Legislation that seeks to reduce the risk of serious allergic reactions is just one of a number of bills signed into law in recent days.
House Bill 5892 allows for anyone at a school who is trained in how to recognize and respond to severe allergic reactions to administer an epi-pen (epinephrine auto-injector), which is used to counteract allergic reactions. Previously, only nurses could administer the drug.
It will also allow schools to maintain a supply of epi-pens that are “undesignated” but available for use in an emergency, and allows students to carry an epi-pen as long at the parent or guardian grants permission and the school is given information on the prescription.
Also among bills approved during the week was an advisory referendum for the November ballot that will ask if the Illinois Constitution should be amended to allow for a 3% additional tax on incomes over $1 million. The question authorized by House Bill 3816 is advisory only and would not actually amend the Constitution.
Chicago-area manufacturing examined
Chicago may no longer be the “Hog Butcher for the World” and the “City of the Big Shoulders” as poet Carl Sandburg wrote in 1914, but manufacturing remains the region’s number one industry according to a new report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and HSBC Bank.
“Revival in the Heartland: Manufacturing and Trade in Chicago” provides an overview of the city’s current place in manufacturing, while outlining challenges and opportunities for the future.
Giving a generally positive picture of Chicago’s role as a manufacturing center, the report also contains sobering messages about the challenges the region faces. Chicago “lags behind its potential” the report states, declaring: “Manufacturing in Chicago is an old heavyweight slugger, punching below its weight.”
The authors also point out that exports and employment fell in 2008 and 2009 with the onset of recession and while exports have recovered, Chicago’s employment levels remain below 2007.
In 2001, there were 329,229 manufacturing jobs in Cook County, the largest number of jobs of any industry. By 2012, the number had shrunk to 194,189 jobs, a loss of 135,000 jobs or 41%. In the meantime other areas, such as health and social administration, retail trade and tourism have surpassed manufacturing employment.
Medicare outlook improves
The federal government says the outlook for Medicare funds has improved over the last year.
Instead of running out of money in 2026, it’s now estimated the system’s hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030. In addition, Social Security is expected to remain solvent until 2034. Social Security’s finances are relatively unchanged from a year ago. Medicare’s improved finances are largely due to a continuing slowdown in health care spending, the report said.
The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare issued their annual report July 28 on the financial health of the government’s two largest benefit programs.
Bills signed into law
Bills continue to be signed into law as the annual deadline for Governor’s action approaches. Each year, the General Assembly has 30 days to send legislation to the Governor’s desk and he has 60 days to act on the bills.
Because the Legislature adjourned at the beginning of June, all measures must be either approved or vetoed by the end of August.
Information about the bills signed into law during the week of July 28 to August 1 is available by clicking here.