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Springfield, IL… Two pieces of legislation from State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) that will help to ensure the health and safety of Illinois families were signed in to law on Friday.
Over the past decade Illinois law has added new diseases, like Krabbe’s disease, to the newborn screening panel, a state-mandated public health program designed to catch certain genetic, metabolic, and congenital disorders in newborn babies. House Bill 4745 is a response to the State’s slow moving efforts to begin implementing the new testing. Last year, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) testified before the House Health Care Availability and Access Committee that the nearly two year procurement process for new equipment is partly to blame for the delays. HB 4745 amends Illinois’ procurement law so that it no longer applies to contracts for services, information technology purchases, commodities, and equipment to support the delivery of timely newborn screening services provided by the IDPH. 

“Early detection can greatly improve health outcomes, especially in these cases,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “No child should die because bureaucratic red tape prevented their parents from having all the information they need when they are born.”

Just as early detection is critical with newborn illnesses, the same is true for cancer. Unfortunately, a mammogram does not always yield accurate breast cancer results in women with dense breast tissue. Rep. McAuliffe previously passed legislation to provide that insurance must cover an advanced screenings, such as an ultrasound, for women who have dense breast tissue. House Bill 4392 will serve as an educational enhancement to that mandate. It requires mammography providers to notify women who have dense breast tissue and inform them of the implications so that they can go to a doctor and discuss what supplemental tests and breast imaging tools that may be necessary for a proper diagnosis.

“Statistics say that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which is why this bill to ensure women are properly and accurately tested is so important,” said Rep. McAuliffe. “Thank you to the women, particularly the breast cancer survivors, who came down to Springfield to testify on this bill and helped to push it in to law.”

HB 4745 and HB 4392 both passed out of the House and Senate unanimously. Both measures were sponsored in the Senate by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago).

CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed a bill to create a new Illinois Lottery scratch-off game from which proceeds will fund police memorials, support for the families of officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty, and protective vest replacements for officers.

Rep. McAuliffe joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin in pushing forward House Bill 5513, which creates the police memorial instant ticket and requires that net proceeds go to the Criminal Justice Information Projects Fund. The funds are then to be divided equally among the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Fund, the Police Memorial Committee Fund, and the Illinois State Police Memorial Fund. The three designated police memorial funds provide support to families of officers who have been killed or severely injured in the line of duty.

"The money voluntarily generated by these games will help to ensure that proper care is given to the fitting tributes all over the state to those who gave their lives for our continued safety," Rep. McAuliffe said.

The funds raised through this new scratch-off ticket will be used to build and maintain police memorials and parks, hold annual memorial commemorations, give scholarships to children of officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty, provide financial assistance to police officers and their families when a police officer is killed or injured in the line of duty, and provide financial assistance to officers to purchase or replace protective gear.

The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
From the Governor's Office:

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed legislation that expands the Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy and cuts the red tape on future construction projects, allowing the administration to move quickly to build a new state-of-the-art facility at the campus.

"We're building a brand new facility and making sure our veterans have a safe place to call home," Rauner said. "Building this new facility should not be caught up in the bureaucratic process. Our veterans deserve the best. They have fought to secure our freedom and we're fighting to make sure they have the care they need for generations to come."

Rauner signed Senate Bill 3128, allowing the state to use the design-build delivery method to renovate, rehabilitate and rebuild the Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy. This method will eliminate redundant steps in the traditional state construction process, shave months off the overall project time and save taxpayer dollars.

"More than 360 veterans call the Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy home and we're excited about moving forward with this project," said Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Acting Director Stephen Curda. "This home is a staple in the community and we hope that never changes. We are all proud of this home and just last week, we gave Quincy residents an opportunity to learn more about the new home development process and provide ideas on what it could look like."

Rauner also signed House Bill 5683, which makes the recently purchased Sycamore nursing facility an official part of the Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy. Renovations are already underway on the Sycamore unit and are expected to be complete by the end of the year. Securing this unit will ensure continuity of care and temporary housing for veterans while construction on the new facility at the existing campus is ongoing. 

"We continue to move quickly on a number of initiatives to serve our veterans," said Mike Hoffman, senior adviser to the governor. "This includes the renovation of the Sycamore building, ongoing water management projects, and development of a new master plan for the Quincy campus."

State legislators applauded today's actions.

"Securing the design-build contract is one of the final steps to kick-start the Quincy Veterans' Home $52 million capital development plan," said Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy. "Over the next five years, the campus will undergo a major rehabilitation to update the care facilities and residence to ensure it is up to code and safe for all of our veteran residents and their families. I'm glad to see the governor taking such swift action to begin construction on one of Quincy's most important landmarks."

"The heroes who live at the Quincy Veterans' Home deserve the very best care that can be provided, and today we took a major step in ensuring that will happen," said Rep. Randy Frese, R-Quincy. "Our veterans and the entire Quincy community are thankful and are looking forward to a remodeled and revitalized Quincy Veterans' Home."

"The acquisition of the (Sycamore) transitional facility is an important step toward making sure our veterans receive the best care possible," said Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo. "I commend not only Gov. Rauner, but the bipartisan working group that identified this as a solution to keeping our veterans in Quincy at a site they call home."

"This is part of a multi-pronged effort to provide top notch facilities for our state's veterans in Quincy," said Rep. Mike McAuliffe, R-Chicago. "It will guarantee that the veterans that are moved to Sycamore during ongoing renovations to Quincy are still seeing the same familiar, caring faces."
This month the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will start mailing out the new Medicare cards to residents in Illinois

In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. This law requires the removal of Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards by April 2019 and the issuing of new Medicare cards to replace the old ones. This new initiative is to protect against fraud and identity theft. A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the Social Security Number (SSN)-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status and claim status.


The new Medicare card will have a completely different and randomly assigned identifier that will be 11 characters long, containing a mix of numbers and uppercase letters. This is the MBI. CMS is also removing the gender and signature line from the new Medicare card. The MBI is confidential like your SSN and should be protected as personal health information.

If a beneficiary is new to Medicare after April 2018, the beneficiary will receive the new MBI card. CMS has until April 2019 to mail out new cards to all 60 million national Medicaid beneficiaries. Current Medicare cards will be accepted until December 31, 2019, after which only the new MBI card will be accepted.

The new card will not impact current Medicare benefits or status. Beneficiaries are asked to destroy, not throw away, their old Medicare cards once the new one is received.

If you need to update your mailing address you can do so online here or by calling 1-800-772-1213.


Springfield, IL... State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) is pushing for legislation to strengthen Illinois's state laws to protect students from sexual predators in schools. A recent Chicago Tribune investigation found that CPS failed to protect its students from sexual abuse and assault over a 10 year period. The Chicago Tribune identified 72 school employees as alleged perpetrators and detailed the various ways in which CPS poorly responded and mistreated student victims. 

"Sexual predators have no place in our society, let alone our schools," Rep. McAuliffe said. "The fact that CPS does not have a set procedure for what is clearly a pervasive problem, and that they failed to report it to the Department of Child and Family Services as required by law is absolutely unacceptable. This investigation shined a light on serious lapses not just in CPS policy, but state law."

House Bill 5914 requires a school board to establish a hearing procedure for student victims of alleged sexual assault or sexual abuse by a licensed educator that allows a student victim to testify. School districts may not interview a student without their parent or guardian's permission. It would also require all complaints of abuse be forwarded to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and require the removal of an educator under investigation from the classroom. In addition, it makes it a crime for a school authority figure to have sex with a student regardless of age. Current state law limits this crime to the age of 17. 

"School administrators should not be in charge of these investigations; they are not equipped to handle them," Rep. McAuliffe continued. "Not only did CPS and individual schools mishandle sexual abuse cases as they occurred, but some of these predators should not have been allowed to step foot in schools in the first place."

The Tribune’s investigation found CPS conducted negligent background checks when hiring teachers and a failure to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. Some teachers that were investigated by CPS were later hired elsewhere. 

HB 5914 mandates that ISBE be aware of, and monitor, the process with regard to each individual background check conducted by school districts. It also amends the Freedom of Information Act to allow school districts to disclose to another school district the disciplinary records and internal investigative findings of personnel relating to sexual abuse. Any arresting agency is required to share its reports pertaining to the arrest of a licensed educator with the superintendent of any school district that employs the educator.

HB 5914 has been filed with the Clerk and awaits committee assignment. The Illinois House and Senate will hold hearings this summer to further investigate the issue and consider additional policy recommendations.