End of Legislative Session Highlights from ICEP Lobbyists
The Illinois General Assembly has concluded its extended spring legislative session with the passage of a budget. This is the first time a budget has been passed in Illinois since 2015, and bills dating back to more than two years ago are now starting to be paid.
Governor Rauner, who opposed the deal and the included income tax increase, vetoed the package of bills but the override was passed with bipartisan support, 71-42.
- Some of the primary impacts of the budget are:
An increase in the state income tax: from 3.75 to 4.95 percent for the personal income tax rate, and from 5.25 to 7 percent for the corporate tax rate
- School funding, both K-12 local schools and higher education (state universities)
- Continuation of road construction projects
- Payment to social services agencies and suppliers
- Payment in full for lottery winners
Other highlights of the spring legislative session, including bills of interest to ICEP that passed the houses and will be sent to the Governote for signature, include:
The operations of the Mobile Health Integrated Task Force have been extended. ICEP Past President Valerie J. Phillips, MD, FACEP, is a member of this task force.
The Volunteer Emergency Worker Job Protection Act was amended to provide that any volunteer EMS worker or firefighter may not be disciplined or terminated by the employer for responding to an emergency call or text message during work hours that requests volunteer EMS or firefighter services.
One major victory for ICEP was related to HB 2800, which amends the Perinatal HIV Prevention Act. The bill as passed requires mandatory HIV testing for all pregnant patients during the third trimester of pregnancy. The requirement was authored to apply to all health care facilities, including emergency departments, but ICEP lobbyists were successful in having Emergency Services removed from bill before it was passed. HB 2800 has been sent to the governor for signature.
Read the full End of Session report prepared for ICEP by lobbyists at Illinois Strategies.
The General Assembly has adjourned until the fall veto session.
ICEP will continue to monitor progress of the bills as the Governor signs them into law and during the veto session.
Controversial and expected to return in the full legislative session in spring 2018 are bills related to physician assistant practice and independent practice of nurses.
Attempts to change the language in the Physician Assistant Practice Act from “supervising physicians” to “collaborating physicians” were unsuccessful. Similarly, the APRN scope of practice bills failed in both the House and the Senate. The Senate bill, SB 642, sought to expand the scope of practice for postgraduate advanced practice registered nurses, including granting prescriptive authority.
The physician assistant and advanced practice nurse bills will be one of ICEP and lobbyists’ priorities during the next legislative session.