Home > Uncategorized > Starting Again & Another Bill Recap

Starting Again & Another Bill Recap

I went to Rep. Lou Lang’s event last night here in Springfield and was able to meet up with not only the Representative, but a number of other health care lobbyists as well.  Rep. Lang is not only on the House Insurance Committee but he is a prominent member of House Leadership so there were quite a few people there.  Also, for those of you keeping score at home, he supported us the entire way with our Recoupment bill.

Today I am headed over to the Capitol to start working on the House Health Care Licenses Committee to try and get our Oxygen  bill heard quickly and sent to the House floor for a full vote.  I will be meeting with the various members of that committee and touching base with House staff to alleviate any concerns they might have.  In the meantime I thought I would touch on a few other major bills that have come up this year:

Smoking in casinos  (HB 1965)
Would exempt casinos from the statewide ban on smoking in public places, if the casino is near a state that allows smoking in casinos, such as Missouri.  Supporters say Illinois is losing gamblers to neighboring states that allow smoking in casinos. And one estimate is that the state has lost $800 million in tax revenue in the first three years of the ban. Opponents say the economy has hurt gambling, that just as much money is being saved in health care costs, and that casino employees have a right to work in a smoke-free environment.  Approved in House 62-52, now in Senate.

Trans fat ban (HB 1600)
The modified fat — typically found in oils used for frying but also in salad dressings, margarine and other foods — would be banned from items served at restaurants, bakeries, movie theaters and other eateries, as well as school vending machines.  Proponents say trans fats cause heart attacks, high cholesterol and other health problems. Opponents, including many restaurant owners, argue the government has better things to worry about.  If passed, Illinois would join California as the only states to have a ban on trans fats.  Approved 73-43 in House, now in Senate.

FOID card privacy (HB 3500)
Prohibits Illinois State Police from disclosing the names of Firearm Owners Identification card holders, unless the cardholder is under criminal investigation.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan, in response to a request from the Associated Press, had ruled that the names of FOID card holders were public information. ISP, however, refused to release the names, due to privacy and safety concerns. Supporters of the bill say if names are public, thieves could use the list to target gun owners.  Approved 98-12 in the House, now in Senate.

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