Gov. Rauner signed bipartisan legislation this week that protects safety net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.
More light was shed on the state’s sweeping opioid epidemic, as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that last year Illinois emergency rooms experienced a 66 percent spike in opioid overdoses.
The Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees met for the fourth time to resume their conversations with new data about the outbreaks and sequence of events at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy. The meeting took place at the Bilandic Building in Chicago on March 5.
The Senate Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Awareness and Prevention met for a very sensitive matter that involves an open investigation on sexual harassment at a multinational company.
Putnam County Community School District would see an additional $288,730 under legislation co-sponsored by State Sen. Sue Rezin. The legislation financially helps school districts that rely more heavily on Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) dollars and that are currently losing out on critical funding due to PPRT diversions, something currently facing Putnam County.
Last week was another proud moment for our region, specifically, the communities along the Illinois and Fox Rivers. Despite nearly hitting the record flood levels of 2013, the preparation, action, and communication from everyone involved in this 2018 flood event was incredible.
The Senate also passed legislation (Senate Bill 1773 and Senate Bill 1573) to update a Medicaid assessment system that ensures that hospitals across the state will continue to receive federal funding. The program is fully financed by hospitals and the federal government—there is no cost to the state.
State Sen. Sue Rezin and Mike Sutfin, Ottawa’s Building and Zoning Official, led a conference call this morning with members of the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance (IVFRA) in response to the flood event occurring now along the Illinois and Fox Rivers.
State Sen. Sue Rezin will be joined by State Rep. David Welter (R-Morris), State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee), and several local officials for “Coffee & Conversation,” a free event open to the public March 1.
Spending cuts, pension reform, and prioritizing education are a few items that make up the Governor’s balanced budget, which he presented to the General Assembly Feb. 14 during his annual budget address.
Gov. Rauner has ordered all entities governed by the Illinois Flag Display Act to fly both the United States and Illinois state flags at half-staff in honor and remembrance of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer.
“The culture of ‘tax and spend’ with no reforms for taxpayers and too few cuts has to stop. I look forward to working with my Democratic colleagues on a budget that moves Illinois toward fiscal solvency.”
Legislation aimed at preventing unjustified water rate increases for American Water customers has been filed by State Sen. Sue Rezin.
A bill voted out of the Senate Public Health Committee would raise the legal smoking age to 21. Senate Bill 2332 would set the legal age to buy or use tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and alternative nicotine products at 21 years of age. It eliminates the prohibition against minors possessing cigars, cigarettes, "smokeless tobacco, or tobacco in any of its forms."
Legislation approved this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee would protect law enforcement officers and medical professionals from liability when they use EpiPens in emergencies.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee continued its efforts to learn more about the Legionella outbreak at the Quincy Veterans’ Home. Lawmakers discussed the state’s response to the outbreak in a joint Senate/House of Representatives hearing on Feb. 7.
Creating more jobs, spending within the state’s means, ending the practice of borrowing to cover the state’s deficits, addressing the state’s pension crisis, and lowering the tax burden on families and businesses were some major themes Gov. Rauner pushed during his annual State of the State Address Jan. 31.
More than $45 million additional dollars is now projected to head to Chicago Public Schools at the expense of the vast majority of school districts throughout the state. This, after Democratic majorities in the House and Senate overrode the Governor’s Amendatory Veto of Senate Bill 444 on Jan. 31, making it law.
“Be Alarmed!”, a new program being pushed by the State Fire Marshal and Illinois Fire Safety Alliance will provide free smoke alarms, education about fire safety, and proper smoke alarm installation to people throughout the state through their local fire departments.
Both the state and federal governments are now accepting 2017 income tax returns. The Illinois Department of Revenue says that filing tax returns electronically and using direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund. They expect refunds will be issued four weeks from the time a return is filed electronically.
“Reforms are the ticket to the future of Illinois. Tax increases and unbalanced budgets – the norm of the past ten years and more – has been a recipe for continued economic stagnation, people saying ‘enough is enough,’ and then moving out of Illinois."
Area Medicaid patients should check their mail for information about the roll out of a revamped Medicaid program called “HealthChoice Illinois.” Benefit Access is also program run by the Illinois Department of Aging/Governor's Office which offers seniors or persons with a disability a Ride Free Transit Card and license plate discounts. Here are locations that can help:
State Sen. Sue Rezin is teaming up with AARP to host their free Fraud Prevention Program Monday, February 5 from 10:00am-11:30am at Ottawa City Hall (301 W. Madison St.). Several fraud prevention topics will be discussed including how you can protect yourself, friends, and family from scam artists and fraudulent business; how to avoid identity theft; your rights under the new credit card rules; and how to file a consumer fraud complaint.
Many jobs continue to pay women less than their male counterparts who are performing the same job duties. That's why Sen. Rezin is co-sponsoring legislation aimed at helping to close the wage gap between men and women.
Illinois lawmakers will return to the Capitol next week for three scheduled days of session on Jan. 30 and 31, and Feb. 1, which will include the Governor’s State of the State Address on Jan. 31 during a joint session of both chambers held in the House of Representatives.
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