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Illinois Acts to Combat Measles; New Protections for Abused Children Expected Soon
Posted on: 5/22/2019

The scheduled May 31 adjournment of the spring legislative session is fast approaching. Your ISMS legislative team continues to work hard in Springfield advocating for Illinois physicians. Here’s the latest:

  • In response to measles outbreak, Illinois plans aggressive steps to increase vaccination rates

Governor Pritzker’s administration recently revealed plans to reduce measles cases by increasing vaccination rates in our state. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working to increase accessibility to vaccines and plans are underway to send mobile units to areas with low vaccination rates. Efforts are also being made to educate the general public about the importance of receiving the measles vaccination.

Local health departments will receive $3.5 million in grants to support this effort.

ISMS is working with the Department to help increase vaccination rates. An ISMS-developed radio public service announcement promoting vaccination was recently released and has begun airing statewide.

  • New bill would require DCFS to refer alleged child abuse to appropriate agency

ISMS-backed Senate Bill 1239 would close a loophole pertaining to child abuse.

The bill would require the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to refer any report received regarding the alleged abuse or neglect of a child by certain individuals to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for consideration of criminal investigation or other action.

The individuals on the list below are already covered under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA). Senate Bill 1239 would close the gap, requiring DCFS to refer alleged abuse or neglect to law enforcement by those who are not on this list.

  • The child's parent
  • A member of the child's immediate family
  • A person responsible for the child's welfare
  • An individual residing in the same home as the child
  • A paramour of the child's parent

DCFS currently does not investigate reports of alleged child abuse or neglect that fall outside of the department's purview, such as abuse by an uncle or neighbor.

The changes proposed by this bill do not expand the current mandate upon physicians to report alleged child abuse and neglect.

The bill previously cleared the Illinois Senate 50-0 and now goes back to concurrence in the Senate. ISMS fully expects this bill to reach the governor’s desk. 

  • Illinois’ Medical Practice Act must be renewed

ISMS-backed Senate Bill 1221 is also moving through the General Assembly. The bill would extend the Medical Practice Act for two years, which is currently set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019.

This Act is an essential state law that governs the practice of medicine in Illinois. Without it, any person, regardless of qualification, could practice medicine in Illinois without restriction or penalty.

The bill passed the Senate and is being considered in the House. 

If you have any questions, please contact ISMS Vice President of Legislative Affairs Erin O'Brien at 312-580-6488.

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