New Laws: Governor Pritzker signed SB2541 (Steans/Harris) which contains the language necessary to renew the hospital assessment program in Illinois to enable the state to capture $3.9 billion in federal funds. This represents an increase of $450 million over previous years. The assessment bill includes a Medicaid physician rate increase and prioritizes funding for the critical access and safety net hospitals.
Governor Pritzker also signed SB1864 (Hunter/Harris) which creates the Health Care Affordability Act. Requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, in consultation with the Department of Insurance, to oversee a feasibility study to explore options to make health insurance more affordable for Illinois residents. Creates the Kidney Disease Prevention and Education Task Force Act. Creates the Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic Act. Provides that in order to protect the public’s health, to permit expedited treatment of health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to mitigate its impact upon the residents of the State of Illinois, all health insurance issuers regulated by the Department of Insurance shall cover the costs of all telehealth services rendered by in-network providers to deliver any clinically appropriate, medically necessary covered services and treatments. Requires Medicaid coverage for routine care costs that are incurred in the course of an approved clinical trial if the medical assistance program would provide coverage for the same routine care costs not incurred in a clinical trial. Permits the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to take necessary actions to address the COVID-19 public health emergency to the extent such actions are required, approved, or authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Permits the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to cover the treatment of COVID-19 to persons who qualify for medical assistance under federal law and regulations and to noncitizens. Contains provisions concerning payment claims for ambulance providers that are unable to obtain a Physician Certification Statement; assessment forms for long-term care facilities; income verification for medical assistance recipients; remote monitoring and support services as a waiver-reimbursable service for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Makes other changes.
More information on both bills is here.
COVID-19 Update: On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,018 new confirmed cases of COIVD-19 in Illinois, including 20 additional deaths. To date, IDPH is reporting 150,450 cases, including 7,119 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 36,180 tests, which is the most cases reported in a 24 hour period to date. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 2 -July 8 is 2.6%. As of last night, 1,507 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 317 patients were in the ICU and 153 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Executive Orders:Executive Order 2020-46 extends the Census Advisory Panel as an advisory board through December 31, 2020.
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh denied an emergency request by the Illinois Republican Party to block Governor Pritzker’s executive order banning gatherings of 50 or more people. A lower court judge previously ruled that political rallies do not outweigh the interests of the public during a public health crisis.
Local Planning Grants: The Illinois Department of Transportation awarded 52 grants totaling more than $38 million to support the planning efforts of long-range transportation projects in Illinois. New criteria this year provides funding to create economic opportunity and enhance quality of life in disadvantaged communities. The grants are designed to advance the objectives of the Illinois Long-Range Transportation Plan. Criteria considered included plans that implement asset management strategies and performance-based planning programming as well as activities that grow and support economically distressed areas. A full listing of the grant awards is here.COVID-19 Emergency Response: Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the State will expedite a portion of Coronavirus Relief Fund funding designated for local governments by the federal CARES Act. Through the Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Support Program, the State will take steps to deploy $250 million to local governments in the coming months. According to the Department, the additional state relief funds will help local governments secure reimbursement on eligible costs associated with the emergency response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. More information is here.
IEMA Virtual Applicant Briefings: To assist local governments, nonprofits and religious organizations recoup funds expended during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging entities to attend virtual briefings to begin the reimbursement application process to receive federal funds.
Costs eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to, overtime costs associated with the COVID-19 response, the purchase of personal protective equipment, testing supplies and equipment, housing assistance, purchase and distribution of food, and more. Public Assistance is available in all 102 counties in Illinois where COVID-19 cases have been reported. More information is here.
101st General Assembly:
Deputy Majority Leader Art Turner, Jr. resigned from the Illinois House. Turner was not seeking reelection in November. Lakesia Collins defeated six candidates in the primary to replace Turner. Local political leaders will select a replacement for the remainder of Turner’s term.
Rep. Welch filed HB5806 which provides that when investing or depositing public funds, each public agency shall invest or deposit such funds with or in financial institutions that have a board of directors consisting of at least 20% persons of color. Provides that a financial institution that does not have a board of directors consisting of at least 20% persons of color may increase or modify its board membership. Provides that any public agency investing or depositing public funds shall divest any previously invested or deposited funds from any financial institution failing to meet specified requirements by January 1, 2021. HB 5806 will be assigned to the House Rules Committee.
Rep. West filed HB5807 which prohibits the use of “no knock” or “dynamic entry” search warrants. Peace officers who violate the provisions are guilty of official misconduct. HB 5807 will be assigned to the House Rules Committee