Legislative Update from Phil Milsk, Governmental Affairs Consultant.


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
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)