As usual, the end of the legislative session is unpredictable, disorganized, and anything but transparent for taxpayers. Hopefully, this newsletter today sheds a little bit of light on what has been going on in Springfield.
Speaking of light, this week I received the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency’s Public Service Award for my advocacy on behalf of the Prairie State power plant.
We have not seen a draft of a state budget and today was originally intended to be the adjournment date for the House and the Senate, but with so much work left to do, I do not anticipate being finished with our legislative work this evening.
I will give you a thorough update on the final hours of session in next week’s newsletter (if we have adjourned by then).
If you would like to watch or listen to the legislative session, you can at this link: https://ilga.gov/houseaudvid.asp
Protecting Our Residents with Developmental Disabilities
This week the Illinois House and Senate passed Senate Bill 855 that will give the Inspector General for the Department of Human Services more power to investigate abuse within facilities that provide care for people with developmental disabilities.
Here is part of an article from WAND about the bill:
“The code of silence that does exist puts our most vulnerable at continued risk, but it also creates a really harmful workplace,’ said Rep. Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago). ‘It’s traumatic for workers to go to work every day in a place that is harboring a code of silence.’
“Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) thanked LaPointe for allowing Republicans to help work on this plan. Meier noted that there is still progress to be made to prevent abuse within CILAs, but he feels the plan is a great step forward.”
Read more here: https://www.wandtv.com/news/proposal-gives-illinois-dhs-watchdog-more-power-in-abuse-and-neglect-investigations/article_632e59f8-f055-11ed-87bf-1718e7e996a2.html
Strengthening the Rights of People Living in Long Term Care Settings
Senator Jil Tracy and I have been working hard on a bill to ensure that residents of long term care settings have the right to the visitation of a loved one. We experienced the immense tragedy throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns of people dying alone in these facilities. That can never be allowed to happen again.
Through our Essential Support Person Act, each resident is guaranteed the right to an Essential Support Person and a backup support person who are allowed to visit at any time of day regardless of any visitation restrictions. Of course, those support persons must follow the health guidelines including personal protective equipment.
This bill passed unanimously in the House. I am proud of the legislature for standing up for our residents and ensuring that no resident must be trapped within their living facility or die alone.
You can read the whole bill here: https://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=112&GA=103&DocTypeId=SB&DocNum=2322&GAID=17&LegID=147212&SpecSess=&Session=
Expanding Ambulance Access
House Bill 1740, a bill I worked to pass through the House in March has now passed through the Senate. This bill allows New Baden, Albers Daminsville, and Looking Glass Township to ask voters to set up an Ambulance District similar to a Fire District. Small communities throughout our state are struggling to provide ambulance access to rural residents. This bill was initially drafted as a fix just for communities near me who desperately need the ability to set up an ambulance district. Now, we are recognizing that as private ambulance companies throughout rural Illinois are struggling to stay afloat, more communities may need this ability to set up ambulance districts.
This bill has been sent to the Governor. As we await his signature, I will continue working to make sure that communities throughout the state who face similar challenges as New Baden, Albers, Daminsville, and Looking Glass Township also have the opportunity to give their voters the choice to set up these ambulance districts.
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.
The Week Ahead:
Today is the last scheduled day of the Legislative Session for this Spring. However, we expect to stick around longer.
Stay Up To Date:
Was this update informative or helpful? Please share this newsletter with your friends and family. If someone forwarded this e-mail to you, please sign up for my newsletter or send me a message by clicking here: http://www.ilhousegop.org/contactmeier. With this weekly newsletter, I aim to give you a quick update on what is happening at the State Capitol, the top issues in our area, and how you can get involved.