Rep. Charlie Meier Sponsors Legislation to Help Fund Emergency Medical Services

SPRINGFIELD, IL…. The Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee has voted unanimously in favor of legislation sponsored by Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) aimed at increasing funding for ambulance services. The legislation (House Bill 4179) would allow for a voter referendum to raise the maximum levy for emergency service districts.

“Throughout a lot of the rural areas in Illinois, we are addressing the fact that the for-profit ambulance services that had been in our districts are leaving,” said Rep. Meier. “Our rural areas don’t have the funds to do the ambulance service. Some counties have flatly said they will not set them up. Other towns and municipalities are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. In counties that only have maybe 10,000 to 15,000 people, there is not enough population base to support an ambulance service. That is why this bill is so huge to us as we move forward with it.”

House Bill 4179 serves as a trailer bill to House Bill 1740 which passed during the 2023 spring session. HB1740, also sponsored by Rep. Meier, allowed for the creation of taxing districts for ambulance services that can span across municipal boundaries, meaning townships and counties can share the costs of said services. HB4179, if signed into law, would allow the maximum levies in these districts to increase from 0.4% EAV to 0.8% EAV if supported by voters through a referendum.

Representative Meier continued to stress the bill’s importance, stating that federal funding from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements is insufficient to support ambulance services in many parts of Illinois. While these reimbursements are relative to the costs incurred by the ambulance services, they only make up for a fraction of said cost.

Chris Conrad, city manager for Highland, Illinois, reiterated Rep. Meier’s message.

“The primary issue is, as our population is aging, the higher percentage of Medicare and Medicaid calls that your ambulance district responds to results in lower funding,” he said. “Medicare and Medicaid are providing about 40 cents on the dollar for what it costs to provide that service. The only two ways that EMS services are funded are through property taxes or fees for services. About 60-70% of our call volume is Medicare and Medicaid patients. That means that if half of our funding is coming from fees for services, we’re losing money on 60 to 70% of those calls we’re responding to.”

Conrad went on to praise HB4179, highlighting that it is up to those who live within the emergency service districts to allow levies above 0.4%. “What we’re asking is to give the citizens in these areas the option: do we want to fund these services or not?”

House Bill 4179 left the Revenue and Finance Committee on April 12th and awaits its second hearing on the House Floor.

Follow HB4179 at


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 or contact Rep. Meier’s district office at 618-651-0405