As we head into the New Year and the upcoming inauguration of the 102nd General Assembly on January 2021, we want to take an opportunity to close out 2020. We know that this year has been wrought with challenges, and we have had to adjust to working in our ‘new normal’ – shifting our communication with legislators and advocacy groups through zoom meetings and conference calls. Though the legislative session was stalled in mid-March due to Covid-19, Capitol Edge Consulting, LLC, has remained focused on nursing priorities.
To highlight, here are just a few topics in which our team has been participating:
Early in the fall, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus came together. They developed four pillars to guide the creation of their legislative agenda, senate committees regarding the pillars took place via zoom, legislation is expected to be introduced in the spring session. The four pillars are 1) criminal justice reform, 2) education, 3) economic access, and 4) healthcare/human services.
The healthcare and human services discussions prioritized healthcare access, especially maternal healthcare, safety-net hospitals, focus on preventative care versus reactive care, utilizing and expanding community health workers, collecting statewide data, wrap-around services, and taking into account social determinants of health. Illinois department of healthcare and family services (HFS) and Governor Pritzker just came out with a Healthcare Transformational Proposal. If implemented, the new HFS plan would fund pilot projects and planning grants to address healthcare and social determinants of health.
Telehealth has been a significant topic of discussion since the onset of the pandemic. Throughout this summer and fall, we have worked with the broad Telehealth coalition made up of advocacy groups throughout the state. Data collection is a priority. Language from the coalition is still in the drafting process; the plan is to have it ready to move forward in the spring legislative session.
Midwife licensure: serious negotiation meetings with legislators and stakeholders have taken place throughout this fall in attempts to come to an agreement on language that would be introduced as the Licensed Certified Professional Midwives Act.
Watch for the following bills to be introduced for the spring legislative session: Nurse Staffing Improvement Act, Nurse Licensure Compact, APRN Sign Death Certificates, Attestation/PMP – this bill will give APRNs the authority to sign their own attestation and remove the requirement the PMP/consultive physician language, IANA Physical presence, this bill would remove the requirement for the physical presence of a physician during every step of anesthesia.
The first year of the 102nd General Assembly, per the Illinois Constitution, will begin on January 13th, the second Wednesday of January. Stay tuned for the 2021 spring legislative calendar dates, new leaders, and much controversy over the 2022 budget. Senator McConchie will be the new minority leader in the Senate. There is much discussion on who will be the House Speaker or if Madigan can hold on to another term. There will be new committee chairs and members. The biggest question yet to be answered and to which no one has the answer – when and if the General Assembly will convene in Springfield.
Happy Holidays and we, at Capitol Edge Consulting, look forward to another successful year of working together.