Session Update for the week:
Happy Mother’s Day this weekend to all of the moms who keep our families, communities, and world running! This week we took a moment to honor Mothers on the House Floor as well as honoring all nurses this week on National Nurses Appreciation Week and teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.
On Tuesday, the entire House Chamber once again congratulated the State Champion Okawville Lady Rockets. You can see more pictures of their visit here or watch my floor remarks below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXMFApkeYas&embeds_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fcharliemeier.net%2F&source_ve_path=MjM4NTE&feature=emb_title
Finally, on Tuesday I invited Pastor Eric Woods to open our day of work in the Illinois House with a prayer. He was visiting the Capitol with his daughter – a member of the state championship team!
This week in legislative session was very busy. We were in Springfield from Monday through Friday voting on hundreds of bills and making the final push for common sense legislation and a balanced budget.
Next Friday marks the scheduled adjournment for this year’s legislative session – and as history has taught us, this last week is when all of the crazy stuff gets passed at the last minute. So, I’ll be diligent and I ask you to be diligent too.
We have yet to see a budget proposal from the House and Senate Democrats and there has been a neverending trail of people visiting the Capitol asking for increases in their appropriations over last year’s budget. Meanwhile, last week, we learned that the state is expected to bring in $738 million less revenue than previous projections.
Additionally, last week we learned that the cost of a democratically enacted program that provides healthcare coverage to non-U.S. citizens is estimated at $1.1 billion for next year. Originally, the Governor estimated this program would cost only $220 million for the next year. Unfortunately, we have only seen increases like this and have yet to hear anything from the Governor or House and Senate Democratic leaders on spending they would like to see decreased or even remain level over last year’s spending.
I will continue to look at the state’s spending and fight for a responsible, balanced budget that respects our taxpayer dollars.
Making Life Easier for Live-In Caregivers for People with Special Needs
This week, I filed legislation to remove the burdensome daily electronic paperwork requirement for caregivers that provide 24/7 at-home care to their loved ones with special needs. My legislation will remove the tedious burden for live-in caregivers by no longer requiring them to submit daily records to the government. We are talking about parents and legal guardians that oftentimes leave a higher paying job to take care of their loved one at home. Their commitment saves the State a substantial amount of money each year.
This bill, House Bill 4072, requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to exempt all live-in caregivers who provide Medicaid-funded care services or home health care from electronic visit verification requirements.
This is not a new idea. My bill would do what at least 17 other states have done by removing the burdensome electronic paperwork requirement. Live-in caregivers are not getting rich off of the government to care for their loved one with special needs at their home, if anything they are doing everyone a service. I appreciate their commitment to caring for their loved one at home. This bill will make their life a little bit easier.
I have been able to gain broad bipartisan support for this idea and I have signed on over 40 co-sponsors.
We received good news on Wednesday that after proposing my bill, HFS-DHS announced that live-in caregivers will no longer be required to submit tedious electronic paperwork. This goes to show what we can accomplish when we all work together. Thank you to the advocates for bringing this to my attention, thank you to my colleagues from both parties for your help, and thank the state agency for listening to our concerns and removing this burdensome electronic paperwork that was unnecessary for live-in caregivers.
Murray Developmental Center is Hiring!
The job fair for open positions at the Murray Developmental Center is coming up! There are over 93 positions available and the Department of Human Services has committed to job offers being extended as soon as a week after applying! If you have applied in the past, you will need to reapply.
The next job fair will be held:
1535 W. McCord Street
Centralia, IL 62801
More details are on the flier below or you can contact dhs.Recruitment@illinois.gov.
This Week on the Farm:
I stopped in at Ken’s Greenhouse in Highland. If you need flowers for Mother’s Day or plants for your garden, Ken’s is a great place to visit!
The Week Ahead:
– Next week is the last scheduled week of Legislative Session for this Spring. We are scheduled to be in Springfield from Monday, May 15th through Friday, May 19th.
– The House and Senate are scheduled to adjourn on May 19th.
Stay Up To Date:
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