Legislative Update

Submitted by Billie Paige & Mark Kolaz of Shea, Paige & Rogal, Inc.

The 2019 Legislative Session began in early January with the Inaugurations of the Constitutional Officers and Members of the General Assembly. As you will recall, the November 6th General Election results saw a clean sweep for the Democrats in Illinois.

Governor Rauner was defeated for re-election by Democrat JB Pritzker. In addition, Democrats won all the other Constitutional offices. Senator Kwame Raoul defeated Erica Harold for Attorney General, incumbent Jesse White defeated Jason Helland for Secretary of State, incumbent Susanna Mendoza defeated Darlene Senger for the office of Comptroller, and incumbent Michael Frericks defeated Jim Dodge for Treasurer.

In the General Assembly, the results were even more lopsided for the Democrats.

In the House, Democrats picked up a net 7 seats to go from 67 Democrat Members to 74. The House Republicans went from having 51 Members to 44. The 74-44 Democrat House supermajority represents the most House Democrats since Speaker Madigan took office in 1982 and is the highest percentage of Democrats in the House chamber since 1964.

In the Senate, Democrats picked up 3 additional seats, going from 37 Democrat members to 40. The Senate Republicans wentdown from 22 Republican members to 19. The 40-19 Democrat supermajority in the Senate matches the number Senate Democrats had in 2012. The 40 Democrats members is a record number of Democrats going back to 1836. Additionally, the number of women in the Illinois Senate this year will total 20 – the most in Illinois’ 200-year history.

Spring, 2019 Legislative Session

As of April 19, the Spring, 2019 Legislative Session is well under way, with several legislative deadlines already having passed and the adjournment date of May 31 within sight. Since the beginning of the Spring Session, Members of the General Assembly have filed a total of 6086 Bills, with the House filing 3833 and the Senate filing 2253. After reviewing all 6086 Bills, we are tracking 41 Bills which could impact IPMA Members.

Specific to IPMA Members, we are tracking several Bills initiated by Nurse Associations to expand their ability for independent practice.

For example, we are tracking House Bill 2813 and Senate Bill 1683, which are identical Bills that would allow, in the case of anesthesia services provided by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA); that an anesthesiologist, a physician, a dentist, or a podiatric physician must participate through discussion of and agreement with the anesthesia plan and remain available, rather than remain physically present and available on the premises during the delivery of anesthesia services.  

Additionally, we are tracking House Bill 3355 and Senate Bill 1725, which are identical Bills that Amends the Medical Practice Act of 1987 by providing that a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches may collaborate with a physician assistant rather than may delegate care and treatment responsibilities to a physician assistant. Provides that a collaborative agreement shall be for services in the same area of practice or specialty as the collaborating physician in his or her medical practice. Deletes language providing that a physician may enter into collaborative agreements with no more than 7 full-time physician assistants. Further, it Amends the Physician Assistant Practice Act of 1987. Providing that a physician assistant in a health professional shortage area with a score greater than or equal to 12 shall own his or her own medical practice. Provides that medical and surgical services provided by a physician assistant include: obtaining and performing comprehensive health histories and physical examinations, evaluating, diagnosing, and providing medical treatment, ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic studies and therapeutic procedures, educating patients on health promotion and disease prevention, providing consultation upon request, and writing medical orders. Includes other provisions regarding scope of practice. Deletes language requiring: a written collaborative agreement for all physician assistants to practice in the State; and a written collaborative agreement to describe the working relationship of the physician assistant with the collaborating physician and the categories of care, treatment, or procedures to be provided by the physician assistant. Creates the Physician Assistant Medical Licensing Board (rather than the physician assistant advisory committee).

None of these 4 Bills have had a Hearing and, due to General Assembly deadlines, have been re-assigned to the Rules Committees. While for all practical purposes this means these Bills are dead for this Session, we will continue to monitor in case the issue of expanded nurse practice authority is Amended on to another Bill. It should be noted that the Illinois Medical Society and the Illinois Dental Society are opposed to these Bills.

In addition to the 6086 pieces of Legislation that the General Assembly is currently debating, the following major issues are being negotiated and finalized:

  • The State’s Fiscal Year budget
  • A Constitutional Amendment to change the State’s Income Tax from a Flat tax to a Graduated tax (Gov. Pritzker’s initiative)
  • A Capital/Infrastructure Program
  • Legalization of Adult Recreational Cannabis
  • Legalization of Sports Betting

We will continue to monitor these Bills and Issues and keep the IPMA updated as to any important developments.

 

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