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Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

Legislative News, 03/16/2021

Federal news

Bill passed

H.R.1319 — American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 [became Public Law No. 117-2 on 3/11/2021]

Specifically, the bill provides funding for [see full list of provisions at the above link]

  • schools and institutions of higher education;
  • COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, treatment, and prevention;
  • mental health and substance-use disorder services;
  • programs for health care workers, transportation workers, federal employees, veterans, and other targeted populations;
  • scientific research and development;
  • state, territorial, and tribal capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to COVID-19; and
  • health care providers in rural areas.

The bill also includes provisions that

  • provide premium assistance for certain health insurance coverage; and
  • require coverage, without cost-sharing, of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Pandemic Aid Package Includes Relief From High Premiums [Kaiser Health News, 3/9/21]

The just-passed COVID relief bill has “strengthen[ed] the Affordable Care Act with some of the most significant changes to insurance affordability in more than a decade.” The temporary changes pave the way for the possibility of a permanent revision of the ACA.

KHN has more on how the new law affects health in their podcast episode, Expanding the ACA in an Unpredicted Way.

What the American Rescue Plan Act Means for Libraries [American Libraries, 3/12/21]

“Act provides historic levels of new funding for IMLS, E-Rate, and other programs.”

HHS data highlights negative effects of work requirements [Roll Call, 3/11/21]

“…efforts by states to seek work requirements or capped funding result in reduced enrollment and access to care.”


State news

Our Illinois legislators are back at work, and there are many bills and amendments being proposed right now.  They are looking at everything from amending the Election Code to creating a Vegetable Garden Protection Act. For a listing and a summary, visit https://legiscan.com/IL/legislation.


A couple of recent articles from the State Journal-Register:


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Legislative News, 02/10/2021

Federal news

Biden changes health coverage, women’s health funding policies [Roll Call, 1/28/21]

“The Biden administration announced two wide-ranging health care executive actions … one expanding access to reproductive health care and another supporting enrollment in the individual insurance market and Medicaid.”

Death of EPA’s controversial ‘censored science’ rule delights researchers [Science, 2/3/21]

“…would have allowed EPA to ignore or downplay data from human health studies resting on confidential medical information that is difficult to make public” for regulating toxins in air and water pollution, workplace chemicals, and cigarette smoke.

Bills to watch


State News

Vaccine Eligibility and Library Staff – The Illinois Library Association (ILA) has been working to help library workers request vaccine eligibility.  For more information and to see the status in several counties, visit the ILA Vaccine Eligibility page.

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Legislative News, 01/22/2021

Federal news

Biden uses executive orders to address COVID-19, other health care issues [Roll Call, 1/21/21]

Early signings indicate a desire to quickly reverse Trump administration policies and outline his own priorities

READ: Biden administration’s COVID-19 response and pandemic preparedness strategy [The Hill, 1/21/21]

Democrats aim to move health care agenda despite slim majorities [Roll Call, 1/7/21]

COVID-19 aid, health insurance and prescription drug issues are priorities

Health groups’ push to end donations may lack political punch [Roll Call, 1/21/21]

Trade groups stop donations to Republicans who voted against certifying election results

ALA Condemns Violence on Capitol Hill, Calls for Advocacy [American Libraries, 1/7/21]

MLA affirmed ALA’s statement in an email sent Jan. 12, 2021.


Laws passed

The No Surprises Act to prevent surprise medical bills is in H.R.133/Public Law 116-260 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (which was previously highlighted in the 1/7/21 Legislative News post). Find it on p. 1576+.

H.R.4704 – Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act [became Public Law No. 116-339 on 1/13/21]

Directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award competitive, merit-reviewed grants to institutions of higher education (or their consortia) to support multidisciplinary, fundamental research with potential relevance to suicide, including potential relevance to prevention and treatment.

H.R.3153 – EFFORT (Expanding Findings for Federal Opioid Research and Treatment) Act [became Public Law No. 116-335 on 1/13/21]

Directs the National Science Foundation to support merit-reviewed and competitively awarded research on the science of opioid addiction.

H.R.1418 – Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2020 [became Public Law No. 116-327 on 1/13/21]

Declares that nothing in the McCarran-Ferguson Act modifies, impairs, or supersedes the operation of antitrust laws with respect to the business of health insurance, including the business of dental insurance.

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(via the Illinois Library Association)

We are pleased to announce registration is now open for ILA’s 2021 Library Legislative Meet-ups. This annual series of eight legislative events provides an opportunity to meet with your state and federal legislators and hear their thoughts firsthand about issues affecting libraries in your area. The ILA President will bring welcoming remarks; ILA Legislative Consultant Derek Blaida and ILA Executive Director Diane Foote will speak about Springfield and Washington legislative priorities.

Library trustees, directors, and staff from public, school, and academic libraries are encouraged to attend and participate. Our legislative events will look a little different this year as they will all be held virtually through Zoom. We’ll miss the interactive give-and-take that gathering over a meal allows in this webinar format, but there will still be opportunities for Q&A. What won’t change is our commitment to advocating for Illinois libraries!

Advance registration is required, and events will not be recorded (primarily due to the rapid pace of legislative developments, and content may change), so don’t wait! If you have questions regarding registration or you’re not sure which Meet-up covers your library and legislative district, contact the ILA office, at ila@ila.org (subject line “2021 ILA Legislative Meet-ups”).

This year’s Virtual Meet-ups will be free for ILA members, including staff and trustees from ILA institutional member libraries. For non-members who wish to attend, registration will be $15.

To view the schedule of meet-ups, and to register, please go here.

Posted in Illinois Library Association (ILA), Legislation, Library Organizations, Webinars | No Comments »

Legislative News, 01/07/2021

Federal news

Bill passed
H.R.133 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 [became Public Law No. 116-260 on 12/27/2020; View full text here]
FY21 funding for relevant agencies are:

  • $463,787,000 allocated to the National Library of Medicine (up from $456.9 million in FY20)
  • $338,000,000 allocated to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (level with FY20 funding)
  • $257,000,000 allocated to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (an increase from $252 million in FY20)
  • $59,563,000 to the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (an increase from $58.6 million in FY20)

Funding for other institutes of the NIH and health care agencies appear on pp. 392-400. COVID relief details are under Subtitle B–COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 beginning on p. 783.

Bill to watch
H.B.9009 Literature Selection Technical Review Committee Reform Act of 2020 [Introduced 12/17/20]
To amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the transparency of the process of the National Library of Medicine in listing and delisting journals in MEDLINE (or any other current or successor databases or indices), and for other purposes.

Other relevant news
Trump’s new rule restricting EPA’s use of certain science could have short life [Science, 1/6/2021]
“[The new policy] would require EPA scientists and rulemakers in many cases to discount studies in which the underlying data aren’t available for outside scrutiny.” Opponents argue, “‘This rule will enable the exclusion of highly relevant scientific evidence from the policymaking process,'” including epidemiological studies using medical data.

A new mandate highlights costs, benefits of making all scientific articles free to read [Science, 1/1/2021]
“Despite … signs of momentum, some publishing specialists say Plan S and other open-access measures could be financially stressful and ultimately unsustainable for publishers and the research institutions and authors who foot the bill.”

State news

3 New Laws to Know in 2021

Reminder: The Illinois Library Association Advocacy page is a great resource for both Illinois and federal legislative issues.

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(via the Illinois Library Association)

The 2021 ILA Legislative Meet-ups will be held virtually in February. As we continue to finalize the events, please be sure to check the ILA website and our weekly newsletter, the ILA Alert, for updates, including when registration will open for the meet-ups.

The ILA Legislative Meet-ups are a chance for the Illinois library community to hear from and meet with state lawmakers and discuss the issues affecting libraries. Library patrons, trustees, directors, and staff from public, school, and academic libraries are welcome to attend and participate. We hope to see you in February!

Posted in Calls and Requests, Conferences and Meetings (non-HSLI), Illinois Library Association (ILA), Legislation, Library Organizations | No Comments »

Legislative News, 12/11/2020

Federal News

Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Requiring Health Insurers to Disclose Price and Cost-Sharing Information [HHS.gov, 10/29/20]

“Under this final rule, more than 200 million Americans with private-sector insurance (both individual-market and employer-based) will have access to a list of real-time price information, including cost-sharing, enabling them to know how much care will cost them before going in for treatment.”

Bipartisan, bicameral group unveils $908 billion coronavirus proposal [The Hill, 12/1/20]

“The bill’s price tag is about double the $500 billion being pushed for by McConnell and roughly half of the $2.2 trillion viewed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) as the starting point for negotiations.”

House Approves Decriminalizing Marijuana; Bill To Stall In Senate [NPR, 12/4/20]

“Branded as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, the bill removes cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances and facilitates canceling low-level federal convictions and arrests related to marijuana.”


State News

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, and state House Assistant Majority Leader Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, have filed bills in the House and Senate requiring that Managed Care Organizations return unused funds to the state for redistribution (SB4207 and HB5867.)  Koehler and Crespo state that this need for a redistribution of funds is in response to lower use of elective and outpatient services and an increase in COVID-19 related expenses.  Read a Capital Fax posting with an MCO response.


Update on the Graduated Income Tax Failure and the Illinois Budget

Illinois Budget Forecast (Peoria Journal Star Nov 16)

Commentary from Ralph Martire at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (Dec 8th)

Opinion article by Samuel D. Brunson (Nov 10th)



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Legislative News, 10/23/2020

Federal news

S.2661 – National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 [became Public Law 116-172 on 10/17/2020]

To designate 9-8-8 as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline.

S.785 – Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019 [became Public Law 116-171 on 10/17/2020]

This bill makes updates related to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) transition assistance, mental health care, care for women veterans, and telehealth care.

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Legislative News, 10/07/2020

Federal news

Call for Action [MLAConnect, 9/29/2020]

The MLA Governmental Relations Committee encourages members of the health sciences library community to share the statement, MLA/AAHSL Call for Transparency and Impartiality in the Dissemination of Health Information, with your elected officials. Help them understand how scientific evidence is being used to combat the CORONAVIRUS in your local areas and throughout your state. Let them know that interfering with or delaying the dissemination of scientific evidence is unacceptable and dangerous.

Email is the most expedient way to reach your Representatives and Senators.

For contact information go to: IL Senators and IL Representatives.

State news

September was a busy month for our state legislature. Here are just a few items that may be of interest.

House Bill 4454 – Amends the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. (https://legiscan.com/IL/bill/HB4454/2019) – added co-sponsors

House Bill 4692 – Amends the Medical Practice Act of 1987. (https://legiscan.com/IL/bill/HB4692/2019) – added co-sponsors

House Bill 5842 – Appropriates $15,000,000 from the General Revenue Fund to the African-American HIV/AIDS Response Fund. (https://legiscan.com/IL/bill/HB5842/2019) – filed

House Bill 5848 – Creates the Medical Direction By Law Enforcement Act.  (https://legiscan.com/IL/bill/HB5848/2019) – filed

House Joint Resolution – Declares racism a public health crisis.  (https://legiscan.com/IL/bill/HJR0128/2019) – filed

Senate Bill 0110 – Amends the Property Tax Code.  (https://legiscan.com/IL/bill/SB0110/2019) – chief sponsor change

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Legislative News, 09/21/2020

Federal News

Senate Democrats block Republican Covid relief proposal [Politico, 9/10/2020]

“Senate Democrats blocked a scaled-down, $500 billion Republican coronavirus relief measure Thursday, weakening the chances that Congress will approve another package before the November election.” (S.178)

Pushing for Action on LSFA [American Libraries, 9/14/2020]

“[The Library Stabilization Fund Act] (S. 4181/H.R. 7486) would establish a $2 billion emergency fund to address financial losses and bolster library services for libraries of all types, with priority given to the hardest-hit communities.”

State News

Pritzker orders agencies to start looking at cuts [State Journal-Register, 9/15/2020]

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