Three bills sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) were signed into law on Friday by Governor Pritzker. The bills include improving ambulance service in Clinton County, increasing awareness of a free program available to individuals residing in long-term care facilities, and defining an essential support person for individuals receiving additional care.
“It’s getting more difficult for the communities affected in Clinton County to provide emergency ambulance service to residents that depend on this service when they need it most,” said Rep. Meier. “This new law will provide the taxpayers the opportunity to decide if they want to create an ‘Emergency Services District’ or not.”
The past 12-14 years have been tough financially for rural communities in Clinton County, citing rapid inflation and difficulties with negotiating the distribution of the cost of ambulance service.
The new law (HB 1740) is a multi-step process to help rural communities in Clinton County create an ‘Emergency Services District’ for the purpose of providing ambulance service. Rep. Charlie Meier introduced the legislation at the request of the Village of Albers, New Baden, and Damiansville.
The second of Rep. Meier’s bills signed into law (HB 1156) will help increase awareness of a free service by requiring long-term care facilities to post information about the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) prominently on their website.
“Most people don’t even know what a long-term care ombudsman is – it’s a person that will advocate on your behalf to make sure your rights, concerns, and needs are being met with confidentiality,” said Rep. Charlie Meier. “An ombudsman has proved vital during times of lockdowns as they help navigate visitation rights for families. My intent of this legislation is to help increase awareness about this important program. This is a free service that is available to everyone living in a long-term care facility. A long-term care ombudsman can really help put a family member at ease, knowing their loved one has an additional advocate working to ensure their issues and concerns are being addressed.”
The third bill sponsored by Representative Charlie Meier, signed into law (SB 2322) provides that a resident or the resident’s representative may designate a primary essential support person and a secondary essential support person who may visit the resident despite general visitation restrictions imposed on other visitors, provided that the primary essential support person or secondary essential support person complies with any rules adopted by the Department of Public Health.
“Differentiating between a visitor and essential support person will help individuals receive the care they need during times when visitations would otherwise be prohibited. For example, this is a major improvement to make sure an essential support person can provide care to their client, loved one, or friend living in a long term care facility or similar situation.”
State Representative Charlie Meier represents the 109th District which includes portions of Bond, Clinton, Madison, St. Clair, and Washington counties.
For more information, please visit CharlieMeier.net or contact Rep. Meier’s district office at 618-651-0405.