Legislative priorities move through the state capitol, despite a school funding veto from Governor Rauner, and the U.S. Senate fails to repeal or replace the ACA.
State Budget Update:
Check out a recent webinar from EverThrive IL breaking down the state budget and revenue package that recently became law ending a 2-year state budget impasse.
While that issue has been resolved for now, legislators continue their work in Springfield as they work towards reaching a compromise with Governor Rauner on school funding reform. The bill on the table is SB1. Check out this piece from Chicago Tonight breaking down what's in SB1 currently.
Non-Budget State Policy Updates:
- HB2800 amends the Perinatal HIV Prevention Act by adding a third trimester HIV test for pregnant women in addition to the current first trimester test. The CDC recommends a repeat test for women in the third trimester of pregnancy if women are determined to be at high risk for HIV, or live in an area of high prevalence for HIV. Illinois is on the CDC’s list of high-prevalence areas, because our statewide prevalence of HIV is 1% or greater. The bill passed on a bipartisan roll call out of the IL House and Senate and now awaits the Governor's signature. We urge Governor Rauner to sign this important legislation into law without further delay. Find more information on this bill here.
- HB3895, the Happy Healthy Babies bill, creates a program that supports Illinois families living in deep poverty with a monthly diaper allowance of $80 for each child under age three. The state-funded allowance would be distributed on an EBT card and restricted to the purchase of diapers. A subject-matter hearing on this bill took place in mid-May in the IL House Human Services Appropriations Committee and EverThrive IL submitted written testimony in support of the bill. While this bill did not clear the legislative process this session, EverThrive IL, the Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and our coalition partners will continue to champion this bill until it becomes law in order to keep babies healthier, protect public health, promote maternal and toddler health, and increase early education and care participation. Find more information on this bill here.
Check out the progress of some of EverThrive IL's other state policy priorities below:
- HB3691: This bill automatically open a 529 college savings account at birth for every child born in the state. The account will be seeded with an initial $50. Low- and moderate-income families will be encouraged to save through savings incentives – a one-to-one dollar match up to $75 [extra space]per year. The next step for this bill before it can be sent to the Governor's desk is concurrence in the IL House. Find more information on this bill here.
- HB40: This bill strikes a dangerous "trigger" provision in the Illinois abortion law and affirms that IL will not go back to the pre-Roe days of illegal abortions. This bill cleared the IL House of Representatives and the IL Senate on a partisan vote. It is currently sitting in the IL Senate waiting to be sent to the Governor's desk. The Governor has so far indicated that he would veto the bill, though advocacy efforts continue to push the Governor to do the right thing and sign HB40. Find more information on this bill here.
- Check out the below great update from AMCHP regarding where the FY18 federal budget process is currently at. Specific highlights of impact on MCH programs of the budget proposed thus far are included below.
"The U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved its FFY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill. This bill includes $641,700,000 for the Title V MCH Block Grant, which represents level funding from FY 2017, despite a decrease in overall spending on Labor-HHS programs. The bill also rejects harmful cuts that were proposed to several MCH programs (including the Sickle Cell Demonstration Program, Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, Heritable Disorders, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, and EMS for Children) in the president’s budget. It includes report language supporting efforts by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau to address maternal depression, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and improved provider and patient education about non-invasive prenatal screening. Disappointingly, however, the bill proposes cuts to other critical programs, including the elimination of Title X Family Planning, as well as the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, and a $74 million decrease for CDC’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (the majority of which comes from tobacco cessation programs). The overall decrease in funding available for Labor-HHS programs across the board is also very troubling, as that continues to put pressure on the public health system at large. Full details are located here (the report language for Maternal and Child Health begins on page 24, a funding chart for all HRSA programs begins on page 178, and CDC programs begin on page 183).This is an important step in the appropriations process. Next steps are for the full House to pass the bill and the Senate Appropriations Committee to craft its own bill and pass it through the full Senate. In all likelihood, several appropriations bills will be combined and agreed upon between [extra space] the two chambers in order to pass the funding package into law before the current fiscal year ends on September 30."
As a reminder, AMCHP also put out a brief statement regarding President Trump's proposed FFY18 budget; check out their statement here (look at the link in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage).
Non-Budget Federal Policy Updates:
- We had a BIG win for women, children, and families in the early morning hours this past Friday when the GOP's efforts to repeal and replace key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed. EverThrive IL applauds Senators Durbin and Duckworth for never wavering in their opposition of this bill, and thanks each one of you who called, emailed, attended rallies and town halls, shared Facebook posts and tweeted out in protest, and spread the word with those around you that the progress we've made in health care must not be lost.
Read our full statement on the failed vote here.
- Check out the below advocacy ask from AMCHP regarding the MEICHV program and please take action today!:
"The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) will expire on September 30 if Congress fails to act. That is why we are asking you to join AMCHP and the Home Visiting Coalition along with hundreds of other organizations across the country in urging Congress to pass legislation that would extend this critical program. Our core message is that Congress should expand support for home visiting – doubling the MIECHV program to $800 million a year by year five – so more families can benefit.
What you can do:
Call & e-mail Members of Congress: Invite your friends, family members and neighbors to call or e-mail your Member of Congress to make sure they know that MIECHV is too important to not reauthorize and expand. A sample phone script is below.
Sample Phone Script:
You can find your Senators here and member of Congress here.
Hello, my name is ….. and I live in ...
I am calling to urge the Senator/Representative to prioritize the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.
Here in [STATE], home visiting has helped X number of families in our state and that far more could be helped. Find city/state numbers of families helped here and potential additional beneficiaries.
This program should be continued for at least five years, in its current, flexible and effective format and it should be doubled over that time to meet the needs of more families in our state.
Evidence-based, voluntary home visiting strengthens families and communities.
It is a smart investment that pays off many times over.
Toolkit: Continue to use this toolkit to engage Congress. Please keep up the action through the summer when Members of Congress are back home for the congressional recess."