What's AFC up to in Springfield? 2013 Legislative Session Update
AFC works hard in Springfield to enact sound HIV/AIDS policies. This year, with the help of advocates like you, we passed all three of our target bills! Read more about these bills below.
Current Issues (more information after the jump):
Want to get updates on these issues and more? Sign up for our Online Action Bulletin to receive email updates, lobbying opportunities, and more!
Illinois has the opportunity to use its Medicaid program to support 342,000 low-income, highly vulnerable, uninsured individuals, including thousands of people living with HIV. Anyone who earns up to 133% of the federal poverty level, or about $15,282 annually, would be eligible to enroll in Medicaid.
This change will be supported 100% with federal dollars for the first several years, and federal support will never drop below 90%. This important legislation will help the Illinois economy, making health systems stronger and more cost-effective, while ensuring hardworking Illinois residents have access to care.
To learn more, click on any of the materials below to download information about SB 26.
Read more about how the New Medicaid will affect people living with HIV/AIDS on HIVHealthReform.org!
Bill Status: This bill passed the full House on March 7, 2013 by a vote of 61-55-1, and passed out of the Senate by a vote of 38-13 on May 23, 2013. Updated 5/28/13.
An outdated law from 1989 makes Illinois the only state in the country in which health authorities must notify school principals the names of HIV-positive students. These principals can then share this information with other school personnel, which puts student privacy at risk and could be a violation of the AIDS Confidentiality Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
HB 61 would repeal this law, allowing students and parents to disclose to people they deem necessary for medical reasons. Schools already put into place precautions for blood-borne diseases, and we know today that HIV cannot be transmitted
through biting, fighting, sports, or other school situations.
To learn more, click on any of the materials below to download information about HB 61.
Bill Status: This bill passed out of the Illinois House by a vote of 66-52 on Wednesday, April 18 and out of the Senate by a vote of 38-13 on May 23, 2013. Updated 5/28/13.
This bill requires that if a public school chooses to teach sexual health education, then the program must be medically accurate and developmentally and age appropriate. It does not apply to private or religious schools, nor does it require specific lesson plans, activities, or materials.
HB 2675 includes information on reducing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, stresses abstinence, and applies to grades 6-12. With young people accounting for 39% of all new HIV infections, this bill is a valuable tool to provide students with the information and ability to prevent the spread of HIV.
To learn more, click on the fact sheets below.
Marriage Equality (SB 10) Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) & Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago)
Although Illinois lawmakers failed this session to pass SB 10, which would make Illinois the 13th state to embrace marriage equality. Legislative leaders and the community pledge to continue the fight. Click here to read here what David Ernesto Munar, President/CEO of AFC, said about the matter and the struggle for equality.
Medical Marijuana Bill (HB 01) Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) & Sen. William Haine (D-Alton)
Legislation was approved by the General Assembly that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with serious illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, sending the measure to Gov. Quinn.
State-run Marketplace (HB 3227) Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) & Robin Gabel (D-Evanston)
House Bill 3227 creates online health insurance marketplaces that will allow individuals, families, and small business employees to shop for health coverage. AFC opposed the legislation base on the poor consumer protections in the bill.
ACA Navigator Regulations (SB 1194) Sen. William Haine (D-Alton) & Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley)
Senate Bill 1194 would have created overly restrictive criteria for organizations applying for and performing navigator functions. AFC, consumer advocates and communitybased providers recognized these issues, and successfully lobbied state legislators to make changes in the bill.