Steve New Newsletter

Governor signs bill to cap insulin copayments

This morning, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman that will cap out-of-pocket expenses for prescription insulin at $100 per month. The father of a diabetic son, Stadelman worked to help make Illinois only the second state in the nation to limit insulin copayments for consumers who face life-threatening cost increases.

“I have seen the struggles people with diabetes face every day,” Stadelman said, noting that the cap will apply regardless of how much insulin a patient needs. “Diabetes is a lifelong affliction for those who have it. It shouldn’t also be the cause of financial stress for families."

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. An individual with Type 1 diabetes, a lifelong condition that can begin at birth, will spend an average of $5,705 per year on insulin alone.

“This legislation will provide medical and financial relief to thousands in the Rockford area and across Illinois,” Stadelman said. “I’d like to thank the governor for his commitment to lowering insulin costs throughout the state.”

Senate Bill 667 doesn’t go into effect until January 2021 to give insurance plans a sufficient amount of time to adjust their rates. The cap will apply only to state-regulated commercial insurance plans.

Ethics commission eyes full disclosure of all lobbying in Illinois

Across Illinois on a daily basis, people are likely being paid to lobby governments without ever having to register as lobbyists or disclose any information. While Illinois state government, the city of Chicago and Cook County require lobbyist registration and disclosure, hundreds of units of local government throughout Illinois no such lobbying requirements.

That's the picture that emerged during a hearing before the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform. The commission faces a March 31 deadline for making recommendations for reform to the General Assembly, which formed the commission in response to recent scandals and ongoing federal investigations.

Witnesses detailed lobbyist laws and procedures that are in place in a few jurisdiction, but it was acknowledged that there are no such requirements in the vast majority of cities, counties, school boards, park districts and other government entities. Commissioners were told of a DuPage County requirement that is largely unenforced and other counties that abandoned the issue after court challenges.

An initial hearing focused on rules and protocol for the commision. The second focused on the Lobbyist Registration Act, and the next hearing will concern the Governmental Ethics Act. Those appearing before the commission have included representatives from the Illinois Municipal League, Illinois State Association of County Chairs and the Better Government Association.

Rockford Park District to receive state grant

State Senator Steve Stadelman announced this week the Rockford Park District will receive $275,000 to renovate Keye-Mallquist Park through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land Acquisitions and Development program. Illinois has invested $419 million in 1,765 local park projects since establishing OSLAD in 1987.

“Our local parks provide a great way for all of us to stay active,” Stadelman said. “It’s great to see our park district working hard to pursue available funds."