Legislature Meets First Major Deadline
The Illinois General Assembly, which has been working steadily since late January, met its first significant deadline on March 10. That was the date by which all bills had to be approved by a committee in order to advance to the floors of the respective legislative chambers. With over 6,500 bills introduced this year between the Senate and House of Representatives, it will now be easier to assess which bills and issues are viable for passage in the session as only several hundred bills will be considered, as opposed to several thousand.
An Illinois Chiropractic Society initiative, SB 1590 (Belt, D-East St. Louis), was unanimously approved by the Senate Licensed Activities Committee and is pending on the Senate floor. SB 1590 amends the Underserved Health Care Provider Workforce Act and the Loan Repayment Assistance for Physicians Act to include chiropractic physicians as physicians eligible to apply for the benefits of these programs. Currently, chiropractic physicians are not able to apply. The programs offer medical school scholarships and loan forgiveness programs for students who agree to practice in designated health provider shortage areas in Illinois. Last year, chiropractic physicians were included in a similar program in the Equity in Health Care Act.
Bills Passing Out of Committee
Below are some of the bills of interest that have been approved by committees:
HB 2280 (Avelar, D-Romeoville) would require all health care providers licensed by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to receive five hours of cultural competency training during each license renewal period. The ICS joined other health care providers in opposing the legislation. The bill was approved by the House Health Care Licenses Committee and is pending on the House floor.
HB 2756 (Ladisch Douglass, D-Westmont) would require one hour of domestic violence and sexual assault awareness training for the initial renewal of a massage license. The bill was approved by the House Health Care Licenses Committee and is pending on the House floor.
Bills Not Currently Advancing
Here are some bills that did not meet the deadline to pass out of committee, and therefore are not likely to be considered by the full General Assembly this year:
HB 1601 (Hoffman, D-Collinsville), an ICS initiative, would prohibit health insurance plans from discrimination with respect to participation under the plan coverage, including reimbursement, against any health care provider that is acting within the scope of that provider’s license. The bill was not called for a vote in committee and was re-referred to the House Rules Committee.
HB 2472 (Morgan, D-Highwood) would make improvements to the process for when a health care plan uses an automated process to make an initial adverse determination. The bill was not called for a vote in committee and was re-referred to the House Rules Committee.
HB 3721 (Costa Howard, D-Lombard) would establish the Naturopathic Medical Practice Act for state licensure of Naturopathic physicians. The bill was not called for a vote in committee and was re-referred to the House Rules Committee.
HB 3845 (Nichols, D-Chicago) would allow for naprapathic services to be covered under Medicaid. The bill was not called for a vote in committee and was re-referred to the House Rules Committee.
Governor Signs Paid Leave for All Legislation
On March 13, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law the Paid Leave for All Workers Act. SB 208 sets a minimum paid leave standard for all workers in Illinois. Every employer must provide a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave during a twelve-month period to all employees. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2024. The ICS will be providing more detailed information on this new requirement in the coming weeks.
The House of Representatives will return to the Capitol on March 14 and the Senate on March 21 to consider bills on the floors of the respective chambers. The targeted adjournment date for the spring session is May 19.