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Category: News

Lightford030619 2SPRINGFIELD – More financial assistance could soon be available for college students through a proposal sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

“Students should be able to obtain a degree without drowning in student loan debt after college,” Lightford said. “This legislation combats the college debt crisis by providing financial support to Illinois students.”

Senate Bill 1524 authorizes the State Treasurer to allocate up to 5 percent of the State Investment Portfolio to the Illinois Student Investment Account to assist qualified residents in paying for college through various investment programs. The Senate Financial Institutions Committee approved the measure on Wednesday.

Investment programs may include income-sharing agreements, linked deposits and origination, and refinancing of student loans.

The measure also establishes a Borrower Assistance Fund to provide monetary assistance to students facing financial hardship.

The legislation will now head to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News

Lightford030619SPRINGFIELD – Children taken into protective custody under suspicion of abuse could soon take part in a forensic interview without parental consent as a result of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

Senate Bill 1418, approved by the Senate Criminal Law Committee on Tuesday, addresses issues in cases where an abused minor’s parents do not wish for the child to participate in a criminal investigation that may implicate a family member or close friend.

“Children should not be silence to protect their abuser,” Lightford said. “We are taking a step toward empowering abused children and making sure they get the protection and treatment they need.”

A forensic interview is an interview between a trained forensic interviewer and a child in which the interviewer obtains information in an unbiased and fact-finding manner, with the goal of supporting accurate and fair decision-making by caseworkers in the criminal justice and child protection systems.

The measure will now move to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News

Lightford030519SPRINGFIELD – Fed up with delayed and denied state payments that are compromising quality health care for the most vulnerable, state legislators joined safety-net hospitals today to call for landmark reform of managed care companies under Illinois’ Medicaid program.

Senate Bill 1807 and House Bill 2814, also known as the Safety Net Hospital MCO Reform Act, provide a path to rein in repeated abuses by managed care organizations (MCOs) in their oversight of hundreds of millions of dollars of care each year provided by hospitals who treat Medicaid low-income patients. Advocates and lawmakers called for immediate reform Tuesday at a Statehouse news conference.

The bills, backed by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford and Rep. Camille Lilly, would require MCOs to:

  • Treat hospitals as expedited providers who regularly need quicker payments, similar to the state’s fee-for-service system
  • Discharge patients more quickly upon a doctor’s release, or pay for keeping the patient hospitalized
  • Update health care provider rosters weekly and to reimburse providers who have contracts with MCO for medically necessary services regardless if the provider is on the updated MCO roster
  • Provide reasonable time to fix errors on non-electronic health care claims

Read more ...

Category: News

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