Legislative Update from Phil Milsk, Governmental Affairs Consultant.
ARC LEGISLATION UPDATE
August 10, 2015
There is still no State budget for fiscal year 2016. Only one appropriations bill has been signed into law dealing with K-12 education funding for local school districts.
This week Sen. Steans introduced Senate Amendment #1 to SB 2042. The Amendment would authorize the expenditure of about $5 billion in federal funds that flow through various State agencies, including DHS and HFS. The bill passed the Senate 57-0 and is now in the House. There is a hearing scheduled on SB 2042 before the House Appropriations Committees on Human Services and General Services on Monday, August 10, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. at the Bilandic Building in Chicago, Room 600. The House may be preparing some amendments to the bill put additional federal funding categories into the bill.
Meanwhile, litigation brought by the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago and the Shriver Center in the past couple of weeks has resulted in federal court injunctions directing the State to pay Medicaid bills incurred in FY 2016.
The following legislation of interest has been signed into law by Governor Rauner:
HB 235(Fine and T. Cullerton)—Expands mandatory private accident and health insurance coverage for dental care anesthesia to children up to age 19 who have a developmental disability. Also expands the treatment locations that must be covered to include dentists’ offices and oral surgeons’ offices. Covered individuals must make 2 visits to the dental care provider before accessing coverage. Dentists administering the anesthesia must have a permit for the administration of anesthesia under the Illinois Dental Practice Act. The Arc worked with Autism Speaks and Rep. Fine on this bill. Public Act 99-141, effective January 1, 2016.
HB 3158(Gabel and Kotowski)— The bill requires the Department of Public Health to disseminate information regarding Down Syndrome to parents and health care providers and encourages health care providers to provide such information to parents. The information is already available through national organizations and clearinghouses so IDPH would essentially be posting links on its web site. The Arc worked closely with parents, advocates, and individuals with Down Syndrome on this bill. Public Act 99-142, Effective January 1, 2016.
SB 1383(Bennett and K. Burke)—Creates the ABLE Account program under the State Treasurer’s office. Public Act 99-145, effective January 1, 2016.
SB 226(Lightford and Welch)—Amends the School Code. Provides that the State Board of Education may work with school districts to inform all students with developmental disabilities and their parents or guardians about the PUNS database. Further provides that, subject to appropriation, DHS and the State Board of Education shall develop and implement an online, computer-based training program for at least one designated employee in every public school to educate the employee about the PUNS database and steps to be taken to ensure that children and youth with developmental disabilities are enrolled. Requires instruction so that at least one designated employee in every public school will know how to contact the independent service coordination agency to enroll students in the PUNS database. Also requires that one designated employee in each public school be responsible for discussing the PUNS at annual IEP reviewing meetings for students with developmental disabilities. In the legislative floor debate the sponsor clarified that the public school responsibilities under this bill are also subject to appropriations. Public Act 99-144, effective January 1, 2016.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423