To ensure quality care for Illinois nursing home residents, State Sen. Jil Tracy and State Representative Norine Hammond sponsored a measure to provide provisional eligibility for Medicaid long-term care applicants whose applications have not been processed within federal timelines. As of November 28, House Bill 4771 was passed into law, taking effect immediately.
Illinois now has several new laws following the conclusion of the Fall Veto Session, where the General Assembly overrode measures vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Other measures fell short of the 3/5 majority needed in both the Senate and House of Representatives to override the Governor’s vetoes.
In recognition of her dedicated and effective advocacy for the people of Illinois, Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady appointed State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) to Senate Leadership as the new Minority Whip.
Lawmakers are set to return to the State Capitol Nov. 13 to begin scheduled fall “veto session,” which is currently scheduled for Nov. 13-15 and Nov. 27-29.
Veto session will allow the General Assembly to take action on legislation the Governor has vetoed, giving the Legislature the ability to override the veto. If three-fifths of the members in each chamber (36 votes in the Senate and 71 votes in the House of Representatives) vote to override the veto, then it becomes law. However, veto session is not limited to bills that have been vetoed—meaning almost anything could be called during that time.
In other state news, the Illinois Department on Aging is encouraging eligible individuals to take advantage of free counseling assistance available during Medicare open enrollment.
Submissions are also still being accepted as part of the Senate Republicans’ annual “Wall of Honor” tribute to Illinois veterans, and residents are being reminded to turn their clocks back and check their smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors as daylight-saving time comes to an end.
As the November 6 election approaches, this week state and local officials outlined policies and procedures designed to protect against cyber threats. In other news, the state’s parks and other recreational trails and facilities across Illinois will benefit from the release of state and federal funding earmarked to finance improvements and maintenance at these sites.
The Illinois Senate Republican Caucus is inviting families and friends of veterans to share the stories of their heroes on our Veterans Day "Wall of Honor." The event will take place in November.
The Illinois State Board of Education is seeking input on public education funding for the fiscal year 2020 budget. Three open budget hearings have been scheduled, giving individuals the opportunity to share their funding requests prior to ISBE sending its final recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor.
In other action, legislation was filed to keep people who have committed tax fraud from running for public office.
Also during the week, a new report was released showing the number of school districts in Illinois able to access high-speed internet has increased, the Governor proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Revenue launches a new, mobile-friendly website.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should remain in their car seat or booster seat until they reach the top height or weight allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
While homes built after 1988 are required to have hardwired alarms, most older homes built before then, still have smoke detectors with removable batteries, which are the kind this new law would impact.
A recent list from WalletHub ranks the best cities in Illinois for their labor-market health. More than 120 cities were ranked based on job opportunities, starting salary, employment growth, among other factors. Also during the week, Illinois is set to receive nearly $44 million from the federal government to help fund treatment centers and increase the availability of addiction treatment in the fight against opioid abuse. In other action, those seeking financial assistance for winter heating should start gathering the proper documentation now so they are ready to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Oct. 1.
Millions of dollars in capital funding have been released to community colleges statewide as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 capital budget. Of those funds, Carl Sandburg College, John Wood Community College, and Spoon River College that serve students in District 47 will see over $320,000 in state funding.
Here's a look at some of the latest stories making headlines around the state.
The capital funds will go to repair and replace roofing and water pipes at WIU. An industrial chiller will also be repaired using the capital funding they will receive. These three projects totaling $9.5 million will update and upgrade systems that are in need of renovation.
Beardstown Houston Memorial Public Library will receive grant funding to further support their educational programming for students. The library will receive $15,166 through the Project Next Generation grant program through the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
Several measures were signed into law this past week, including legislation focused on keeping students in-state, a package of bills tasked with addressing the growing opioid crisis and mental health issues in Illinois, and a measure to correct a oversight in current law to help victims of sexual assault. Also becoming law this past week was a measure allowing hunters to sport blaze pink, and a proposal to give motorists the option for two-year vehicle registration. In other news, Illinois received passing grades from the National Federation of Independent Business and Medicare card holders will no longer have their Social Security numbers listed on their Medicare cards.
Veterans with disabilities will now have their Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption follow them to a new residence, even if they move during the middle of the year, now that legislation supported by Senator Tracy has been signed into law.
Continuing efforts to keep students in-state, new laws focused on improving the affordability and effectiveness of Illinois’ higher education system were signed into law this week.
Five new state laws take steps toward addressing the state’s ongoing opioid crisis and improving access to mental health and substance abuse treatment. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, opioids were involved in 80 percent of overdose deaths in 2016.
High school students will soon have another option to help prepare them for their future careers. Seeking to connect talented young people with good-paying jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree, House Bill 5247 requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to adopt rules that would allow students 16 years and older to participate in industry-based occupational apprenticeship programs.
State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) applauded Governor Bruce Rauner’s recent signing of legislation she sponsored to correct an oversight in current law for victims of sexual assault.
More than 100 new laws were signed this week, advancing changes targeting the state’s teacher shortage, streamlining services for veterans, and giving a leg-up to Illinois’ entrepreneurs. Other measures became law that aim to increase senior citizens’ access to high-speed Internet services, guarantee the safety of Illinois residents’ drinking water, and encourage Illinois students to pursue their higher education in-state. Additionally, legislation was signed into law to support Illinois’ number one industry: agriculture.
Fire departments in Illinois that need assistance purchasing emergency vehicles can now apply for a loan through the Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs. The Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs are designed to assist emergency personnel purchase vehicles they otherwise couldn't afford.
Illinois has several new laws that address a backlog of applications for nursing home care, provide more first responders with medicines for allergy-related emergencies, boost protections for DCFS workers, and create a new lottery game to benefit families of fallen police officers.
Also during the week, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a measure creating the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission, and the Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking proposals for projects that help children walk and bike to school.
The Quincy Veterans’ Home may now begin its five-year capital development plan following the signing of Senate Bill 3128 sponsored by State Sen. Jil Tracy, which provides for design-build contracting for the facility’s projects. Governor Bruce Rauner enacted the legislation on July 17 in Springfield.
Governor Rauner signed the Fiscal Year 2019 budget into law. See Senator Tracy's budget highlights.
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