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Gillespie advances worker protection bill

receipts 050919SPRINGFIELD – A harmful chemical found in most common receipt papers would be barred from use by Illinois businesses under legislation sponsored by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) that was approved by the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee today.

House Bill 2076 would prohibit bisphenol-A (BPA) from being used in paper for business and banking records such as cash register, debit card and sales receipts. BPA is present in most thermal receipt papers to develop color.

“BPA has been proven to cause harmful reproductive and developmental effects in animals,” Gillespie said. “We cannot stand by and wait for BPA’s effects on humans to be seen. We need to be proactive.”

The measure is supported by the Sierra Club, Local 881 UFCW, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Environmental Council.

“Tens of thousands of workers and even more consumers are in contact with these papers every day,” said Zach Koutsky, Legislative and Political Director of Local 881 UFCW. “Whether you are on the job or simply going shopping, you deserve to be safe from harmful chemicals.”

Similar legislation was introduced in Illinois in 2012 but did not pass the House. In 2011, Connecticut banned BPA in thermal receipt paper.

The measure now goes before the entire Senate.

Fine moves to require insurance coverage of skin cancer screenings

skin screening 050919SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) would require insurance providers to include coverage for at least one yearly screening for skin cancer.

“Certain types of skin cancer can be extremely deadly, but many insurance plans don’t cover screenings,” Fine said. “That could leave people who may be at risk of skin cancer with a tough decision: pay for the expensive screening out of pocket, or forego it entirely.”

Crowe seeks coverage of life-saving monitors for children

Senator CroweSPRINGFIELD – Insurance companies would be required to provide heart and lung monitors to children under legislation being carried by State Senator Rachelle Crowe.

This legislation expands health coverage on cardiopulmonary monitors for minors who have had complications in the past and remain at a higher risk for other problems.

“Putting a price tag on a child’s health is disgraceful,” Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) said. “Children living with heart or lung conditions deserve the tools necessary to keep them alive.”

The measure was brought to Crowe by Mary Cope, a resident of Wood River who lost her infant granddaughter, Marlie, after the child was denied a heart monitor. The legislation is named Marlie’s Law in her memory.

“This bill is about saving lives and ensuring that another family does not have to suffer the same heartache that we have,” Cope said.

House Bill 3471 was approved by the Senate Insurance Committee today and will go for further consideration before the full Senate.

Martinez calls for complete 2020 Census count during Latino Unity Day

Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. MartinezSpeaking at a Latino Unity Day press conference on Wednesday, Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez stressed the importance of a complete count in Illinois during the 2020 Census.

“Each person not counted means revenue lost for the State of Illinois from the federal government,” Martinez said. “This means fewer dollars for roads and infrastructure, less money for education, less reimbursement for cities and towns, less money for essential human services and less money for the most vulnerable among us.”

Martinez is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1408, which would appropriate $25 million to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide grants to community providers and local governments to encourage full participation in the upcoming Census.

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