Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

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Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

Legislative Update, 06/14/2019

Federal news

A slew of health-related stories are the news this month:

From the article: ” ‘This is bad transparency, because it is highly likely to cause prices to go up for everyone,’ Grow said. If all the parties need to expose what rates they were willing to accept, she said, ‘it creates a floor for negotiations, not a ceiling.’ “

According to one former EPA administrator, the article reports, “…the current EPA seemed to value lowering costs to industry more than safeguarding public health.”

Legislative support of libraries increased this year, with more congresspeople signing Dear Appropriator letters for the LSTA and IAL programs. (American Libraries, June 2019, p. 13).


State News

There has been a lot going on at the state level too:

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Legislative Update, 05/31/2019

Federal news

Bipartisan-proposed health care legislation by Chair of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA) focuses on five issues ranging from medical costs to improving public health and health information technology. From Roll Call: Draft legislation:

In the House, Democrats have removed language that bans human embryo editing in a draft spending bill. Republicans are projected to seek reinstatement of this clause. From Science:

The EPA will terminate funding to 13 research centers that look at environmental disease prevention for children’s health. Funding will end with the close of the current fiscal year. The Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which co-funds these research centers with the EPA, plans to continue funding the centers into 2020. From Science, reporting from E&E News:

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Legislative Update: 05/17/2019


The Congressional Budget Office released its report on a single-payer healthcare system: Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System. The document addresses such questions as:

  • How would the government administer a single-payer health plan?
  • Who would be eligible for the plan, and what benefits would it cover?
  • What role, if any, would private insurance and other public programs have?
  • Which providers would be allowed to participate, and who would own the hospitals and employ the providers?
  • How would the system be financed?


In a recent press release, the House Appropriations Committee has recommended a $99 billion increase for the Department of Health and Human Services for FY2020, including a $2 billion increase in NIH funding. Major research initiatives include: Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and All of Us precision medicine, among others. A first in over 20 years, the bill earmarks money for firearm injury and mortality prevention research.



This week’s Under the Dome podcast is “The HomeStretch: Will the Illinois Legislature Get it All Done?”  You can listen at

Interested in having permanent daylight savings time?  It could happen.  Follow bills HB3821 at and HB3837 at


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Legislative Update, 04/30/2019


With measles outbreaks spreading, vaccination law may become a partisan issue. From Politico.

Abortion legislation is in the news as many states vote on proposed abortion bills. The Guttmacher Institute has a summary of abortion laws enacted in each state.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics recently released a Data Brief (no. 333) outlining how adults in the U.S. are reducing their prescription drug costs. States’, moreso than federal, legislation surrounding prescription drug cost-sharing responsibilities between patients and insurance companies are currently being debated. Health plan rebates, and the proposed elimination thereof, are being discussed at the federal level. From Roll Call.

Want to know what the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are considering when it comes to health care coverage? The Hill provides a summary of proposed models.



The Illinois General Assembly is in session.  You can see who’s meeting and what they are talking about here.

There has been a new resolution introduced in the house called Adolescent Immunization Week (HR0196).  Find out more about HR0196 here.

The Safe Patient Limits bill (HB2604) continues to move through the General Assembly.  Check on its status here.  Or read an article from the State Journal-Register entitled “Nurses, hospitals prepare for showdown over nurse-patient ratio.”


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Legislative Update, 04/16/2019

Federal news

With President Trump’s renewed interest in health care, the Supreme Court might render a decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act prior to the 2020 election. From CNN.

The Violence Against Women Act is up for reauthorization. It’s passed in the House and awaits vote in the Senate. The National Rifle Association opposes renewal due to a new provision on gun restrictions for domestic abusers. From The New York Times.

Special interest groups use model legislation to introduce new bills, many of which become law, according to a two-year investigation by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic, and the Center for Public Integrity. Health-related model bills include The Asbestos Transparency Act (making it more difficult for those exposed to asbestos to take legal action) and Right to Try (allowing those with terminal illness to use experimental medicine). From USA TODAY. Video summary here.

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Legislative Update – 04/02/2019

Federal News

Health care law is again in the spotlight:

Trump Administration And Democrats Return Health Law To Political Center Stage (Kaiser Health News)

In Blow to Trump, Judge Blocks Health Care Law ‘End Run’ (The New York Times)

Medicare for All Would Abolish Private Insurance. ‘There’s No Precedent in American History.’ (The New York Times)


Following the call for a moratorium on human germline editing by scientists writing in Nature last month, a World Health Organization committee encourages a “transparent global registry” of relevant experiments:

WHO panel proposes new global registry for all CRISPR human experiments (Science)


Additional stories:

New Anti-Abortion Measures Could Struggle for Traction in Courts (The Wall Street Journal)

Why Public-Health Experts Want More States’ Vaccine Policies to Look Like West Virginia’s (Pacific Standard Magazine)

U.S. researchers hope Congress will dig NSF out of a $1 billion budget hole (Science)

Universities spooked by Trump order tying free speech to grants (Nature)

NIH may bar peer reviewers accused of sexual harassment (Science)


Illinois News

There continue to be several bills that may generate health reference questions:

HB 2495 – Reproductive Health Act ( Currently “Re-referred to the Rules Committee” as of 3/29/2019

HB 3585 – Hospital Patient Protection ( Currently “Re-referred to the Rules Committee” as of 3/29/2019

SB 1659 – IDPH-HPV Vaccination ( Currently ‘Tabled’ as of 3/13/2019

HB 0902 – Cannabis Legalization ( Currently ‘Re-referred to the Rules Committee’ as of 3/29/2019

HB 2604 – Safe Patient Limits ( Currently Rule and Fiscal ‘Notes’ have been requested on an amendment to the bill as of 4/1/2019


Want to speak up about one of these bills or some other issue?  Let’s return to those Top Ten Quick Advocacy Tips from the ILA (  #4 is “Shrink the message” – something both Senator Chuck Weaver and Representative Ryan Spain agreed on at the ILA Annual Conference back in October.  Keep your arguments simple and focus on the most important ones.


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Legislative Update, 03/19/2019

Federal news:

An international group of scientists call for a moratorium on human germline gene editing in this commentary to Nature, and NIH files their support in this follow-up correspondence, also published in Nature.

While Congress is unlikely to implement his recommendations, President Trump’s proposed budget includes a 13% cut to NIH funding. Read more in this coverage from Science.


State news:

There are a few pieces of legislation in Illinois right now that might generate some health related reference questions.

SB 1659 – IDPH-HPV Vaccination ( Currently ‘Tabled’ as of 3/13/2019

HB 0902 – Cannabis Legalization ( Currently ‘Assigned to Judiciary – Criminal Committee’ as of 3/12/2019

HB 2604 – Safe Patient Limits ( Currently ‘Assigned to Labor & Commerce Committee’ and adding sponsors as of 3/12/2019

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Legislative Action Item: Support the IMLS (again)

ALA is calling for support in the continued funding of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). President Trump’s proposed FY2020 budget again eliminates the IMLS. Read ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo’s response here.

Use this form to ask your representative to sign the Dear Appropriate letter in support of preserving the IMLS and its associated federal funding for libraries. The House deadline is March 28, but letters will close a few days prior to this.

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Legislative Update, 03/01/2019

Federal news

Federal funding legislation for U.S. science agencies has been signed by President Trump. Despite a request for budgetary cuts from the President, Congress generally approved small to moderate budgetary increases. The NIH would see a slight increase (5% or $2 billion, to increase the total budget to $39 billion). Research priorities include: research grant integrity, the 21st Century Cures initiatives, the Research Policy Board, research transparency, data science, and early-career investigators. See more on the FY19 NIH budget on the American Institute of Physics’ budget tracker.

To catch your Congressperson’s ear on scientific legislation, try these tips: focus on their constituents, address both sides of the issue, disclose potential conflicts of interest, talk with their staff, catch them when they’re in session, and talk across the aisle. To see a more detailed outline of these tips, read the full story in Science.

From Kaiser Health News:

Congress Squares Off With Pharma CEOs In Showdown Over High Drug Prices (2/26/19)

and the follow-up Pharma Execs Dig In For A Fight Against Outraged Senators (2/26/19)

HHS Finalizes Rule Seeking To Expel Planned Parenthood From Family Planning Program (2/22/19)

State news

As many of you have already heard, a new minimum wage regulation was signed into law in February.  To find out how this might effect your library’s budget and personnel, you can read a Chicago Tribune article ( or access the law itself (Public Act 101-0001

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Legislative Update, 02/07/2019

Federal news

President Trump vows to end AIDS in his State of the Union address. Here are follow-up stories from Kaiser Health News and Science magazine.

Debates over abortion rights could block movement on other legislation in the newly-elected Congress — from Kaiser Health News.

Americans trying to purchase healthcare online in Fall of 2018 were often led to plans not supporting ACA protections — from Kaiser Health News.

State news

ILA’s Legislative Meet-ups are in full swing, but there is still time to register and attend.  Visit to see the schedule and register online.

A meet-up would be a great way to follow the ILA’s Advocacy Tip #3:  Contact public officials personally if possible.  Having the opportunity to talk to our legislators face to face is key to building a working relationship.  One of the points that Senator Weaver and Representative Spain made at ILA’s Conference in October was that we need to be aware of their calendars.  Our state legislators have very busy schedules and using the already planned meet-ups allows us to take advantage of time they have already committed to us as librarians and citizens. See the full list of tips at

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