Senator Mulroe discusses legislation on the floorThe governor recently vetoed  Senate Bill 661, which is a cost-saving measure intended to save lives by requiring doctors to offer  adults born between 1945 and 1965 a one-time screening test  for Hepatitis C. As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Health, I am perplexed by the reasons given for governor's veto and his unwillingness to reach a compromise or an alternative, other than an outright veto.
 
One of the primary concerns the governor had was that this measure would change a doctor’s standard of care with respect to these patients, but I disagree. The Medical Society, the Centers for Disease Control and every doctor who testified before the Senate Public Health Committee all agreed that doctors should be offering the one-time screening test; however, some doctors are not following their own guidelines. This bill would codify the medical community’s current guidelines and recommendations.
 
I also disagree with the governor’s assertion that this bill will cost the state more money. The offer to screen a patient does not cost a dime. Additionally, if a patient accepted a doctor’s offer to be screened, the current cost of screening is covered by all forms of insurance, including Medicaid. The cost of the screening test is around $10-$20 per test.
 
Prevention and awareness are the reason for this bill. Hepatitis C is a silent killer and offering a screening test is the first step to eradicating it. Even people diagnosed with hep C who can’t get treated with current medication can slow down the effects of the virus by changing their lifestyle. They can also take steps to ensure they don’t spread the virus.
 
While the cost of treating the hep C virus is not the subject of this bill, it is an important discussion that needs to take place. If treated with current medication that can eradicate the virus, the cost is about 10 percent compared to not treating the virus. Illinois’ strict criteria for treating patients on Medicaid means those Medicaid patients within Illinois that are diagnosed with hep C have virtually no access to a cure that is available to the rest of the population covered by private insurers. This is a moral dilemma and this is a policy decision that is in need of a checkup. 

Category: News Releases

Senator Mulroe speaks to first responder safety on the floor.SPRINGFIELD – Two new proposals have passed the General Assembly that would aid police and firefighters. Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) sponsored both measures in the Senate.

The first, a senate bill, would require that AED machines be accessible in police stations with more than 100 staff. The second, a house bill, would charge individuals who assault first responders acting in the line of their duties with a Class 4 felony rather than a misdemeanor.

“The last thing the men and women we task with protecting us need is to worry any more about their safety than they need to,” Mulroe said. “This pair of plans is common sense and goes a long way to protecting the people in harm’s way.”

Police officers often are placed in intense situations within seconds causing extreme stress on their bodies and health, and Officers have died as a result. The proposal will affect only those facilities with 100 or more employees. Under the original AED Act, county sheriffs and municipal police departments are exempt from civil liability.

Under the previous Criminal Code of 2012, an individual who assaulted a first responder in the line of duty was charged with a Class A misdemeanor provided a weapon was not used. The language in the new proposal states those charges would automatically become a Class 4 felony.  The sentence for a Class 4 felony can carry anywhere from one to three years in prison.

“Every day these men and women work hard to keep our streets safe,” Mulroe said. “With these proposals we are doing more to ensure they stay safe.”

Both proposals move to the governor’s desk.

Category: News Releases

Senator Mulroe discusses the O'Hare noise issue during committee.The City of Chicago has furnished the FAA with a letter requesting the removal of the approach lighting system on the diagonal runway  14L-32R. Currently the legislation I sponsored and passed in the Senate preventing the destruction, altering or decommissioning of the diagonal runways is deep into the legislative process in the House. Unfortunately the Chicago Department of Aviation has taken steps which I believe are contrary to the measures that have passes the Senate.

I have sent a  letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office in the hopes that our state’s attorney will be able to assist in halting any decommissioning work until after the final action on SB636 and SB637 has been taken. I will keep you informed on any response I receive.

Click here to read the letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Category: News Releases

Senator Mulroe addresses members of the press during the press conference.CHICAGO  – Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) will hold a press conference today to discuss legislation that has passed the Senate and seeks to address the growing noise from O’Hare International Airport since 2013. Collaborating with Mulroe is Congressman Mike Quigley, Representative John D’Amico as well as many other state lawmakers, Chicago aldermen, suburban mayors, Cook County commissioners and the FAiR Coalition.

“The noise levels are unbearable for people and we are working hard to address those concerns,” Mulroe said. “This legislation was drafted with the intention of seeking a compromise with the airport and the residents in communities bordering the airport. I want there to be a little less talk and a little more action.”

Passed on April 16 from the Senate by a staggering majority, Senate Bills 636 and 637 act as companion pieces to address the noise concerns. SB636 would raise the number of active runways O’Hare could have from eight to 10, while SB637 stipulates that the existing runways must all remain active and at full capacity.

Prior to 2013, reliance on the existing runways diverted air traffic not only east-west but also on a diagonal pattern northeast-northwest. Since that time, the parallel east-west runways have moved to 97 percent capacity, while the diagonal runway’s traffic has dwindled to 3 percent.

“We need a fairer distribution of arrivals and departures among O’Hare runways to ease the flood of aircraft noise inundating our neighborhoods,” Rep. Quigley said. “I appreciate Senator Mulroe’s leadership and partnership as we continue to pursue every avenue that reduces noise without compromising safety.”   

Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), while not present at the press conference, released the following written statement: “While I agree that a state-of-the-art and efficient O’Hare Airport is a key component to our area’s economy and transportation system, I firmly support expansion of noise and air pollution monitoring and greater public involvement in decision-making.”

In addition to the legislators, a family from Schiller Park, which borders O’Hare on the village’s northwest side, will testify to their experience with the noise levels prior to 2013 and since the opening of the most recent parallel runway.

Category: News Releases

Working Families

eNewsletter

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.
 

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 10th District
127 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1035
(217) 782-2331 FAX
 
District Office:
6232 N. Northwest Highway
Chicago, IL 60631
(773) 763-3810
(773) 763-3881 FAX