.

    - Better equip the Attorney General’s office with information necessary to determine whether a proposed transaction warrants an investigation and, when necessary, a challenge for anticompetitive conduct that could substantially lessen competition or harm the public or employees.

* HB2280 has not yet left the House and is in Rules, SB2427 has been re-referred to Assignments in the Senate. CBS Chicago did a story anyway

[Neelam Dhadankar of Access Living] joined a diverse coalition of organizations to deliver 2,000 petitions to the Illinois State Medical Society - urging them to support HB 2280 and SB 2427.

The two pieces of state legislation require “consistent cultural competency training” for all healthcare professionals.

“When you don’t make the effort to understand your patient, you are missing the whole point,” said Kristen Perez of the Illinois Nurses Association. […]

The Illinois State Medical Association declined our request for an interview.

But online, they listed the cultural competency bill as “one hundreds of onerous mandates on how physicians should practice medicine in Illinois” that they push back against every year.

* Press release…

Returning service members would be united with shelter pets under a new bill recently passed by state Rep. Harry Benton, D-Plainfield. […]

Benton’s House Bill 2500 would provide that animal control facilities and shelters shall not charge anyone who can prove they are an Illinois veteran an adoption fee for a dog or cat. Individuals would be allowed to adopt one animal this way every two years. The bill is modeled on a law that took effect in California in 2020. The bill now advances to the state Senate.

“Helping veterans adopt loving pets isn’t just a great way of helping them heal, it’s also a small way of giving back to them after everything they did for us,” Benton said. “Having a pet can be one of the most rewarding experiences everyday life has to offer, and don’t our veterans deserve that? Why should they pay a fee when they’ve already sacrificed so much for our country? For me, that’s really what it boils down to.”

* Patrick Keck

On Friday, the Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 2243. The bill sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Westchester would require the Illinois State Board of Education to develop a “comprehensive literacy plan.” […]

Deborah MacPhee, a researcher and professor at Illinois State University, said early literacy education has become politicized with debates taking place between competing systems of reading instruction.

MacPhee said she liked that the bill requires the plan to involve “education stakeholders.” She said this will contribute to the ongoing conversation around what sorts of educational programs. […]

The House passed a literacy bill later that Friday in a 68-35 vote. House Bill 3147 creates the Literacy and Justice for All Act which permits the state Board of Education to form a rubric for use of the school districts regarding evidence-based, culturally inclusive reading instruction and literacy plans.

* SB909 was referred to Assignments. Madeline Wood of United High School in Monmouth

Racist incidents have happened and continue to occur across our state. In southern Illinois, protests erupted after a Marion track coach used racially motivated language against one of her student athletes. In Chicago at Jones College Prep, a principal was fired after defending a student’s Nazi imitation during the school’s Halloween event. A student in suburban Will County was racially harassed for five years, until students chased him with baseball bats and he transferred to a different school to seek safety.

When it comes to addressing racial harassment, words are not enough. A 2021 federal report found that hate crimes in schools increased 81%, with roughly half of those incidents related to race. A concrete and meaningful policy response is needed to change behavior in our schools.

That’s why a group of Illinois Teachers of the Year proposed the Racism-Free Schools Act. In simple terms, this bill provides the same kinds of protections to victims of racial harassment that have been extended to victims of sexual harassment for more than 40 years. The act provides clear language and policies to protect everyone involved, resolve incidents quickly, and repair the harm that occurred. By promoting clearer understanding, training for teachers, and age-appropriate communication to students, the bill promotes greater awareness of what racial harassment looks like. Preventing racist incidents will reduce racial trauma, all while improving students’ mental, social-emotional, and academic well-being. Additionally, racism-free schools will help combat the teacher shortage by making schools safer, more welcoming places for students and teachers of color.

These policies aren’t just for schools with diverse student bodies. They are just as important in a mostly white community like where I teach, because white students need to know how to interact appropriately with classmates, community members, and future colleagues who look different than they do.

       

6 Comments
  1. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 11:38 am:

    The off-shore wind bill is an unnecessary, overpriced abomination. Should never happen. Will never create the jobs for the black community they claim. It’s madness.


  2. - Jibba - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 11:43 am:

    Wind farms are popping up all over Illinois. This solves a problem that doesn’t exist.


  3. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 11:47 am:

    “Wind farms are popping up all over Illinois. This solves a problem that doesn’t exist.”

    That’s not right. Expanding renewables is critical for our energy transition. But wind at 10 times the cost in Lake Michigan makes no sense whatsoever.


  4. - DuPage - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:32 pm:

    ===Expanding renewables is critical for our energy transition.=== This is correct.

    Bring in cheap wind and solar power from Iowa and the Dakotas.


  5. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 1:28 pm:

    “Bring in cheap wind and solar power from Iowa and the Dakotas.”

    You think it’s cheaper to expand transmission lines than to just build it here? That makes little sense.


  6. - Joe - Wednesday, Mar 29, 23 @ 1:42 am:

    Just a coincidence, but on my screen, just to the right of the Lake Wind article was a Comm Ed add. The more things change . . .


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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