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Murphy helps disabled veterans under new law

murphy 041118SPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D – Des Plains) allows veterans to receive property tax exemptions even if they did not occupy their residence at the start of the year.

Under current law, disabled veterans can receive property tax exemptions in the amounts of $2,500, $5,000 or complete exemption from taxation, depending on their level of disability, but if the veteran is not an occupant of the residence as of Jan. 1 of an applicable tax year, they are not entitled to any exemptions for that tax year. Senate Bill 2306 allows veterans who move into new residences after Jan. 1 to receive prorated exemptions based on the date of their occupation.

“Disabled veterans deserve our utmost gratitude as thanks for the many sacrifices they make defending our country,” Murphy said. “It’s not always possible to predict when you might have to move, and by allowing them to receive partial exemptions on their property taxes, we can help ease any financial burdens they may face. I’m proud to have sponsored this legislation that provides much-needed assistance to our country’s heroes.”

The legislation passed through both chambers of the General Assembly with bipartisan support and is effective immediately.

Heads up: Texting and driving penalties to increase

text drive 081518ELGIN – Illinois’ roads will be safer thanks to a new law pushed by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

Castro’s House Bill 4846 was signed into law Tuesday and takes effect July 1, 2019. It makes the first time a person uses a cell phone while driving a moving offense. Previously, the first offense was classified as a warning.

Mulroe responds to veto of plan to support Medicaid patients, providers

mulroe 051618CHICAGO – State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) plans to file a motion to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would have helped Medicaid patients in long-term care facilities whose applications take an excessive time to process.

“The governor’s veto of this legislation will hurt patients and long-term care facilities,” Mulroe said. “Without this measure, facilities will continue to not be paid while their patients are waiting for their determination. The governor’s veto will burden patients and providers with the negative effects of a slow, bureaucratic determination process.”

Under current federal law, determinations for long-term care Medicaid applicants must be made within 45 days. House Bill 4771 requires the Illinois Department of Human Services to provide provisional eligibility and coverage for applicants who have waited more than 45 days until their eligibility is determined.

“The fact that some long-term care facilities have closed because of delayed Medicaid eligibility processing is unacceptable,” Mulroe said. “These facilities need to be paid for the services they provide within a timely manner. I plan to file the necessary paperwork to override the governor’s short-sighted veto.”

Currently, there are more than 8,000 applications pending more than 90 days due to state delay.

Gov. Rauner vetoed the legislation yesterday. Mulroe plans to push a motion forward to override the governor’s veto during the upcoming fall legislative session.

 

Collins’ broader K2 ban becomes law

k 2SPRINGFIELD – In the wake of a wave of deaths related to synthetic cannabis overdoses, a new law by State Senator Jacqueline Collins will broaden the classification of such drugs, which often skirt the law through minute tweaks to their formulae.

“New restrictions on drugs always come with heavy implications, and this broadening of the ban on synthetic cannabinoids came about following careful deliberations,” Collins said. “Many synthetic cannabinoids are already illegal, but by broadening the criteria, we ensure that they can’t be made legal by small and potentially deadly changes to their chemical formulae. I’m glad we acted swiftly to fight this deadly drug.”

Since March, news reports throughout the Midwest have told of the use of synthetic cannabinoids – called by names like “fake weed” and “K2” – leading to deaths and severe hemorrhaging. The Centers for Disease Control reported that 99 percent of these cases have occurred in Illinois.

The measure, Senate Bill 2341, adds all synthetic cannabinoids to the Controlled Substances Act and makes synthetics subject to emergency controlled substance scheduling. Manufacturers will be subject to a Class 3 felony charge, while those charged with simple possession would face a Class 4 felony.

Signed into law last week, it is effective Jan. 1, 2019.

 

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