Gun Ban Update, Simplifying Professional Licensing, Senior Hall of Fame and More

Gun ban opponents appeal to SCOTUS

Opponents of the Democrats’ firearms ban have formally appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to have their voices heard against the Illinois law. The appeal papers were filed on Monday, March 11.

Defenders of the ban assert that it is a reasonable limit on the enjoyment of rights otherwise guaranteed under the Second Amendment.  In response, critics and opponents point to the language of the Second Amendment and to the wording of recent federal court decisions (including Supreme Court decisions) on firearms rights. In separate but related arguments, they also point to what critics see as fatal flaws in the text of the Illinois law, including inconsistencies and gray areas in the way the law tries to define “assault weapons” and other banned items.  

The Supreme Court has not yet formally agreed to hear the case against the Protect Illinois Communities Act on its normal docket but could do so at any time.

Law limiting constitutional challenges to Cook and Sangamon County ruled unconstitutional

Meanwhile, a controversial law signed by Governor JB Pritzker that limits the ability of Illinoisans to file lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of laws to only Cook and Sangamon Counties was ruled unconstitutional by a Madison County judge this week. Read more below.

“Redetermination” process seeks to preserve life of $1 billion healthcare program for undocumented immigrants

The Pritzker administration is operating a set of programs to grant Medicaid-equivalent health care coverage to selected groups of noncitizen residents of Illinois at a cost almost $1 billion per year, which is far above estimates – and far greater than the money appropriated by the General Assembly to Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) to operate the programs.

In order to try to save these healthcare programs from budgetary disaster, DHFS has instituted a “redetermination” process. This means that enrollees will be asked to verify their eligibility status, in the same way that Medicaid enrollees are verified under current law. In the case of the HBIA/HBIS programs, enrollees are expected to be asked, “Are you a legal permanent resident of the United States?” DHFS announced that anyone who responds that, yes, they are a legal permanent resident of the United States, will be removed from these programs because of ineligibility. 

House Republicans introduce legislation to Address Failures at IDFPR

For years, Illinois workers who must be licensed by the State of Illinois have had to wait so long for their license or renewal from the Department of Professional Regulation that it has actually becomes a barrier to work. House Republicans held a  press conference this week to discuss the ongoing issues at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

One of the highlights of the License Convenience Act (House Bill 4855), would require the department to accept electronic payments for licenses and fees. Other components reduce fees for many licensed professions and expedite licensure for health care professionals.

Around the Capitol

I was so pleased this week to meet and visit with a group of Nurse Anesthetist students at the Capitol. It was great to speak with them about healthcare and some of the challenges we’re facing, and also to see the enthusiasm and optimism they will bring to our healthcare systems!

Senior Illinoisan Hall of Fame – Nominations now open!

Nominations are open for the @Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior Illinoisan Hall of Fame which honors the accomplishments of Illinois residents aged 65 and older.