Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond passed legislation adding important consumer protections to Illinois’ public nursing home care program (long-term care Medicaid program).

“For over three years, I have worked with providers and constituents who have struggled to get through this convoluted process. The application process is cumbersome, unwieldy and seemingly impossible to navigate for persons in good health, let alone our vulnerable populations,” said Rep. Hammond.  “Significant changes are much-needed, and after three years of negotiating these changes, I am pleased to present this package of reforms with the consumer experience in mind.”

House Bill 4771, an agreed bill between all stakeholders, passed the Illinois House unanimously and will now be taken up in the Illinois Senate.

Under provisions of Hammond’s legislation, Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will make critical consumer protection reforms including instituting a system of provisional eligibility, providing a step by step checklist of documents required, departments must provide written receipt of documents turned in, must develop an electronic application process, and ensures applications do not ‘start over’ just because of a change of the applicant’s legal representative.

“Too many seniors and their families struggle with this process and it is past time we improve this system to make their experience easier and better protect their rights as an applicant,” Rep. Hammond continued.
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Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond passed legislation expanding Veteran’s Preference to those who live in Illinois, but served in another state’s National Guard unit.

“We owe a great debt to these Veterans.  When they serve in our military, they serve us all, regardless of state lines.  If they are an honorably discharged Veteran, they should receive hiring preference regardless of the state in which they enlisted or served,” said Rep. Hammond.

House Bill 4288 passed the Illinois House unanimously and will now be taken up in the Illinois Senate.  The measure was supported by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Under current law, members of National Guard units from states other than Illinois are not granted Veteran’s preference for state employment purposes.  Every state in the nation offers some form of Veteran employment preference in the public sector.  At the federal level, members of the National Guard only apply for Veteran Employment Preference if they were activated and served continuously for two years, or the entire time for which they were called to active duty. 

Under provisions of Hammond’s legislation, a person who has been a member of the Illinois National Guard shall be given priority over a person who has been a member of the National Guard of any other state.
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