Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) moved two health-related bills through the Executive Committee during the week.
The Executive Committee approved Radogno’s Senate Bill 986, which would require employees at any childcare facility that cares for children ages six or younger to receive measles and rubella vaccinations. Employees would be exempt from the requirement if they can provide proof that they had the illness and are now immune. The legislation was inspired by recent outbreaks of serious diseases in Illinois, which affected some children too young to be vaccinated.
Another measure, Senate Bill 987, would create the Down Syndrome Awareness Act, requiring the Illinois Department of Public Health to make available up-to-date, evidence-based written information about Down Syndrome to the parents of a child diagnosed with Down Syndrome. According to Senator Radogno, at this time many parents don’t have medically-reliable information about the condition or the numerous recent advancements made in caring for children with Down Syndrome.
The Senate Executive committee also approved legislation that would make Illinois a “Safe Harbor” state for immigrants. Senate Bill 22 would prohibit Illinois law enforcement agencies from complying with federal immigration detainers, mandate law enforcement agencies to certify anyone claiming to be a crime victim, and create penalties for violations of the act. Opponents noted that the legislation would block the detainers even if the federal government considered the subject to be a threat to national security, while supporters hail the measure as a step toward immigration reform. However, both sides appear to believe that the legislation will receive changes before being considering for a vote by the full Senate.