From our Governmental Affairs Consultant Phil Milsk.
ARC BILL SUMMARY
The following bills of interest have passed both houses of the General Assembly and will
be sent to the Governor:
SB 1383—ABLE Accounts
Chief Sponsors: Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)
Rep. Kelly Burke (D-Oak Lawn)
Summary: The bill creates the ABLE Account Program in Illinois. An ABLE account is an
account established for the purpose of financing certain qualified expenses of eligible
individuals with disabilities under section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code. The State
Treasurer will administer the ABLE Account program, and the Treasurer has the authority
to issue rules governing the program. ABLE account assets and their income are exempt
from State taxation, and disbursements from ABLE accounts are tax exempt and long as
they are used for qualified expenses, which are defined by federal law. The extent of
federal tax exemption is defined by the Internal Revenue Code.
Status: The bill passed both houses on May 31, 2015.
HB 3158—Down Syndrome Information Act
Chief Sponsors: Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston)
Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge)
Summary: The bill requires the Department of Public Health to make available up-to-date,
evidence-based written information about Down Syndrome that has been reviewed by
medical experts and State and national Down Syndrome organizations, including physical,
developmental, educational and psychosocial outcomes, life expectancy, clinical course,
intellectual and functional development, and treatment options. The information must
include contact information regarding first call programs, information clearinghouses,
national, State and local Down Syndrome organizations, and other educational and support
programs. The information shall be made available to persons who render prenatal care,
postnatal care, or genetic counseling to parents who receive a prenatal or postnatal
diagnosis of Down Syndrome. The information shall also be provided to any person who
has received a positive test result for Down Syndrome. The information must be culturally
and linguistically appropriate for a woman receiving a positive prenatal diagnosis of Down
Syndrome and for the family of a child receiving a postnatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome.
The bill states that a health care provider may, upon receiving a positive test result for Down
Syndrome, provide the expectant or new parent with the information provided by the
Department of Public Health.
This is a bill the Arc of Illinois worked extensively on with parents of children with Down
Syndrome and with State and national Down Syndrome organizations.
Status: The bill passed both houses on May 26, 2015.
HB 235—Insurance Coverage for Dental Sedation
Chief Sponsors: Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview)
Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park)
Summary: Amends the Illinois Insurance Code regarding mandated insurance coverage for
anesthesia provided to persons with disabilities in conjunction with dental care. Currently the
mandated coverage applies to children age 6 or under when the covered child is in a hospital
or ambulatory surgical treatment center. This bill expands mandatory coverage to children
under age 19 who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or a
developmental disability as defined in the Disability Services Act of 2003 (which includes
individuals with intellectual disabilities who meet the definition). The bill also adds coverage
for anesthesia provided in a dental office or oral surgeon’s office for the newly covered
individuals. As a condition of coverage, the covered individual is first required to make 2
visits to a dental care provider.
The Arc of Illinois worked on this legislation with autism advocates and parents, especially
Mike Baker, who initiated the bill with Rep. Fine.
Status: The bill passed both houses on May 20, 2015. If enacted, it would go into effect on
January 1, 2016.
HB 1360—Health and Safety Requirements/Charter Schools
Chief Sponsors: Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston)
Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston)
Summary: This is an initiative of the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children. It
requires Illinois charter schools to comply with all non-curricular health and safety
requirements that public schools are required to follow. This includes, for example, home
and hospital instruction, self-administration of asthma inhalers, concussion policies and
epi-pen administration. The State Board of Education would be required to post a list of
requirements on its web site by September 1, 2015, and revise its list annually. The
requirements would be incorporated into local charter school agreements.
Status: The bill passed both houses on May 30, 2015. If enacted, it would go into effect
HB 3123—School Counselors
Chief Sponsors: Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore)
Sen. Pam Althoff (R-McHenry)
Summary: The bill clarifies legislation passed in 2014 regarding the services school
counselors may provide to students with IEPs.
Status: The bill passed both houses on May 26, 2015. If enacted, it would go into effect
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423