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Bittersweet Resolution

Today the House took action to resolve the licensure problem in the state of Illinois.  Because it was low on funds, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) recently transferred 18 of the 26 staffers out of their department. This resulted in only one person remaining to actually process new and renewal applications–and wait times for licenses were expected to take 12-18 months.

All fees collected by the IDFPR are intended to be used for the sole purpose of administration and regulation of the associated licenses.  Under the previous administration, a total of around $8 million dollars were swept from the medical licenses fund and put into the State’s all purpose “General Revenue Fund.”   Couple that with a growing structural deficit within the Department, and 2013 started with a $9.6 million dollar hole in the fund for medical licenses.  The ICS breaks this issue into three parts:

1) The fund sweeps.  If the State hadn’t swept our funds in the first place we wouldn’t be in anywhere near the crisis we are now.

2) The accumulated $9.6 million dollar hole.

3) The structural deficit and general need for increased fees.

With regards to issue #1, although it was obviously wrong for our fund to be swept, we were far from the only fund raided under the previous administration.  This is a problem without a good solution.  With the State’s finances in such a mess, any repayment to the doctors fund would still come at the expense of someone else. Consider also that there were many other funds that would be “owed” money as well.

The House proposed HB193, which raised our fees from $300 for three years, to $750.  No matter how the ICS staff crunched those numbers, we came up with surpluses in the tens of millions in a relatively short time.  The Illinois Chiropractic Society opposed this measure and initiated a call to action by our doctors to contact their legislators on this issue.

The Senate proposed SB622, which raised the fees to $700, but then backed them down to $500 after the second cycle.  This would result in paying off the accumulated $9.6 debt and by our calculations, was much closer to a revenue neutral proposal in the long run.  It was our opinion that this was the better of the two proposals.

Tensions were high once SB622 passed the Senate, because upon arrival to the House, it was gutted and replaced with the same flat $750 increase from HB193. The Doctors and the House again found themselves at an impasse. Today however, the House relented and restored SB622 back to its original language.  After doing so, it was passed by the House and is currently on its way to the Governor’s office for immediate signing.

Although we wish the repayment of the swept funds could have been handled differently, the ICS does view the bill that passed as the lesser of the two evils.  There is at least some relief for our new graduates who were uncertain of if they were going to be able to get an Illinois license this year.  The Illinois Chiropractic Society will reiterate to the legislature that this is what comes from sweeping dedicated funds and we will work to see that such sweeps do not happen again.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 8, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Our State is in financial shambles and we get to help dig it out. Lucky us.

    Thanks for the update. Appreciate all your hard work.

  2. March 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

    The only words for our elected officials, crooks!!!!!!! They are suppose to be professionals. Two wrongs never make a right!!!

  3. Sue Bailitz (graduated 8/12)
    March 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I have been waiting for my massage licensure for over 3 mos. now! This system is such a joke! I have a clinic to work in once I get this license and my insurance, but because of this mess, I am still waiting.

    • March 13, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Sue, actually our issue is specific to the DCs, MDs, and DOs. I had no idea the MTs were having such long waits as well. Have you a member of the state massage therapists association? They might have some input for you on the matter.

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