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Bush measure to reduce opioid abuse, prevent doctor shopping passes legislature

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 01:41 PM

bush 110917SPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to reduce opioid abuse and “doctor shopping” advanced out of both legislative chambers with unanimous support.

Senate Bill 772 would require prescribers of controlled substances to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database to see if a patient has been prescribed a controlled substance by another doctor prior to writing an initial prescription. This would make it harder for individuals to obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors, a practice known as doctor shopping.

“Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States,” Bush said. “The prescription monitoring program can help curb opioid addiction and overdose by reducing the problem of overprescribing, but it will only be successful if prescribers actually check the database before writing a script.” 

In 2015, Bush sponsored the legislation that required pharmacies to file daily reports of all controlled substances they dispense. Under the current law, however, prescribers of controlled substances are not required to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database before writing prescriptions. Studies show that as few as 14 percent of physicians always check the database before prescribing controlled substances.

“Checking the prescription monitoring program database before writing a prescription is easy for doctors and an essential step in combatting the opioid epidemic in Illinois,” Bush said. “This measure will help curb doctor shopping, prevent overdoses and save countless lives.”

Senate overrides veto of Manar measure to address shortage of substitute teachers

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 09:19 AM

manar 052517SPRINGFIELD – Active substitute teachers will be able to seek a refund of the $50 fee they’re required to pay when they apply for a state license under a new law sponsored by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

“This is an example of what we can do to ease up on the government bureaucracy that’s got a stranglehold on the teaching profession in Illinois,” said Manar, a member of the Senate Education Committee. “We have empty classrooms because of a statewide teacher shortage, a rapidly shrinking pool of substitutes and students who are suffering as a result. Curbing fees and eliminating unnecessary red tape will help address some of these problems.”

Collins’ legislation ensures more families will receive life insurance benefits

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 05:29 PM

collins 110817SPRINGFIELD – Rejecting a move that would have severely weakened the standing of grieving families in the face of misbehavior by insurance companies, the Illinois Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation by Senator Jacqueline Collins Wednesday.

The measure, House Bill 302, would further strengthen the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act by requiring insurance companies to search their records back to the year 2000 if they have electronically searchable files to determine if life insurance policyholders have died, and to take steps to get money to beneficiaries.

Lightford: Vetoed cursive writing proposal now law

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 05:07 PM

lightford 040417SPRINGFIELD- Cursive handwriting will remain a subject in Illinois public schools thanks to the Senate’s action in overriding a veto of a measure that requires public elementary schools to offer at least one unit of instruction in the subject. 

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led the initiative, noting it promotes the practical and fundamental values cursive writing has in education.

“Cursive writing is a skill children will need throughout their lives,” Lightford said. “You cannot write a check, sign legal documents or even read our Constitution without an understanding of cursive writing.”

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