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It’s just a bill

Monday, Apr 15, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* SJ-R

The Illinois Senate wrapped up a busy week in Springfield, advancing a total of 244 bills before a Friday deadline.

From addressing the mishandling of human remains at a Carlinville funeral home to establishing a new state mushroom — the Calvatia gigantea or commonly known as the giant puffball — the bills now move to the House. […]

Senate Bill 2933, passing in the Senate unanimously on April 11, would prohibit a consumer reporting group from using a person’s medical debt when creating their credit report. Bill sponsor Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, said this form of debt does not paint an accurate picture on someone’s credit history, these expenditures often of their control. Fellow Rockford Democrat Rep. Maurice West will lead the bill in the House. […]

Senate Bill 2979, which passed 46-13, would change BIPA’s violation accrual so that each initial collection of a fingerprint or other biometric data would amount to one violation, rather than a violation occurring for each individual scan. Employees might scan their fingerprints dozens of times per shift if they’re unlocking doors or cabinets with those scans.

* AP

On a brisk day at a restaurant outside Chicago, Deb Robertson sat with her teenage grandson to talk about her death.

She’ll probably miss his high school graduation. She declined the extended warranty on her car. Sometimes she wonders who will be at her funeral.

Those things don’t frighten her much. The 65-year-old didn’t cry when she learned two months ago that the cancerous tumors in her liver were spreading, portending a tormented death.

But later, she received a call. A bill moving through the Illinois Legislature to allow certain terminally ill patients to end their own lives with a doctor’s help had made progress.

Then she cried.

“Medical-aid in dying is not me choosing to die,” she says she told her 17-year-old grandson. “I am going to die. But it is my way of having a little bit more control over what it looks like in the end.”

SB3499’s Third Reading deadline was changed to May 3.

* Pantagraph

In Springfield, state lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at expanding the possibilities of dual credit education opportunities. The measure would alter partnerships between community colleges and high schools participating in programs, which give students credit for both high school and college, and change the requirements for teaching those courses.

House Bill 5020 was filed during this session of the General Assembly to amend the Illinois Dual Credit Quality Act, which passed in 2010 and was revised in 2018 to establish guidelines for high school students taking college-level courses for dual credit, accounting for both their high school and college transcripts.

The new bill, sponsored by state Rep. Diane Blair-Sherlock, D-Villa Park, aims to expand the options for students seeking to enroll in dual credit classes by allowing high schools to “college shop” outside their community college district if their community college partner can not provide a certain course. […]

Blair-Sherlock has introduced multiple versions of the amending bill, and the latest includes a change to instructor credentials that would require they hold a master’s degree to teach dual credit classes.

* Tribune

The Illinois Senate has approved a measure that would bar consumer reporting agencies from including a person’s medical debt in their credit reports.

“You cannot predict when you get sick or suffer an injury. You may be the best financial (planner) in the world having paid all your bills, but unexpectedly get sick and suddenly you can’t pay your bills,” state Sen. Steve Stadelman, a Rockford-area Democrat, said during a news conference at the state Capitol. “No one should have to go into medical debt just to get the quality health care they need. No one should ever have to make a horrible choice between their physical health and their financial health.”

The Senate passed the measure in a bipartisan 58-0 vote on Thursday, and it now heads to the House for consideration.

The legislation makes it illegal for consumer reporting agencies to “make, create, or furnish any consumer report or credit report containing, incorporating, or reflecting any adverse information” related to a consumer’s medical debt. However, the measure does not apply to medical debt charged to a credit card or an open-end or closed-end extension of credit from a bank unless the credit extension was limited to the purchase of health care services.

* SJ-R

Among a series of anti-vaping legislation lawmakers are pursuing, House Bill 5069 would require manufacturers to provide certification that their products have not been adulterated and have been approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Those in violation could have their distributor licenses suspended or revoked and be subject to civil penalties. […]

The issue has made its way to Springfield, where a prior analysis by The State Journal-Register found several convenience stores in the city selling unauthorized products such as Breeze bars, Glas vapes and Juul— denied authorization by the FDA in July 2022. […]

Matthieu Fortin, owner of the Upper Limits vape shop on Second Street, described the process as confusing and often burdensome for individuals trying to enter into the industry. […]

Bill sponsor and state Rep. Bob Rita argues his bill is not about hurting retailers like Fortin but rather about holding distributors and manufacturers accountable. He pushed back on characterization that his bill helps big tobacco, seeing it more as a way to help law enforcement to identify illegal products.


Illinois schools may soon be required to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for more than only sports.

The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday requiring schools have the devices during the school day and during all school-sponsored extracurricular activities.

An AED is a machine used to shock someone’s heart back into a normal rhythm when they’re going into cardiac arrest. […]

The bill passed the Senate unanimously. It now heads to the House of Representatives.


Illinois is one step closer to creating a new state agency to oversee early childhood education programs.

Senators and advocates say the Department of Early Childhood could provide a more integrated and holistic system of services for young children and families across the state.

The future agency will take over the early childhood block grant program, child care assistance program, home visiting and early intervention services. […]

Senate Bill 1 passed unanimously out of the Senate Friday. The proposal now moves to the House for further consideration.


This Session State Representative Harry Benton has introduced House Bill 4088, which aims to create a state income tax deduction for any amount of union dues not covered by a federal income tax deduction. If passed, this bill would ensure that all of a taxpayer’s expenditures on union dues would be tax deductible, between federal and state income taxes. […]

The proposed legislation underscores Benton’s commitment to supporting working families and union members, a cause that resonates with his own background as a Local 444 Ironworker. By allowing for a state tax deduction on union dues, the bill seeks to alleviate the financial burden on union members and encourage collective bargaining efforts.

HB4088 remains in the Rules Committee, it has not been given an extension.

* Tribune

Following a serious collision last year between a Chicago Transit Authority train and a snowplow near the city’s border with Evanston, the Illinois Senate unanimously approved a measure on Friday that would mandate various transportation agencies to issue annual reports for the public that detail the most up to date federal rail-safety recommendations.

All 59 state senators — 40 Democrats and 19 Republicans — voted in favor of the measure that would require the yearly reports from the CTA, Illinois Department of Transportation, Regional Transportation Authority and Metra that specify the safety recommendations made over a one-year period from the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as the statuses of their implementation.

The reports, which would detail the recommendations and the agencies’ progress in following them by Dec. 31 of each year, must be viewable to the public online as well as to the Illinois General Assembly.

The bill, which would go into effect on July 1 if it becomes law, now moves to the House for consideration.

* Daily Herald

In many ways, state Sen. Dan McConchie’s proposal to require new electric-vehicle charging stations to be accessible to disabled drivers is one of those legislative measures that would seem destined to slide easily through the General Assembly and into law. […]

But a larger question also seems to deserve some attention: How did it come to pass that accessibility alternatives weren’t required when the existing charging stations were put in operation? […]

McConchie, a Hawthorn Woods Republican, was generous in his reflection on that question for a story by our Jenny Whidden this week.

“This is what happens with new technology,” he said. “Something new comes up, you can’t think of every eventuality as you’re starting, and as it begins to really take hold and progress, we begin to see some of the issues and begin to fine tune. It’s not unusual that this has occurred, but it does look like we’re going to be a leader on this issue as far as this rollout across the country and I’m just excited at the prospect of Illinois being one of the first states to really, I think, do this right.”

At least insofar as it involves disability standards, the most troubling phrase in that analysis is, “It’s not unusual that this has occurred.”

* Scott Holland

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and if the insurance companies don’t see it that way, lawmakers might force their hands. […]

As Capitol News Illinois explained, current state law stipulates policies must cover genetic testing for ovarian and breast cancers, alongside annual skin, colon, pancreatic and prostate cancer screenings for people with doctor recommendations or family histories. But SB 2697 would expand that law by mandating coverage for susceptibility and prevention screening, including genetic testing, for all cancer types for anyone with a family history. Private insurers could charge no more than $50 to policyholders while Medicaid patients would have no out-of-pocket cost.

State Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, sponsors the bill, which passed the Senate 59-0 Wednesday. State Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, became the chief House sponsor Thursday. […]

Quite obviously, no law can cure cancer. But this idea has bipartisan momentum needed to pass and the potential to change lives.


  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Apr 15, 24 @ 10:42 am:

    Re: SB3499 End of Life

    Back in Feb when this was first filed, the Joliet Diocese, through the Catholic Conference of Illinois, started a campaign to oppose this, including an entire Q and A.

    Their argument includes things such as the following;

    “When public policy endorses the intentional ending of life when its end is near, it creates the expectation that life should not include suffering.”

    Posted with no comment.

  2. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 15, 24 @ 11:03 am:

    = it creates the expectation that life should not include suffering==

    Some people suffer excruciatingly painful deaths. And these people argue that’s ok. Because we need to suffer. It’s part of “God’s plan.” Bull. I’ve seen someone die a horrible death from ALS. They should have been given the opportunity to end their life on their own terms. I’m sick to death of people sticking their noses into other people’s medical business. I wouldn’t wish such a death on these people even though they are fighting to make people die horrible deaths.

  3. - This is ridiculous... - Monday, Apr 15, 24 @ 12:07 pm:

    As usual, Demoralized writes what I’m thinking.

  4. - cermak_rd - Monday, Apr 15, 24 @ 1:36 pm:

    Amen, Demoralized. Amen.

  5. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Apr 15, 24 @ 8:45 pm:

    HB5020 ==aims to expand the options for students seeking to enroll in dual credit classes by allowing high schools to “college shop” outside their community college district if their community college partner can not provide a certain course.==

    That’s not the issue HB5020 seeks to address; “if their community college partner can not provide a certain course” is nowhere in the bill. It seeks to allow high schools to “college shop” if the college does not agree with a high school’s course proposal. High schools don’t want to be told “no” when the local community college determines that the proposed faculty or course content do not meet state or accreditation standards. The amendments to the bill are attempting to maintain course rigor and college control over their courses and to ensure that students taking a dual credit course are receiving college-level instruction.

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