Illinois: End of Session Advocacy Update

The Illinois legislature adjourned, as scheduled, on May 31. Lawmakers passed a budget, which Governor Rauner signed into law on June 4, 2018. The legislature is not scheduled to reconvene until the fall veto session. The American Heart Association had an eventful 2018 Springfield legislative session and we’re excited to share these updates on important health policy initiatives.

thumbnail_alt_text===Illinois Capitol Building

SB 2332 or Tobacco 21 raises the age to purchase all tobacco products in Illinois from 18 to 21. The bill passed the Illinois Senate in late April and passed the full House on May 30. The bill will now head to the Governor’s desk. Currently, 26 units of local government in Illinois have local T21 policies.

The daily school P.E. requirement was repealed in August 2017 and replaced with a 3 day/week minimum. SB 2572 changes the current 3 day/week requirement to the nationally recommended 150 minutes/week of Physical Education for students in grades K-12, creating a minimum for ALL students across the state. HB 2572 passed both Chambers and will be sent to the Governor.  

Healthy Local Food Financing, HB 4568, will expand a program which provides double value coupons to SNAP recipients at Farmers Markets. This bill passed both Chambers unanimously and will move to the Governor’s office. Legislation establishing the program passed in 2016, however, an amendatory veto decreased the funding level and made it a pilot program expiring in June 2019. This program has never been funded, HB 4568 will return the program to permanency allowing more time for funding.

The AHA was instrumental in negotiating HB 2624, a bill to restrict short term limited duration health insurance plans. These plans are not regulated in Illinois and often don’t provide quality individual insurance.  This bill defines short term plans in statute and eliminates consumer confusion by requiring disclosure on all sale and marketing materials. HB 2624 passed both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.

The AHA supported HB 4799, requiring schools, K-8, to adopt a policy educating students on effective methods of preventing and avoiding traffic injuries related to walking and bicycling.

The AHA contributed to the defeat of HB 3877, which would have created a separate license in Illinois for vape and e-cigarette retailers. This legislation conflicts with the FDA and other current laws including the City of Chicago, which define vape and e-cigarettes products as tobacco.

Thanks to all of you who made a phone call, took action on an alert or participated in other ways. 

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