Welcome to the 2023 Illinois Legislative Session!

Hello, and welcome to another start of session at the Illinois General Assembly! Now that lawmakers are sworn in, we are monitoring their assignments to committees and what legislation we can expect to be working on alongside our incredible You're the Cure advocates--like you.

hero_image_alt_text===Illinois Capitol
thumbnail_alt_text===Illinois Capitol

Continuing with the theme of, "we cannot have a 'normal' session," for the third year in a row, the Senate chamber is currently being renovated, so they will be meeting in one of the office buildings for the next few years, and then the House will swap with them. 

We have a robust policy agenda for this year so, let's dive in:

  • Paid Family and Medical Leave: We played a role in helping pass paid sick leave during lame duck session to help clear a path for Paid Family and Medical Leave during legislative session. Lawmakers are still in negotiations on what the final language will look like, but we all can agree that this is a policy that will help millions of Illinoisans. We expect more news on this soon.
  • Healthy School Meals For All:  While we saw an increase in unemployment during the pandemic, we did not see as large of a spike in child food insecurity, thanks to funding from the federal government, which paid for each child’s breakfast and lunch. We know children do better academically and feel better emotionally when they are not hungry. We're excited to be working on this policy and will share updates as soon as this legislation begins moving.
  • Thrombectomy Capable Centers: We know that with stroke, Time is Brain. We're excited to be working with the Department of Public Health on passing legislation that will help ensure if you or a loved one has a stroke, EMS (Emergency Medical Services) will know exactly what facility near you can best care for your needs.
  • Funding for CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Training in Schools: In 2016, Illinois passed a requirement that all high school graduates must be trained in hands-only CPR. However, the state did not pass legislation to ensure the funding needed to help schools cover the costs. With your help, we will be working to make that happen this year so schools will not have to make difficult budget decisions to help cover this requirement.

While the American Heart Association is constantly working to strengthen our relationships with lawmakers, we know that many of you may have relationships with one or more of your elected officials and those relationships can make a BIG difference in the lives of heart and stroke patients across the country. If you have a connection with an elected official, regardless of how strong the connection is, we’d love to hear about it!

Stay tuned and watch your inbox for You're the Cure alerts and opportunities to speak out on these and other policies to help create a healthier future! 

With Heart,

Lauren Peters
Illinois Government Relations Director


Mark Your Calendar!

  • February: American Heart Month, Be the Beat. Take a few moments to learn or refresh your CPR skills to Be the Beat for someone in need: Hands-Only CPR | American Heart Association CPR & First Aid
  • February 3rd: National Wear Red DayTake a photo and share it on social media using #WearRedDay and #WearRedandGive and tag the American Heart Association.
  • February 14th: Illinois Capitol Wear Red Day. Please share a photo of you wearing red this day. We will be taking a photo at the Capitol as well and will share with you all, as well.
  • February 15th: Illinois Budget Address
  • Lobby Day: We will not be doing a formal Lobby Day this year, but instead will be having rolling meetings with elected officials on our pieces of legislation as they move through committees. If you are interested in meeting with your State Senator or State Representative to discuss our legislative agenda for this year, (virtually or in person), we'd love to have you join us and will ensure you have all the information you need to feel comfortable! Please let us know!



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