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Monday, April 1

April 2013 - State Legislative Update

Phil Milsk, NASW Illinois Governmental Relations Consultant

The Illinois General Assembly is currently on a two-week spring break. The Illinois House returns on Monday, April 8, 2013, and the Illinois Senate returns on Wednesday, April 10, 2013. We are at the point of the session in which bills have been heard in committees and those that survived the committee process are awaiting further action in the house in which they originated. Some bills have already passed out of the chamber of origin and are pending in the second chamber. A limited number of bills will be granted extended deadlines in each chamber. There are also hundreds of shell bills (bills with no substantive language) pending in each chamber that are controlled by leadership and might be used as vehicles for legislation as the session progresses.

While the substantive bill process continues, the budget for fiscal year (FY) 2014 will become a hot topic as appropriations committees conduct hearings regarding the budgets of various state agencies.

The bill synopsis below is not a comprehensive list of all bills of potential interest to our members. At this stage of the session there are many bills that will not survive the Third Reading deadline in the second and third weeks of April. This summary highlights some of the bills that should be given close attention.

SB 1609 (Koehler)
This NASW Illinois Chapter bill makes it a Class 3 felony to threaten a social worker, caseworker, or investigator employed by a human services provider that receives a grant or contract from the state to provide human services if the threat is made against the employee in connection with such employment. The bill expands an existing law regarding threats to public officials, which covers social workers, caseworkers, and investigators employed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). The bill is on Second Reading in the Illinois Senate.

SB 1455 (Delgado)
This is the NASW Illinois Chapter's bill to implement recommendations of a special NASW task force concerning licensure continuing education unit (CEU) requirements. The bill provides that at least one-half of the required CEU hours each renewal cycle must be earned through in-person participation in a CEU program unless a variance is granted by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). It also provides that at least three hours must be related to cultural competency in the practice of social work. The bill is not being moved this session due to favorable negotiations with IDFPR over new proposed administrative rules that would incorporate these and related changes.

HB 1 (Lang)
This bill creates the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and a fund in the state treasury for the costs of administrating the program. The bill is on Third Reading in the Illinois House.

HB 2 (Bellock)
This bill authorizes the governor to create the Illinois Single Audit Commission that would be required to conduct research regarding the practices of other states in the administration of grants and to issue a report summarizing the commission's recommendations regarding the uniform administration of grants in Illinois to promote effective and efficient oversight of grants, ensuring quality programs, and limiting waste, fraud, and abuse. The commission would sunset on January 1, 2015. The bill is on Second Reading in the Illinois House.

SB 26 (Steans)
This bill would implement the Medicaid expansion provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, which became a state option instead of a mandate as a result of the US Supreme Court's decision last June in NFIB v. Sebellius. The bill has passed the Illinois Senate and is currently pending in the Illinois House. NASW Illinois strongly supports the bill.

SB 2199 (Frerichs)
This bill would amend the Illinois School Code to remove a provision enacted in 2011 that prohibits a candidate for licensure from beginning an internship or residency required for licensure until he or she has passed the applicable content area test. NASW strongly supports the bill, which is on Second Reading in the Illinois Senate.

HB 2322 (Chapa Lavia)
This bill would amend the Illinois School Code to more fully describe the responsibilities of school social workers, including anti-bullying interventions and social and emotional learning. The bill is on Second Reading in the Illinois House.

HB 2420 (Chapa Lavia)
This bill would allow licensed marriage and family therapists to practice in the schools after meeting licensure and endorsement requirements to be developed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). NASW Illinois opposes the bill. The bill is on Second Reading in the Illinois House.

HB 3070 (Farnham)
This bill would amend the Illinois School Code to require in-service training of social workers, teachers, counselors, and other personnel to identify mental illness. The bill passed the Illinois House on March 22, 2013, by a vote of 93 to 12 and is now in the Illinois Senate.

HB 1017 (Feigenholtz)
An initiative of the Illinois Office of Health Information Technology which would amend the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act with respect to the electronic sharing and transmission of mental health information and records under the Illinois Health Information Exchange (ILHIE). The bill has passed the Illinois House and is now in the Illinois Senate.

HJR 17 (Madigan)
This resolution establishes the Illinois House's estimate of General Revenue Funds available for the FY 2014 budget at $35.081 billion. The measure is pending in the Illinois, which can amend this measure if it disagrees with the estimate. 

Posted on 04/01/13 at 08:52 AM

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