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HB1825 - Access to Cancer Drugs

Public Act 97-0198
An initiative of the American Cancer Society, this bill would provide for parity in health insurance coverage for cancer patients for I.V. infused chemotherapy and oral chemotherapy/targeted cancer drugs. I.V. treatments are traditionally covered via a medical benefit, so patients are generally only responsible for an affordable co-payment. In contrast, oral chemotherapy drugs and targeted oral cancer treatments are usually covered as part of a patient's pharmacy benefit. As a result, many patients cannot access oral treatments due to high out of pocket costs - sometimes thousands of dollars monthly - putting them out of reach for many patients.

The structure of health insurance benefit plans has not caught up with the amazing advances in medicine that have resulted in more and better options for cancer treatment many delivered orally. This bill is modeled after legislation passed in 11 other states, and would require health insurers to design their benefit plans so that patients are not penalized simply because their cancer can be treated more easily and/or effectively with oral chemo and medications. The average costs of the drugs are comparable - regardless whether they are delivered via I.V. or orally, and sometime the only treatment available is a targeted oral therapy.

This bill seeks to provide parity in cancer treatment costs for life-saving treatments - regardless of the means of delivery of such treatments.

HB3404 - Protecting Consumers from "Storm-chasers"

Public Act 97-0235
This bill provides consumer protections against "storm-chasers" - fly by night contractors, often from out of state, who blanket an area after a catastrophic storm preying on homeowners to get consumers to sign contracts for home repair and do shoddy work or no work at all. This bill was supported by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

HB2902 & HB2903 - Promoting the Use of Electric Vehicles

Public Act 97-0089 & 97-0090
This package of legislation deals with electric cars, providing for a framework for the usage and incorporation of electric cars into our transportation network, and also providing incentives for the development and creation of car-sharing opportunities using electric vehicles. I am excited to be a part of the beginning stages of incorporating this important environmentally positive technology into our communities.

HB2001 - Increased Penalties for Open Dumping

Public Act 97-0286
This bill, advanced by the Illinois EPA and supported by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, would increase the penalties for the open dumping of large quantities of waste, particularly waste tires. Under current law, the penalty for the open dumping of waste amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist. Some waste haulers view getting caught as a "cost of doing business" and dump waste in open fields or empty lots rather than expending the resources to properly dispose of the waste in order to up their profits. Increasing the penalties would serve as a deterrent - addressing a public health issue, preventing damage to the environment and saving taxpayers from the costs of remediating the site.

HB3390 - Protecting Our First Responders

Public Act 97-0159
This bill would make pulling a gun on a police officer, firefighter or other first responder a non-probationable offense. Unfortunately, assaults on our first responders seem to be happening more and more frequently. The legislation is designed to protect the men and women that serve and protect our communities every day. I am proud to be working with Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Fire Department to advance this important public safety initiative.