Sen. Syverson opposes Public Aid bill
The Senate passed a bill last week that restructures care grants and amends the Illinois Public Aid Code.
Sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), House Bill 2154 provides that, for recipients of public aid who are required to comply with the terms of a service plan developed by the Department of Children and Family Services, participation in substance abuse treatment, drug testing, parenting classes, anger management, domestic violence counseling, evaluations or any other activities specified in the service plan shall count as an approvable job search activity under TANF employment, education and training programs; the SNAP Employment and Training Program; and any job search, training and work programs authorized under Article IX of the Code.
The bill also requires a group or individual policy of accident and health insurance, or managed care plan, that is amended, delivered, issued or renewed after Dec. 31, 2020, for the purpose of early treatment of a serious mental illness in a child or young adult under age 26 to provide coverage for several services.
"A portion of this affects small employers in Illinois," said Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford). "There are only a few that offer these services and the bill requires all insurances to pay this. There has been no discussion of rates."
Steans said she was open to that discussion and that rates are not set in the bill, to which Syverson said he still had concerns.
"I still have to stay opposed until we have some kind of agreement for prices to work out," Syverson said.
The bill passed the Senate with 44 Yes votes and 11 No votes.