Legislative Update

Legislative Update

Policy staff reports on the status of our policy initiatives.

Medicaid is a jointly funded state and Federal government program that pays for medically necessary services. With the passage of the Medicaid reform legislation, via SB 2840, in May 2012, Illinois will now pay for less medically-necessary health care services.

Nearly 49 million Americans—including more than one in five children — live in households that struggle to put food on the table. While PCG does not usually address federal legislation, we are deeply concerned about cuts to SNAP benefits, which significantly impact families living in poverty.

This week we want to focus on some of the specific issues that didn’t pass during the spring session but might be dealt with during the November veto session: Minimum Wage (SB1565), Fracking Regulations (SB3280), Comprehensive Sex-Education (HB3027), Criminal Record Sealing Bill (HB5723). Take a look and of course, feel free to contact us with any questions!

Our last issue of the Common Good News was published one day before the end of the Illinois spring legislative session. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of activity on that final day and we want to give you with a quick wrap-up.

A new process for charity care--free and reduced-cost care for uninsured and under-insured individuals at nonprofit, tax-exempt hospitals in Illinois--has emerged from the General Assembly. This important step forward for health care justice is tempered by the expansion of the provisions of tax exemption for hospitals across the state.

PCG and other members of Raise Illinois expect that SB 1565--the bill calling for an increase in the minimum wage--will be heard and voted on in the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday, May 16th. You can join our PCG train riders to make your voice heard through calls or e-mails to your legislators.

We are in what I like to consider the "home stretch" of the legislative session. We have until May 31st, when the legislature is scheduled to adjourn (assuming they don't go into a lengthy summer session), to pass our bills out of both chambers and get them to the governor's desk.

Opposition to SB 1545--the Minimum Wage Bill--remains strong, but PCG's commitment to this important legislation is also strong. But we know we still have a lot of hard work to do. Here's where we are right now.

Last week Thursday, March 29th, 150 environmental advocates from across Illinois took to the Capitol in Springfield. They spoke to their representatives and senators about the importance of regulating hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”) in Illinois as well as the need to ensure that the Department of Natural Resources receives adequate funding to maintain state parks, openlands, and their capacity to serve as regulators for various industries in Illinois.

We're almost halfway through the legislative session, and we thought it was about time we shared the full list of our prime legislative priorities. We've already had a lobby day for the Minimum Wage legislation, and Environment Lobby Day is next week, but there is work to be done on all of these issues so please contact us if you'd like to get involved.

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