Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration has identified millions of dollars of cuts it will make to the FY18 state budget, including to the human service sector, agriculture programs and transportation. Even with these identified cuts, the administration says the budget remains $1.5 billion out of balance, which will require further reductions. Approximately $89 million of the $156 million in identified cuts are from the Human Service sector.
The senate democrats put out a memo outlining why there is a big difference between the general assembly's FY18 budget and revenue estimates vs. the administration's. The general assembly's budget and revenue numbers show a $350 million surplus for FY18.
EverThrive Illinois is extremely disappointed that included in the FY18 cuts is an $18,000 cut to the SIDS line item and a $497,000 cut to the Infant Mortality Reduction line item. This is coming at a time of year when we intensify our community education efforts and increase awareness of Infant Mortality (September), SIDS (October), and Premature Births (November). And, despite the fact that governor Rauner recognized the importance of these issues to Illinois families and communities by proclaiming September 2017 as Infant Mortality Awareness Month and October 2017 as Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month, his administration still chose to make further cuts to the very programs meant to address these issues.
EverThrive IL strongly opposes further budget cuts as the Illinois health and human service sectors have been cut to the bone over the past decade, leading to instability in Illinois' safety-net, job loss, and lost human potential. Instead, we call on the Rauner administration and the general assembly to work together to identify revenue solutions and other ways that allow Illinois to invest in the health of its children, women and families.
We ask you to join us in our upcoming budget and revenue advocacy work by becoming a member of EverThrive IL and by signing on to the Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC) as we continue to explore revenue options that will move our state to a more fair and equitable tax structure.
Non-Budget State Policy Updates:
The landscape of Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care in Illinois continues to change. The first set of changes is related to the implementation of the Integrated Eligibility System Phase II (IES Phase II) and the second set of changes is related to the expansion and renaming of the Illinois Medicaid Managed Care Program. To learn more about both of these big changes, be sure to listen to a two-part webinar series we've partnered with HFS on hosting. The first webinar took place today and the second is coming up on November 15th.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment 5 (OE 5) is happening now! The open enrollment period this year is November 1st - December 15th. This flyer contains other basic information about OE 5 and can be used to spread the word to your networks, friends and family. You can also use these talking points to help you communicate effectively about OE 5.
The first week of the state legislative veto session was October 24 - October 26. Below are a few bills EverThrive Illinois took action on:
HB2984 HFA3: Support; Provides that the Department of Public Health may require certified local health departments and any facility licensed by the Department (currently, may require any facility licensed by the Department) to implement an influenza vaccination program that ensures that the health care personnel of the facility are vaccinated against specified influenza viruses (currently, are offered the opportunity to be vaccinated against specified influenza viruses). Provides that general philosophical or moral reluctance to influenza vaccinations is not a sufficient basis for an exemption to statutory requirements.
SB351 SFA1: Support; Utilizes flexibility offered by the federal program to extend SNAP eligibility to low-income community college students pursuing a career and technical education (CTE) certificate or degree program. More than 40,000 economically-disadvantaged students could become eligible to receive SNAP benefits under the College Student Hunger Bill.
HB4082 & HB4083: Oppose; Prevent local units of government from passing sweetened beverage taxes. This was in response to the sweetened beverage tax that Cook County passed and then later repealed earlier this year.
HB4114: Oppose; Creates the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Provides that neither the State nor any of its subdivisions may authorize the use of, appropriate, or expend funds to pay for an abortion or to cover any part of the costs of a health plan that includes coverage of abortion or to provide or refer for an abortion, unless a woman who suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death if an abortion is not performed.
On October 19th, the Senate passed a budget resolution that would increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion in order to provide a tax break to the wealthiest households. This proposal would likely create revenue shortfalls that opens the door to threats to health programs including cuts to Medicaid. At the end of October, the House passed the Senate’s budget resolution 216-212.
The next step in the federal budget process is the actual drafting of the FY18 budget. Today, we expect the House Ways and Means Committee to release draft legislation. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote a wonderful brief on what they expect we'll see in this draft budget legislation. We're hearing the House will hold a floor vote on its budget legislation the week of November 13th. In the mean time, the Senate Finance Committee intends to release its version of tax reform legislation on November 9th with a likely floor vote the week of November 27th. Republican leadership’s goal is to pass their tax reform package by the end of the year.
EverThrive Illinois will continue to monitor this process, remain vigilant to ensure that ACA repeal and Medicaid reform proposals are not swept up in the budget and tax reform process, and advocate against any cuts to critical health and human service programs, including Medicaid, WIC, and SNAP. We opposed the FY18 budget resolution passed by the House and Senate last month and will continue to oppose any budget that cuts services critical for the health and well-being of children, women and families.
Non-Budget Federal Policy Updates:
The 5th ACA Open Enrollment Period is here! Check out these resources to learn more and spread the word. Open Enrollment goes from November 1st - December 15th so don't delay and sign-up today!
Although Sept. 30 was the funding expiration date for CHIP, the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), and the Community Health Center Fund, Congress has failed to take action. Between today and tomorrow, the U.S. House is planning on taking partisan votes on the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) bills (the Democrats and Republicans drafted their own versions of these funding extension bills). Besides the fact that both sides have gone back to partisan votes on these otherwise bipartisan issues, the Republicans' version contains dangerous cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) in order to pay for funding extensions for CHIP and CHCF. EverThrive Illinois strongly opposes this tactic of robbing peter to pay paul. Please take 2 minutes out of your day ASAP and call your IL congressional delegate with the below messages on CHIP, CHCF, and PPHF.
CHIP Needs Our Help!
EverThrive Illinois calls on Congress to work on a bipartisan basis to renew funding for critical programs, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Center Fund (CHCF), without cutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF).