UC Ingalls Hospice ad 728x90px 102621 1
Pritzker signs bills to aid seniors, veterans

Pritzker signs bills to aid seniors, veterans

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD – With the ongoing Illinois State Fair as a backdrop, Gov. JB Pritzker signed several bills into law in recent days during ceremonies that coincided with daily fair themes.

On Monday, which was Senior and Scout Day at the fair, Pritzker signed a package of bills aimed at improving health care for seniors, including those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

“I am excited to sign four pieces of legislation that will make Illinois an even safer state for seniors,” Pritzker said at the signing ceremony. “Together, the steps we’re taking today mark a bipartisan commitment to ensuring that Illinois seniors can live their best lives.”

Senate Bill 677, by Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, and Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, requires all health care workers with a continuing education requirement as part of their license take at least a one-hour training course each renewal period on the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. That new requirement takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.

House Bill 848, by Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, and Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, extends the Illinois Lottery’s special scratch-off game that helps fund Alzheimer’s care, support, education, and awareness to Jan. 1, 2025. It had been scheduled to expire in 2022.

House Bill 3147, by Manley and Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, addresses an issue that arose during the pandemic when patients in long-term care facilities were unable to communicate with family members due to lock-downs of those facilities. It requires those facilities to make “every reasonable effort” to facilitate at least one phone call or video call with a family member each day during a governor-declared disaster. It took effect immediately.

And House Bill 2570, by Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, and Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, allows drivers over age 55 to qualify for automobile insurance rate reductions by taking an online defensive driving course or accident prevention course, rather than an in-person course.

“The past year has been challenging for all of us, but especially for older adults,” said Paula Basta, director of the Illinois Department on Aging. “This package of legislation is about respecting yesterday, supporting today, and planning for tomorrow.”

Monday’s signing ceremony followed a similar ceremony Sunday, which was Veterans and Gold Star Families Day at the fair, during which Pritzker signed several bills dealing with services for military veterans and their families.

House Bill 1290, by Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, and Cullerton, amends the definition of “honorable discharge” for purposes of qualifying for state veterans benefits to include any type of discharge other than honorable if the only reason why they were discharged was due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to the governor’s office, an estimated 13,000 enlisted members of the LGBTQ community were discharged under the military’s now-defunct “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.

House Bill 2776, by Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, and Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Swansea, provides for expedited licensing of service members or their spouses who hold professional licenses in other states and are stationed or deployed in Illinois. It requires the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to process those applications within 30 days of receiving them, rather than within 60 days after submission. It also updates statutes about licensure requirements.

House Bill 3865, by Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, and Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Frankfort, requires private companies that provide military benefit services to disclose that the benefits are available without charge. It also makes it unlawful under the state’s Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to fail to make the required disclosure, fail to comply with fiduciary responsibilities under federal law, or to charge fees in violation of federal law.

Senate Bill 505, by Hastings and Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, provides that members of the Illinois National Guard serving on state active duty, in addition to those serving in a federal duty or in training status, shall have a state flag presented to their next of kin upon their death.

Senate Bill 2089, by Belt and Greenwood, requires the Department of Natural Resources to fly POW/MIA flags, in addition to the United States and Illinois flags, at all state parks, effective Jan. 1, 2022. It also requires the department to have flags at all national parks in the state within five years of the effective date.

House Bill 1915, by Rep. Michael Marron, R-Fithian, and Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, allows the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs to create a “Fold of Honor” decal for state license plates to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps provide educational scholarships for the families of fallen and disabled service members.

And House Bill 2984, by Rep. Randy Frese, R-Paloma, and Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, establishes the first Saturday in May as “Veterans Gardening Day,” to honor and remember veterans.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

Ray Stetz, of La Grange, talks with Township of Lyons Assessor Patrick Hynes (right) about possible property tax exemptions. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Township residents talk taxes with elected officials

By Steve Metsch Marek Gil, like many residents, has questions about his property taxes. Plenty of questions. Gil owns two properties, one in Hickory Hills and one in Justice. Asked if his taxes are too high, Gil replied: “Of course.” Gil, who resides in Justice, was among a group of residents who attended the “Coffee…

Summit village officials and employees stand in front of this year's Christmas Tree. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights village Christmas Tree

By Carol McGowan Nearly 50 people were on hand November 18 as the Village of Summit Christmas tree was lit. It was a true sign of the holidays to come, as the crowd gathered by the tree and sang a Christmas carol while sipping on hot chocolate and coffee. It was one of the first…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announces his intention to run for the 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau joins crowded Republican field in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva In what could be one of the most interesting and heated congressional races in the state in 2022, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announced Monday he is planning on running in the new 6th Congressional District. He will be running as a Republican and, so far, will battle energy consultant Niki Conforti in the…

Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park delays gaming vote again

By Jeff Vorva Someone should send the mayor of Palos Park some Alka-Seltzer. For the third meeting in a row, the Palos Park Village Council did not take any action on bringing gaming machines to town. Mayor John Mahoney and Commissioner Dan Polk are leaning in favor of it to help out the local businesses…

More than 800 runners competed in this year’s Turkey Trot. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Record number of runners come out for 33rd Turkey Trot

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent In 2019, Patrick Foster won the Orland Park Turkey Trot for his first top finish in a competitive race. This year, he was back in the winner’s circle. Foster, an Orland Park native who now lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin, finished the 2 1/2-mile race in 14 minutes, 19.9 seconds…

Madelyn and Zachary Rodrigues are proud to hold an annual toy drive benefiting patients at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. (Supplied photos)

Teen helps others despite brittle bone disease

Family toy drive benefits Comer Children’s Hospital By Kelly White Early on in her life, Madelyn Rodrigues was diagnosed with Osteogeneis Imperfects, a brittle bone disease that has already resulted in more than 70 bone fractures in her 14 years of life. As a freshman at Illinois Lutheran High School in Crete, Madelyn’s inner strength…

Peggy Zabicki

Thankful for the man who gave us Peanuts

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Did you know that Charles M. Schulz, author of the Peanuts cartoon series, was born on Nov. 26, 1922? I’m thankful and grateful for his creativity, which has endured the test of time. His cartoon movie, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, was first…

Kathy Headley

Marquette Bank wants your opinions

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 So after eating the big Thanksgiving meal and maybe planning some weekend shopping, if you are a Marquette Bank customer, you might want to take the 2021 Customer Survey before it’s too late. The deadline is Nov. 30.…

Karen Sala

There are many Jewels, but ours shines brightest

By Karen Sala Your correspondent in Gage Park (773) 471-1429 • [email protected] Turkey Day is over, and now it’s time for leftovers! I enjoy leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner more than the original. Even though I went by my son’s, I still made my own turkey and sides. That way I have leftovers. I was watching TV…

Mary Stanek

The best is what’s left over

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 I hope everyone’s tummies are full of all that Thanksgiving goodness. In the words of actor and comedian Kevin James, “Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants!” Now the best part about Thanksgiving being…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
USALiquidators WebAd
Ray Stetz, of La Grange, talks with Township of Lyons Assessor Patrick Hynes (right) about possible property tax exemptions. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Township residents talk taxes with elected officials

By Steve Metsch Marek Gil, like many residents, has questions about his property taxes. Plenty of questions. Gil owns two properties, one in Hickory Hills and one in Justice. Asked if his taxes are too high, Gil replied: “Of course.” Gil, who resides in Justice, was among a group of residents who attended the “Coffee…

Summit village officials and employees stand in front of this year's Christmas Tree. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights village Christmas Tree

By Carol McGowan Nearly 50 people were on hand November 18 as the Village of Summit Christmas tree was lit. It was a true sign of the holidays to come, as the crowd gathered by the tree and sang a Christmas carol while sipping on hot chocolate and coffee. It was one of the first…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announces his intention to run for the 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau joins crowded Republican field in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva In what could be one of the most interesting and heated congressional races in the state in 2022, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announced Monday he is planning on running in the new 6th Congressional District. He will be running as a Republican and, so far, will battle energy consultant Niki Conforti in the…

Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park delays gaming vote again

By Jeff Vorva Someone should send the mayor of Palos Park some Alka-Seltzer. For the third meeting in a row, the Palos Park Village Council did not take any action on bringing gaming machines to town. Mayor John Mahoney and Commissioner Dan Polk are leaning in favor of it to help out the local businesses…

More than 800 runners competed in this year’s Turkey Trot. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Record number of runners come out for 33rd Turkey Trot

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent In 2019, Patrick Foster won the Orland Park Turkey Trot for his first top finish in a competitive race. This year, he was back in the winner’s circle. Foster, an Orland Park native who now lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin, finished the 2 1/2-mile race in 14 minutes, 19.9 seconds…

Madelyn and Zachary Rodrigues are proud to hold an annual toy drive benefiting patients at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. (Supplied photos)

Teen helps others despite brittle bone disease

Family toy drive benefits Comer Children’s Hospital By Kelly White Early on in her life, Madelyn Rodrigues was diagnosed with Osteogeneis Imperfects, a brittle bone disease that has already resulted in more than 70 bone fractures in her 14 years of life. As a freshman at Illinois Lutheran High School in Crete, Madelyn’s inner strength…

Peggy Zabicki

Thankful for the man who gave us Peanuts

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Did you know that Charles M. Schulz, author of the Peanuts cartoon series, was born on Nov. 26, 1922? I’m thankful and grateful for his creativity, which has endured the test of time. His cartoon movie, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, was first…

Kathy Headley

Marquette Bank wants your opinions

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 So after eating the big Thanksgiving meal and maybe planning some weekend shopping, if you are a Marquette Bank customer, you might want to take the 2021 Customer Survey before it’s too late. The deadline is Nov. 30.…

Karen Sala

There are many Jewels, but ours shines brightest

By Karen Sala Your correspondent in Gage Park (773) 471-1429 • [email protected] Turkey Day is over, and now it’s time for leftovers! I enjoy leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner more than the original. Even though I went by my son’s, I still made my own turkey and sides. That way I have leftovers. I was watching TV…

Mary Stanek

The best is what’s left over

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 I hope everyone’s tummies are full of all that Thanksgiving goodness. In the words of actor and comedian Kevin James, “Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants!” Now the best part about Thanksgiving being…

House Ad Subscription1
CRR NH Father Sons Home Improvement House Ad