State Policy Update
February marks month 20 that our state has not had a full-year budget. The IL Senate Leadership introduced a bipartisan compromise budget package (senate bills 1-13) early in the start of the state legislative session. The Senate budget package includes revenue (SB9 SA2), an appropriation bill for the last 6 months of FY17 (SB6 SA2), and many of Governor Rauner's turn-around agenda items as well as a few other policy reforms. The way the bills are written is that all 13 bills have to be signed into law, otherwise, none of them can become law. While the Senate held subject-matter hearings in Springfield on this budget package last week, it is unclear what progress has been made thus far from these renewed discussions. EverThrive Illinois will continue to monitor the progress of this Senate budget package and advocate for full funding and enough revenue to meet our state's obligations and priorities. For more on what's in these bills, click here.
Another important development related to the state budget impasse is that Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced last week that she was asking a court in St. Clair County to lift its order requiring that state employees be paid during the budget impasse despite there being no appropriation for that purpose. Based on legal precedent, the AG’s motion is very likely to be granted, if not by a lower court then by an appellate or the Illinois Supreme court. She has asked that the parties be given until February 28 to reach a budget agreement. If no agreement is reached by that date, state workers would stop being paid, precipitating a shutdown of the state government. We will continue to monitor this development as well to assess its impact on the state budget negotiations. The Governor's fiscal year 2018 (FY18) state budget address will be on February 15th.
Federal Policy Update
As the result of the November elections, EverThrive Illinois' Health Reform Initiative has shifted its focus to defending the Affordable Care Act in response to threats of repealing this law and making other devastating structural changes to the Medicaid program at the Federal level. You can visit EverThrive IL' Keep Illinois Covered: An Advocacy Toolkit webpage to sign up for email updates, view the archived webinar Defending Health Access in Illinois: The ACA and Medicaid post-election, and download fact sheets that contain messages for consumers and what's at stake if the ACA is repealed. We will provide more information as it becomes available and encourage community advocates and partners to join us in defending this important law and critical safety-net programs!
- Stories are crucial for showing just what is at risk if members of Congress strip millions of Americans of their health care. This story collection form is a space where people who have been positively impacted by the ACA or Medicaid can share their story.
- Working alongside key organizational partners across the state to protect the gains made by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protect and preserve the Medicaid program, EverThrive Illinois has joined forces to form the Protect Our Care Illinois Coalition. For more on this coalition and how your organization (and you as an individual) can join, please use the following links: Your organization can join the coalition here: http://tinyurl.com/PoCIL-organization; You, as individuals (or your consumers/patients, members, etc.), can join the coalition here: http://tinyurl.com/PoCIL-individual