Legislation Approved by the Senate
Several interesting legislative measures passed out of the Senate this week before the April 24 deadline and have been sent to the House for further review.
New Business Website (SB 659): Requires the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to create and maintain a website to help anyone wishing to start a business in Illinois, or relocate a business in Illinois.
School Security Task Force (SB 1340): Extends the date by which the School Security and Standards Task Force must submit its report to the GA and Governor to January 1, 2016. This allows the task force to begin its work studying the security of Illinois schools and making recommendations to increase safety at school facilities.
School Suspensions (SB 100): Redefines what constitutes expulsion and suspension behavior. Requires written rationale from the school board if a student is expelled or suspended. Prohibits zero-tolerance policies unless otherwise required. Requires schools to limit the number and duration of expulsions and suspensions. Requires school district to provide educational services to students who are suspended from the school bus if they have no alternative transportation to school. Adds limitations on the use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and disciplinary removals to alternative settings and requires provision of behavioral support services until successful return to regular school.
Child Care Employee Vaccination Requirement (SB 986): Mandates any child care facility that cares for children ages 6 and under to require child care employees to provide proof of two doses of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine or provide proof of immunity. Also requires child care employees to also show proof having received the tetanus, diptheria and pertussis vaccine (Tdap).
Synthetic Drug Classification (SB 1129): Schedules entire structural classes of synthetic cannabis and bath salts versus simply scheduling individual and specific molecular structures which can be slightly altered to avoid being illegal. This bill represents a significant step towards addressing the prevailing approach to addressing synthetic drugs by scheduling them as they appear only to have a very similar but technically "legal" drug hit the streets before the law goes into effect.
Immunization Exemptions (SB 1410): Authorizes children to forego immunizations and other health exams if the parents object on religious grounds, however requires the parents to present to the school a signed Certificate of Religious Exemption detailing the grounds for objection, which sets forth specific religious beliefs that are conflicting to the immunizations, exams or tests. The local school authority is responsible for determining if the content constitutes a valid religious exemption in accordance with established DPH rules.
Narcan Distribution Act (SB 1466): Authorizes licensed pharmacists to dispense Narcan without a prescription as long as they follow written procedures developed by DPH, DHS and DFPR. These procedures must be filed at the pharmacist's place of practice and with the Board of Pharmacy before implementation. Requires a pharmacists to complete a training program before dispensing Narcan. The training program must be approved by DHS.
Obama Library (HB 373): Grants the corporate authorities of cities and park districts that are in control of any public park(s), adding parks located on formerly submerged land, to purchase, erect and maintain a park, adding presidential libraries, centers and museums.
Powdered Caffeine Ban (SB 9): Prohibits the sale or offering of powdered pure caffeine to persons under age 18 in Illinois. Sets forth penalties. Requires the Comprehensive Health Education Program to include information regarding the use of powdered pure caffeine.
Hepatitis C Therapy (SB 1465): Authorizes prior approval by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services for interferon-free Hepatitis C therapy as long as the recipient meets specific criteria. Changes the qualifications of a physician who is authorized to prescribe interferon-free therapy. Ensures that a written consultation report is submitted to the Department when a formal request for prior approval is made.