Good afternoon everyone, just wanted to take a quick moment to update you on a busy week in Springfield.
This week saw a number of bills AFC is working on moved out of committee and to the House floor:
HB 2800 (Flowers) passed unanimously, 12-0-0, out of the House Human Services Committee on Wednesday, March 15. This legislation will add a third trimester HIV test for pregnant women in addition to the current first trimester test. The CDC recommends a repeat test for women in the third trimester of pregnancy if women are determined to be at high risk for HIV, or live in an area of high prevalence for HIV. Illinois is on the CDC’s list of high-prevalence areas, because our statewide prevalence of HIV is 1% or greater. AFC will fight to make sure pregnant women receive the most comprehensive HIV testing to ensure that no child is born in Illinois who is HIV-positive.
HB 1785 (Harris) which amends the Vital Records Act, passed out of House Human Services on a partisan roll call, 7-4-0. This bill is a modernization of Illinois’ law that allows transgender individuals to change their gender designation on their birth certificate to reflect their lived gender identity without necessarily undergoing surgery. Many transgender individuals must undergo costly surgery before being allowed to change their birth designation.
HB 311 (Harris) which creates the Network Adequacy and Transparency Act passed unanimously, 16-0-0, out of the House Insurance: Health & Life committee. This bill provides that administrators and insurers, prior to going to market, must file with the Department of Insurance for review and approval a description of the services to be offered through a network plan, with certain criteria included in the description. This legislation would help to ensure that health insurance providers maintain an adequate network of providers and have that information easily accessible to their members which will make it easier for people living with HIV to understand where they can seek care.
There was little movement in regard to budgets this week in Springfield. The House and Senate each continued hearing directly from departments on the governor’s proposed budgets in subject matter hearings. Those hearings are expected to continue for the next several weeks. The Senate "Grand Bargain" attempt appears all but removed as a factor after the governor told Senate GOP members to not vote for a package that Senate members of both parties were ready to vote out of their chamber. Since that development, both Rauner and Senate Democrats have insisted the other side make the next move.
An Illinois court heard arguments this week on whether the Illinois Comptroller can delay paying paychecks to legislators, who’s pay has been covered by a continuing appropriation since Gov. Pat Quinn attempted to remove legislator pay to force the legislature to pass a pension reform plan, a move which was blocked by Illinois courts. Their paychecks have been operating on a delay, however, since former Comptroller Leslie Munger put them in line with other programs. Comptroller Susana Mendoza has continued with that practice since assuming office. A ruling is expected next week.
In Washington, the House of Representatives plans to vote next Thursday, March 23, on their repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act. Please visit Protect Our Care IL to learn about events near you to make in known that you do not support this repeal that would force an additional 24 million people off of their healthcare.
Please register for AFC’s Advocacy Days! We have our first coming up April 4, and would love to have you in Springfield with us making your voice heard!
The House reconvenes in Springfield on Tuesday, March 21. The Senate, after a week break, are back in Springfield on Tuesday, March 28.
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.