011316CM0722People who suffer from chronic illness may soon get the help they need. Legislation sponsored by State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) extending the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP) to 2020 is being sent to the governor.

With the support of Sen. Haine, the original Medical Cannabis Pilot Program was signed into law in 2013.

Although extending the sunset of the program may be the most prominent part of this legislation, the measure also includes numerous other additions to the program, such as adding PTSD and terminal illness as qualifying conditions.

“This program was signed into law three years ago and still has yet to be effectively implemented due to bureaucratic barriers from the previous administration,” Haine said. “This legislation sets a new deadline for this program to get up and running. It is time to quit dragging our feet. Let’s get this done and give patients access to the relief they need.

“I appreciated very much working with the governor’ staff and the Illinois Department of Public Health to approve the law with this trailer bill,” Haine added.”

Haine has worked on the program since passing the original legislation in 2012. Last year he passed a measure that would also extend the MCPP, but the governor vetoed part of the legislation.

Senate Bill 10, passed out of the Senate Tuesday with vote of 50 to 7 and now awaits approval on the governor’s desk.



Category: News

towingfeesA measure sponsored by State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) to protect citizens from excessive tow fees will go to the governor.  

Senate Bill 2261 has been an important Haine initiative this session. The issue was brought to his attention after reports of local municipalities charging as much as $500 for a tow release fee. Haine filed the legislation in an effort to bring fairness and efficiency to the process of redeeming vehicles.

“I have worked very hard this year to get this legislation passed,” said Haine. “I am happy that we were able to come together and get this important measure to protect citizens from outrageous fees accomplished. Having a car break down on the side of the road or having to abandon a vehicle because of unforeseeable circumstances is already a heavy enough burden to bear. Excessive impound fees on top of that is simply unreasonable.”

The measure puts in place limits on administrative fees imposed by local municipalities. It also prevents a vehicle from being impounded for illegal parking unless it has been there for more than 48 hours or the owner was unable to move the vehicle due to an emergency circumstance. Additionally, if a car is wrongfully impounded and attorney fees accrue, the county or municipality would be responsible for the fees.

The measure passed the Senate Tuesday on a concurrence vote of 58-0. It will now go to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Category: News

052516 js 0253State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) passed a measure through the Senate today that would allow families and relatives of the deceased to receive unclaimed life insurance benefits.  

The measure, House Bill 4633, which is also an initiative of Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs, would free up $4.4 billion that has not been given out to beneficiaries. Unclaimed life insurance policies sometimes go unclaimed simply because people do not know they exist, or because people are unaware of how to claim such policies.

“This is a great initiative and I am proud to sponsor it. When insurance companies fail to pay out the proceeds of life insurance policies, they fail to honor their responsibility to the loved ones of the deceased,” said Haine. “When people pass, their families are left in a great deal of pain. While these awards and annuities can’t alleviate that pain, they can at least help with covering unexpected end-of-life costs.”

Life insurance companies have come under fire with accusations that they have not been diligent enough in awarding benefits to the families and relatives of deceased policyholders. The new legislation would create the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act to correct this.

“I was happy to work with the Treasure, insurance companies and the Illinois Department of Insurance on this measure,” Haine added. “I think this really helped us to form a good, solid piece of legislation.”

The measure passed the Senate with a vote of 54-0 and goes back to the House for concurrence.
 

Category: News

 social servicesThe Illinois Senate passed a bipartisan measure Thursday to free up funding for social service agencies throughout Illinois. State Senator Bill Haine (D-Benton) released the following statement:

"This vote today is for the many social service providers throughout Illinois. This measure would provide funding for the Community Care Program, which helps organizations in my district, such as Senior Services Plus in Alton, keep their meals on wheels program going and help seniors stay in their homes. Places like St. John’s Community Care in Collinsville, who help people with Alzheimer’s, may now have a fighting chance to keep their doors open as well. We cannot abandon our seniors or those who depend on social services.”

“Nonetheless, while I am glad we were able to come to a bipartisan agreement to free up funding for these organizations, there is still so much work to do. This is a step in the right direction, but the thing is, we still need a full budget, and I plan to continue to work hard in Springfield to get this done.”

Category: News

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