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BudgetWatch: Important bills pass out of committees, little budget news

April 14, 2016

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by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations

Good morning everyone, I just wanted to take a few minutes to update you all on a busy week in Springfield. It was committee deadline week, and as such many pieces of legislation came up for an initial vote. This was a week of movement on substantive bills, but there is also a little budget news.  Let’s dive right in to it!

Substantive Legislation

Three of AFC’s legislative priorities were voted out of committee last week in the House:

  • Representative Greg Harris’ bill, HB 6073, the Vital Records Modernization Act, which allows transgender Illinoisans to update their birth certificate to reflect their lived gender identity prior to undergoing surgery, passed out of House Human Services Committee on a vote of 8-6-0, with Yes votes coming from Democrats and all No votes from Republicans. The bill now moves to the House floor.

 

  • Representative Carol Ammons’ bill, HB 6213, also passed out of House Human Services committee on a unanimous vote with the promise that we would continue to work with Medicaid providers and the Illinois Department of Health & Family Services (HFS) to reach a compromise agreement. This legislation aims to improve health literacy of Medicaid managed care enrollees and make provider directories and prescription drug lists reliable, useful and accurate. The bill now moves to the House floor.

 

  • Lastly, Representative Mary Flower’ bill, HB 4554, which mandates that Medicaid providers include PrEP and the associated program in their coverage packages passed out of the House Insurance Committee 21-1-0.

Budget Update

On Friday, April 8, Republican Senate Leader Christine Radogno filed legislation to fund human services in Illinois for FY 16 with SB 3418. This bill appears to be between Governor Rauner’s FY 16 proposal and Governor Rauner’s FY 17 proposal. The HIV Lump Sum, in this proposal, is allocated $20 million. Supportive Housing is appropriated $4 million. The proposal does not include any funding for the African American HIV/AIDS Response Act, which is simply unacceptable.

MCO Hearing

On Wednesday, April 6, the Senate conducted a subject matter hearing on the state of the Illinois’ Medicaid Managed Care industry from a fee-for-service model. The hearing heard testimony from the MCO industry, hospitals, HFS, nursing homes, FQHCs, and others. The overarching take-away was that while there continue to be issues with billing, payment, and credentialing, care coordination with the MCOs has been very successful. Senators seemed to feel that HFS needed to do more and there needed to be more oversight within this transition.

Up Next

The House and Senate both reconvene on Tuesday, April 12.  Both are scheduled to be in Springfield through Friday this week.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly.  Have a great week!

About the blog

BudgetWatch is a weekly update from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's on-the-ground team in Springfield about the state's longstanding budget impasse. Follow along at aidschicago.org/budgetwatch.

Categorized under BudgetWatch.

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