Dear Friends,
As we approach the celebration of the Easter holiday, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on important upcoming dates as well as the status of the I-294 tollway expansion through Oak Brook, Hinsdale and Western Springs. 

The Illinois House of Representatives is scheduled to return to Springfield to resume the spring legislative session on Monday, April 9. We will remain in session almost every weekday from that point on through our scheduled adjournment on Thursday, May 31. Over that eight week period, there will be numerous committee hearings, negotiations and floor debates on literally hundreds of bills. As the Minority Spokesperson on both the Human Services Committee and the Human Services Appropriations Committee, I will be heavily involved in many bipartisan negotiations on important legislation. I will keep you updated on what we are working on in the coming weeks through this newsletter.

Here at home, many of you have contacted my office to express your concerns regarding plans for the I-294 tollway expansion. On March 15, Illinois Tollway officials met with neighbors of the Tri-State Tollway at the Union Church of Hinsdale to discuss how the widening of I-294 along the section from about 22nd Street to just south of the Hinsdale Oasis will affect their properties. Senator Chris Nybo and I attended this meeting along with approximately 50 local residents from Hinsdale and Western Springs. In addition to the encroachment on their property along with noise and air pollution, I am aware that residents are also concerned about potential drainage problems from the expansion.
Signs SB 1773, protecting safety net and rural hospitals while sustaining Medicaid program

CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner signed bipartisan legislation today that protects safety net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.

Senate Bill 1773 ensures the state will continue to receive federal matching funds to offer services for Medicaid beneficiaries through the Hospital Assessment Program, which brings in $3.5 billion annually. 

The Hospital Assessment Program is set to expire at the end of June. A bipartisan group of legislators worked with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to redesign the program, create a more equitable reimbursement process, and ensure more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
By Sam Dunklau | NPR Illinois

Illinois hospitals are one step closer to saving a program that generates a lot of money used to treat low-income patients. State lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a plan on Wednesday that revamps the so-called hospital assessment program. 

Under the program,  Illinois hospitals front money to take care of people with government health insurance. Federal matching payments then add $3.5 billion more...

State Representative Patti Bellock, a Republican from Hinsdale, said...

“Every one of your hospitals is going to receive money. Everybody in the state of Illinois will receive good access and excellent quality of care,” she explained before the vote....