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Medical cannabis expansion, supported by Crowe, signed into law

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 04:03 PM

crowe 030419SPRINGFIELD – In response to her district’s opioid crisis, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) co-sponsored an initiative to expand Illinois’ medical cannabis program. It was signed into law this week.

“By expanding access to medicinal cannabis, we are giving those with an opioid prescription another option to manage their pain,” Crowe said. “Opioids are highly addictive when abused, and this program will offer qualifying individuals an alternative.”

Earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Public Health successfully launched the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program to give patients access to medical cannabis in exchange for their opioid prescription.

The legislation also expands access to the medicinal cannabis program. It gives nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants the authority to certify a patient’s eligibility for medicinal cannabis. Currently, only doctors have this authority.

The initiative also adds 12 qualifying debilitating medical conditions, bringing the total number of conditions to 54.

Senate Bill 2023 is effective Jan. 1, 2020

Castro gives school nurses ability to administer medicinal cannabis

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 04:00 PM

castro 052219SPRINGFIELD – School nurses will soon be able to provide medicinal cannabis to eligible students under a new law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) that was signed by the governor today.

“There are many students across the state who rely on medicinal cannabis as part of their medical regimen,” Castro said. “Ideally, the parents of these students would provide the medications, but it’s often the case that the parents are unable to make it to the school due to other commitments. By giving school nurses the ability to administer these important medications, we can ensure that students across Illinois are getting the proper treatment they require.”

New Sims law will require students to learn Illinois history

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 02:44 PM

sims 030619SPRINGFIELD—A plan to require Illinois history to be taught in schools was signed into law Friday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, sponsored the bill that would create a requirement that Illinois history be taught in public schools.

“Teaching our future leaders their state’s history is a major step toward a better Illinois,” Sims said. “It is important that our students learn how our state got to this point, so they can get a deeper understanding of society and, hopefully, join the process of improving Illinois.”

Currently, there is not a specific requirement that Illinois history be taught as part of the U.S. history requirement in K-12 schools. The law does require the course to include a comprehensive idea of our democratic form of government, the role and contributions of African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups, and the role of labor unions.

“Illinois government has a considerable effect on young people’s lives, especially when it comes to their education,” Sims said. “As state leaders, it’s important that we make it a priority to educate students about how the legislative process works and our great state’s history.”

Senate Bill 1601 requires schools to start teaching Illinois history during the 2020-2021 school year.

Castro Creates Veterans' Service-Related Ailments Task Force

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 02:29 PM

castro 050919SPRINGFIELD – A task force aimed at examining the service-related ailments veterans often suffer will soon meet, thanks to a law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“Our servicemen and women risk everything to protect our country, but once their service is finished and they seek treatment for conditions that arose as a result of their service, many veterans find themselves waiting months, sometimes even years, to get that treatment,” Castro said. “This is unacceptable. We owe it to the brave men and women who defended our freedom to give them the treatment they need. This task force will help identify and correct the issues that lead to delays.”

House Bill 120 creates the Veterans' Service-Related Ailments Task Force. The Task Force will consist of 11 members that will include designees from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans’ organizations, lawmakers, and a medical professional.

During their bimonthly meetings, the task force will review and make recommendations regarding veterans' service-related ailments that are not recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including exploring why certain ailments are not recognized and determining what may be done to see that they are. The Task Force will also prepare and submit a report that summarizes its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly.

The bill, which is effective immediately, passed through the Senate and the House of Representatives with unanimous support. It was signed into law last week by Gov. JB Pritzker.

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