Today, Cook County Board President applauded legislative efforts in Springfield benefitting residents of Cook County. In total, seven significant bills championed by Cook County, focusing on topics ranging from health equity to community development, passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and now await Governor JB Pritzker’s signature into law.
“The bills recently passed throughout the spring legislative session in Springfield will have a positive impact that will be felt throughout the County for years to come,” said President Preckwinkle. “In terms of criminal justice reform, health equity, marriage equality, community development, and so many other policy arenas, we are bringing home a legislative package that speaks to the values we hold most dear. I’m grateful to our state leaders for joining us in the hard work and collaboration needed to get the job done.”
The following bills now await signature:
SB1840 - Health Equity & Access to Care Act: Thanks to co-sponsors Senator Mattie Hunter and Representative Camille Lilly, SB1840 improves the process required by hospitals to screen and connect uninsured patients who are engaged in community-based primary care to Medicaid and hospital financial assistance programs and makes other patient-centered changes. SB1840 also:
- Improves access to data through increased transparency and public accessibility to hospital community benefits reports.
- Requires certain patient demographics and other data be included in community benefits reports to measure progress toward equity and identify areas for improvement.
- Revises the hospital charity care/financial assistance process to remove barriers for uninsured patients to access care.
SB0139 - Marriage Certification Modernization Act: Thanks to co-sponsors Sen. Sara Feigenholtz and Representative Ann Williams, SB0139 amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and provides that:
- A person, still currently married, may request a certificate of the person's current marriage free of any gender identifying language - the request shall not permanently change the gender identifying language in the clerk's records, and the affidavit and issuance shall be kept in the permanent records of the clerk.
- If a county provides a certified record, photocopy, or reproduction of an original record in lieu of a summary data sheet, the county clerk shall work with the Department of Public Health to develop a new certificate that can be issued in lieu of a reproduction of the prior record.
- When a clerk issues a nongendered marriage certificate, the certificate shall not include any language indicating it has been amended nor that it is not a true and accurate record.
HB2790 – Public Defender – Immigration Act: Thanks to co-sponsors Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and Senator Omar Aquino, HB2790 amends the Counties Code and provides that, in counties with a population over 3,000,000, the Public Defender may:
- Act as attorney to noncitizens in immigration cases.
SB1721 - Homeowner Relief & Community Recovery Act: Thanks to co-sponsors Senator Steve Stadelman and Representative Lakesia Collins, SB1721 amends the Property Tax Code by helping local governments reduce homeowner blight while providing relief to residents. In provisions about delinquent property, SB1721:
- Provides that a county may take steps necessary to acquire title to the property and may manage and operate the property.
- Provides costs to be distributed to taxing districts, including operation and maintenance costs and all costs associated with county staff and overhead used to perform the duties of the trustees.
- Reduces the maximum penalty bids for the annual tax sale from 18% to 12%.
- In provisions about redemption of property, limits the assessments of penalties from every 6 months to 12 months.
- Amends the Counties Code and Illinois Municipal Code to modify the requirements to have a circuit court declare property abandoned.
HB3793 – Juvenile Court – DCFS – Visitation Ban Act: Thanks to co-sponsors Representative Delia Ramirez and Senator Julie Morrison, HB3793 clarifies that when DCFS immediately restricts or terminates parent-child contact or sibling contacts,
- That it be based on credible evidence and that the continuation of family contact would result in an immediate threat to the child’s health, safety, and welfare and
- Such restrictions should only occur on an individual case-by-case basis.
HB3592 - Visa Waivers for Forensic Pathologists: Thanks to co-sponsors Representative Lamont J. Robinson, Jr. and Senator Bill Cunningham, HB3592 will provide:
- The inclusion of medical examiner’s offices in the definition of “medical facility” in the Administrative Code and thereby make forensic pathologists eligible for J1 visa waivers and broaden the pool of eligible doctors available for employment.
HB3160 - the Forest Preserve District and Conservation District Design-Build Authorization Act: Thanks to co-sponsors Representative Frances Ann Hurley and Senator Cristina Castro, HB3160 provides that:
- A forest preserve district or conservation district may enter into design-build contracts.
- Includes scope and performance criteria for design-build contracts, a two-phase procedure for selection of contracts, requirements for submission of proposals, procedures for awarding contracts, and requirements of reports and evaluation of contracts.
- If the total overall cost of a project is estimated to be less than $12,000,000, the forest preserve or conservation district may combine the two-phase procedure for selection into one phase.
- Amends the Conservation District Act, Downstate Forest Preserve District Act, and Cook County Forest Preserve District Act by increasing the minimum contract amount to $30,000 (currently $25,000) before competitive bidding is required.
“I want to extend a special thank you to the members of the Illinois General Assembly that represent residents of Cook County,” said President Preckwinkle. “Their efforts in championing these seven bills will improve the experience of those who work, live and visit the county we call home.”