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Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

Legislative News, 07/30/2021

Federal News

Biden bid for federal workers to get COVID-19 shots prompts debate [Roll Call, 7/28/21] See also from Roll Call: As COVID-19 cases rise, CDC urges masks indoors, including schools: Republicans criticize new guidelines, saying agency can no longer be trusted  [7/27/21]

ALA applauds FY 2022 federal funding for libraries in House Appropriations bill, looks to Senate for support [ALA news, 7/15/21]

The National Library of Medicine saw an increase of $23 million. A summary of the bill is available from the House Committee on Appropriations.

Senate Democrats’ Plan Boosts Spending on Medicare, ACA Subsidies, Long-Term Care [Kaiser Health News, 7/15/21]

Virtual care becomes a common cause in a divided Congress [Politico, 6/30/21]


Illinois News

Governor Pritzker signed several bills on July 23rd. Among these are many related to mental and physical health care. To see a quick summary of the highlights, check out “Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed 56 measures Friday, upping total from this session to 160” from the State Journal-Register.

To see a full list of recently passed legislation in Illinois, use this link to Legiscan.

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Legislative News, 06/28/2021

Federal News

US restores transgender health protections denied by Trump [AP News, 5/10/21]

“…affirms that federal laws forbidding sex discrimination in health care also protect gay and transgender people.”

Genome researchers question security provisions in new U.S. Senate bill [Science, 6/14/21]

“…would require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop new security protocols aimed at preventing the misuse of U.S.-funded genomic data by China and other nations.”

Supreme Court Declines to Overturn ACA — Again [Kaiser Health News, 6/17/21]

“By a vote of 7-2…the justices did not even reach the merits of the case, ruling instead that the suing states and the individual plaintiffs, two self-employed Texans, lacked ‘standing’ to bring the case to court.”

State News

House Bill 3202 – HEALTH ED-E-CIGARETTES has been sent to the Governor to sign.  This bill amends “the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act. Adds e-cigarettes and other vapor devices as one of the educational areas the Comprehensive Health Education Program must include.” – Legiscan

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Legislative News, 06/09/2021

Federal news

MLA signs onto CHLA ABSC statement on the importance of hospital libraries [MLAConnect, 6/1/2021]

This statement outlines the role hospital libraries play in the provision of evidence-based health care, and our concern and disappointment regarding the continued decommissioning, closure, underfunding, and understaffing of hospital libraries. The statement will be sent to politicians, hospital leaders, professional associations and others, as well as shared to the CHLA/ABSC [The Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada] social media and website.

Democrats in both chambers launch public option effort [Roll Call, 5/26/2021]

Bills passed

S.937 COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act [became Public Law No. 117-3 on 5/20/2021]

To facilitate the expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes, and for other purposes. DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services must issue guidance aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.

H.R.941 TRANSPLANT Act of 2021 [became Public Law No. 117-15 on 5/26/2021]

To reauthorize the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, and for other purposes.


State News

House Bill 158 was signed into law in April as Public Act 102-0004 – HEALTH CARE & HUMAN SERVICES.  Ruby Mendenhall answers questions and provides highlights from the act in this brief interview.  Mendenhall is a University of Illinois professor of African American studies and sociology and the assistant dean for diversity and democratization of health innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

The Illinois Library Association has gathered together the information you need regarding American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for Illinois libraries.

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Legislative News, 05/20/2021

Federal news

Top 3 health care takeaways from Biden’s address [Roll Call, 4/29/21]
(1) To grant Medicare negotiation power to lower prescription drug costs and to expand Medicare, (2) to establish a permanent provision of lowering Affordable Care Act health care premiums, and (3) to found a new health care advanced research projects agency housed within NIH, to develop treatments for such diseases as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

Bill to watch
HB3149 To expand access to health care services for immigrants by removing legal and policy barriers to health insurance coverage, and for other purposes. Related article in Roll Call: Democrats unveil bill to expand immigrant health care access [5/12/21]

State news

This FAQ from Lexology, “Regarding Employer COVID-19 Vaccination and Return-to-Work Issues“, covers many questions that employers may have and specifically mentions proposed legislation in Illinois.

Once again, the Illinois Library Association has provided a noteworthy Legislative Update in the ILA Alert with lots of information on several items of interest.

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(via Charlotte Beyer, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science)

If you live in Illinois and are interested in participating in Capitol Hill Day this year for Illinois, I am the state coordinator this year. I hope to have the meetings between Monday, May 10, and Tuesday, May 18. They will be probably around 15-30 minutes (30 minutes at the very longest). If you are interested in participating, please let me know. We encourage our representatives to support things like NNLM, NIH, pandemic relief, and policies around data.

If you do not want to participate but you have a story on how funding through NNLM or NIH has impacted your institution or community, please let me know, as I can include the story in my meeting with the senators.

If you have any questions, please let me know, at charlotte.beyer@rosalindfranklin.edu. More information on the MLA Capitol Hill Meeting is available here.

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

Legislative News, 04/20/2021

Federal news

The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s [Health] Policies Will Biden Reverse? [Kaiser Health News, 4/14/2021]

  • Latest action: On April 14, HHS proposed new regulations that would return the Title X family planning program to the policies in effect pre-Trump.

Biden’s first budget request goes big on science [Science, 4/9/2021]

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would grow by $9 billion, to $51 billion. That total includes $6.5 billion for a new entity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health (ARPA-H), that would initially focus on research into cancer and other diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
  • A $10 million NIH office funding research on climate change and human health would mushroom to $110 million. (A similar office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] would also get a $100 million boost, to $110 million.) And Biden says he would double current spending on gun violence research at NIH and CDC, but provides no specific numbers.
  • CDC would get a $1.6 billion increase to $8.7 billion, which the White House claims is “the largest budget authority increase [for the agency] in nearly two decades.”

A yearslong push to ban hair discrimination is gaining momentum [PBS NewsHour, 3/30/21]

House reshapes approach to mental health and addiction [Roll Call, 3/16/2021]

Take Action: Ask your reps to support Build America’s Libraries Act [ALA]


State news

Looking for a podcast to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues in Illinois?  Try State Week from NPR Illinois.

HB 158 has been sent to the Governor.  HB158 has a lot in it so here is a summary from Legiscan: “Creates the Community Health Worker Certification and Reimbursement Act. Amends various Acts regarding medical staff credentials; electronic posters and signs; N95 masks; Legionella bacteria testing; continuing education on implicit bias awareness; overdoses; the Prescription Monitoring Program; a dementia training program; taxation of blood sugar testing materials; funding of safety-net hospitals; a Child Care Assistance Program Eligibility Calculator; managed care organizations; Federally Qualified Health Centers; care coordination; billing; the Medicaid Business Opportunity Commission; reimbursement rates; doula services; personal care of family members; the State Health Assessment; the State Health Improvement Plan; child care training; and a Medicaid Managed Care Oversight Commission. Creates the Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of Illinois Act. Creates the Underlying Causes of Crime and Violence Study Act. Creates the Special Commission on Gynecologic Cancer Act. Creates the Racial Impact Note Act to require the estimate of the impact on racial and ethnic minorities of certain bills. Creates the Health and Human Services Task Force and Study Act to review health and human service departments and programs. Creates the Anti-Racism Commission Act concerning elimination of systemic racism. Creates the Sickle Cell Prevention, Care, and Treatment Program Act regarding programs and other matters. Amends the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act in relation to the Health Facilities and Services Review Board, facility closure, and other matters. Creates the Medicaid Technical Assistance Act. Repeals, adds, and changes other provisions. Effective immediately.”

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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 »