As the Illinois State House begins its spring legislative session on January 23, and the Illinois General Assembly begins to shape next year's budget, EverThrive IL continues to push for sustainable, adequate funding for the critical services children and families need to thrive. At the federal level, a new tax bill passed by Congress in late 2017 is beginning to take shape in Illinois as we mark 100 days since CHIP Funding has expired.
EverThrive IL strongly opposes additional budget cuts in FY18 and FY19, as the state's funding for the health and human services sectors has been dramatically slashed over the past decade, leading to instability in Illinois' safety-net, job loss, and lost human potential. We continue to call on the Rauner administration and the general assembly to work together to identify revenue solutions and other ways to allow Illinois to invest in the health of its children, women and families.
January 23rd is when the state house of representatives starts its spring session, while the state senate kicks off its spring session on January 30th. Governor Rauner's State of the State is scheduled for January 31st at noon. The full spring session schedule for the IL House and Senate is now up on ilga.gov
We ask you to join EverThrive IL in our upcoming budget and revenue advocacy work by becoming a member and by signing on to the Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC) as the RBC continues to explore revenue options that will move our state to a more fair and equitable tax structure.
Join the Responsible Budget Coaltion for a series of strategy and informational webinars for Fair Tax and Responsible Budget advocates.
In the first webinar held on January 12, EverThrive IL Policy Director Nadeen Israel presented on the legislative campaign and timeline, and RBC Field Director Alex Tindal Wiesendanger provided a train the trainers on giving a Fair Tax presentation in your own organization or community.
These webinars will continue for the next few months on the first Friday of every month.
Non-Budget Policy Updates:
The landscape of Medicaid and Medicaid managed care in Illinois continues to change. Check-out EverThrive IL's webinar recordings to get the latest on these changes. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has also released the:
The GOP in the U.S. house and senate gave final approval to the tax bill and President Trump signed it on December 22, 2017. The next step is for the IRS to issue guidance on implementation. This guidance will be released over the next several months and years and will be issued through notices, bulletins and/or rules/regulations. We will share the impact of the tax law on the financial health of our state as well as the overall health of Illinoisans as more information and analysis become available.
A few days before the bill was signed into law, NPR provided a good summary of what's in the tax bill and how it would impact Illinois. What we know for sure is that the ACA's individual mandate was repealed through this tax bill, meaning the potential of hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans losing their health coverage as a consequence of the repeal of this important ACA provision.
Late last month before breaking for the holidays, the GOP controlled Congress and President Trump also approved a continuing resolution that will keep the federal government funded and provide a short-term funding extension for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) through March 2018. They need to come to an agreement on a longer-term funding package that includes full funding for CHIP and CHCF without additional dangerous cuts to important programs like the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) before January 19th. The President will deliver his State of the Union address on January 30th.
Non-Budget Policy Updates:
Wednesday, January 10 marked 100 days since funding expired for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), and the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF), Congress has failed to take permanent action. As if this was not bad enough, the short-term funding authorized in the CR Congress passed last month included dangerous cuts to other programs that promote health and well-being, such as the Prevention and Public Health Fund. By pinning the passage of CHIP extension to these offsets, Congress is playing sleight of hand with children's health.
Also earlier this month, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families released new analysis showing when states will run out of CHIP funds.
Here is how you can help #SaveCHIP
- Make the phones ring off the hook: Call your Senators and Representatives at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to immediately renew CHIP funding for five years. Congress votes on January 19th to fund the federal government; long-term CHIP must be included when they do. This toolkit includes talking points for your calls.
- Keep up the pressure on social media: Follow EverThrive IL on Facebook and Twitter and amplify our messages.
- Get the word out: Tell your colleagues, neighbors and friends to join you! The more advocates who speak out about the importance of CHIP, the more Congress will listen.