Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers

  • Adult Daycare Providers – doubled rate (dramatically enhanced)
  • Healthcare Provider Relief Fund brought cash infusion in April/May 2010

BJC Healthcare

  • FY10 $70,000 earmark for both Alton Memorial Hospital (Alton, Illinois) and Clay County Hospital (Flora, Illinois)

Northwestern University

  • Secured an $8 million appropriation to fund the Regenerative Medicine floor of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center in May 2006
  • Received appropriation of $3 million in FY09 that was re-appropriated in FY10 (P.A. 96-0035) and FY11 in the Capital bill, P.A. 97-0079, for the Nanofabrication and Molecular Center at Northwestern. View bill »
  • Amended the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Training Act to allow cooperative agreements for funding psychiatric training programs at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. H.B.2686 – P.A. 96-0690 »
  • Amended the Smoke Free Illinois Act to permit indoor smoking for medical research to remain compliant with the law. View S.B.2757 – P.A. 95-1029 »
  • Amended the School Code to extend and make changes to the Alternative Teacher Certification program that serves as an important component to Northwestern and its various school partnerships. View S.B.638 – P.A. 97-0702 »

Illinois Craft Brewers Guild

Illinois Lawmakers Back Self-Distribution for Small Brewers

Author: Hannah Hess   ·   Published: May 24, 2011   ·   View Article »

Illinois legislators sided solidly with craft brewers in their battle with Anheuser-Busch, sending a bill to the governor Monday that will allow the small brewers to continue self-distributing their suds.

The right to self-distribute brewery products previously had been restricted to in-state beermakers. A federal judge ruled that practice unfair to out-of-state competitors and set a May 31 deadline for the Legislature to solve the problem.

After months of negotiations between the beer giant, distributors and craft brewers, during which small-brewer licensing came to a standstill, the Legislature stood unanimously with small operations. They fixed the law by defining "craft brewer" as a small operation that produces up to 465,000 gallons of beer per year, no matter where the operation is located.

Both chambers approved the bill with only one "no" vote, despite A-B InBev's objections that protecting small brewers weakens competition in the state.

The state's beer distributors endorsed the measure, saying a healthy market for small brewers ensures that new beer brands would make it to the shelves of Illinois stores.

The bill is SB754.

Illinois Wineries

  • Received $100,000 grant from DCEO in December 2010, providing a much needed lifeline to the wine industry
  • Maintained funding of various amounts beginning in 1997 through 2012. View H.B.124 – P.A. 97-0057 Illinois State Budget »
    • $150,000 for marketing and tourism through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (pg 39)
    • $142,500 for an enologist and viticulturist through the Department of Agriculture (pg 7)
  • Passed negotiated language to allow Illinois wineries to ship up to 12 cases of wine a year directly to consumers who live in the state. PA 95-0634; HB 429 »

    Illinois Opens to Direct Shipping; Self-distribution to retail also an option for small producers

    Author: Jane Firstenfeld   ·   Published: May 7, 2008   ·   View Article »

    After years of lobbying, confusion and legal wrangling, Illinois has approved direct-to-consumer wine shipments from both out-of-state and local wineries. Beginning on June 1, wineries holding an Illinois Winery Shipper's License may ship up to 12 cases of wine annually to adult residents.

    Another important aspect of the act, signed this week by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, permits wineries producing under 25,000 gallons per year to self-distribute up to 5,000 gallons annually directly to Illinois retailers. This includes both in-state and out-of-state wineries that have a Wine Shipper's License, according to Katie Ridgway, communications manager of the Illinois Department of Revenue.

    "With over 95% of Illinois wineries below this (25,000 gallon) threshold, our state's vibrant wine industry can better compete with the larger conglomerates located in other wine-producing states," said Lainie Krozel, acting director of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) in a statement released May 6.

    Paul Hahn, new president of the Illinois Wine and Grape Growers Association (IWGGA) and owner of Mackinaw Valley Vineyard in Mackinaw, explained that the self-distribution law was already applicable to Illinois wineries before its inclusion in the new direct-shipping provisions.

    Hahn told Wines & Vines that, due to his location midway between Peoria and Bloomington, he's able to sell about 90% of his 2,500 annual case production direct-to-consumers at the winery. But, he noted, the new regulations will be helpful to most of Illinois' 76 producers. "Most are quite small," he acknowledged, "and some are in very rural locations, where they don't have as many visitors. They have to survive any way they can." Direct shipping and self-distribution, he said, can help them expand their markets.

    "We are such a niche market. We'll never be the Mondavis. We tend to slant more toward the consumer who would like to try--and is often pleasantly surprised by--a local product."

    Krozel noted that "Crafting this legislation required many months of compromise and careful deliberation among all interested parties. Of key concern was ensuring the economic health of our state's wine industry, and allowing it the flexibility to continue to grow."

    Hahn and the IGGWA ( had lobbied strenuously for the new regulations. "I don't know how many times I was down in Springfield--countless visits with legislators and distributors," he said. He noted that, while distributors initially resisted the erosion of the three-tier system, "The end result is that most of them don't want to deal with small producers."

    Illinois' grape and wine industry contributes an estimated economic impact exceeding $250 million annually, according to the ILCC. "These types of small businesses are the backbone of our state's economy, and supporting this community is more important than ever as our nation slips toward an economic slowdown," Krozel stated.

    The Winery Shipper's License uses a sliding fee scale based on production, from $150 to $1,000 for both Illinois and out-of-state wineries. The license must be renewed annually, at the same cost.

    Since each licensed shipper is limited to 12 cases per customer per year, licensees will be required to report shipments to state tax authorities on a monthly basis, Ridgway told Wines & Vines. Case limits will be monitored through ILCC compliance agents.

    According to the ILCC release, safety precautions to prevent shipped wines from falling into under-aged hands have been built into the new regulations. These include, Ridgway said, "The requirement of the carrier to verify the age and identity before delivery," as well as "prominent language on the packaging indicating that the package contains alcohol." Licensees must receive confirmation of delivery from the carrier and apply an ILCC-approved label. Wine brokers are prohibited from soliciting direct shipments, and ILCC has a mandate to investigate possible shipments to minors, through undercover operations or winery audits, Ridgway said.

    The ILCC release stated, "Holders of a State of Illinois Retailer's Liquor License will continue to be allowed to ship to Illinois residents over the Internet; however, they may not be allowed to ship to other states. Out-of-state retailers are prohibited from shipping.…directly to Illinois consumers through the Internet."

    "If Illinois prohibits out-of-state retailers from shipping to Illinois consumers," Ridgway explained, "the likelihood is that other states would similarly prohibit Illinois retailers from shipping to out-of-state consumers."

Lawrence Hall

Noble Network of Charter Schools

  • Included in Capitol Bill for $2.7 million for Rowe-Clark gym and new classrooms when new projects where not being

    Exelon Gymnasium Ground-Breaking for Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy

    Author: Tom Otto   ·   Published: October 27, 2010   ·   View Article »

    On October 27, 2010 the Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new gymnasium to be built behind the charter high school located at 3645 W Chicago Avenue. Windy conditions necessitated moving the formal program inside. After a moving quotation from a Nelson Mandela speech by student Maya Hawthorne, Principal Joe Tenbusch talked about what the school has achieved thus far. Rowe-Clark is rated #5 out of 93 open enrollment high schools in the City of Chicago, based on 2010 ACT scores. Rowe-Clark provides students with a longer school day and school year; highly –qualified teachers; a rigorous, skills-based curriculum; and opportunities for enrichment through sports, arts and community service. Tenbusch said that the $4.5 million gymnasium will be for athletic activities as well as artistic activities (such as dance). It will be a “celebration of the scholar, the author, and the artist”.

    There was a musical performance by the Rowe-Clark Masai Ensemble, which had everyone singing and dancing. The Masai saying “If you can walk you can dance; if you can talk you can sing” proved to be true.

    Speakers included 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., State of Illinois Representative Annazette Collins, Senate President John Cullerton, ComEd CEO Frank M Clark, and Exelon CEO John Rowe. John Rowe, Exelon CEO and founding donor spoke about his commitment to the school and students and said that the school would not be possible without this public-private commitment. Two-million dollars in private funds were combined with $2.5 million in state funding to make the gymnasium construction possible. This gymnasium will be the first in all of the 10 Noble Network charter schools. Rowe-Clark is a charter high school which is open to everyone and charges no tuition. Average test scores are almost double neighborhood high schools. Rowe also announced that he is starting a scholarship fund to further assist students.

    After the program the attendees marched outside to the warm breezy sunshine and enjoyed a performance by the Rowe-Clark cheerleaders before the actual ground-breaking.

Quorum Health Corporation

  • EMS Trauma Center Fund

    Successfully passed a bill permitting downstate hospitals to access funds collected within their EMS regions to invest in equipment, training and improvement of emergency room care. View H.B.1391 – P.A. 97-0209 »

    Ill. Senate OKs Southern Illinois trauma center funding

    BY KURT ERICKSON   ·   The Southern Springfield Bureau  ·   Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 12:33 pm   ·   View Article »

    The Illinois Senate approved legislation Wednesday that could ensure southern Illinois counties are not left out of trauma center funding. The measure, which was sent to the governor's desk on a 41-8 vote, would prevent money collected in southern Illinois for trauma center purposes from being redirected to other parts of the state.

    "I'm just trying to protect the people in my district," said state Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, who sponsored the legislation.

    When someone pays a traffic fine, a portion of that revenue is distributed to one of 11 trauma districts spread across the state. Most, however, are located north of Interstate 70. Southern Illinois residents needing trauma care typically go to facilities across state borders in Indiana and Missouri. The overall pot of money is about $3.5 million, meaning an estimated $300,000 could be distributed to southern Illinois hospitals if the measure is approved by Gov. Pat Quinn.

    "The people in my district... they think they are not being treated fair," Forby said.

    The legislation was approved unanimously in the House in April. The legislation is House Bill 1391.

  • Freestanding Emergency Center Permit

    H.B. 5142 allows Red Bud Regional Medical Center to apply for a FEC permit by amending the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act to extend the timeline to submit a permit application to the Health Facilities and Services Review Board and increasing the distance between a FEC and its affiliated Resource Hospital. View H.B. 5142 (Passed both Houses) »

  • Vista Medical Center Freestanding Emergency Center Application

    Gained approval from General Assembly to allow Vista hospital in Waukegan to file a letter of intent after the deadline had passed to apply for a freestanding emergency center, which eventually permitted Vista to be approved for the FEC before the state health board. View S.B.312 – P.A. 96-0883 »

    State panel approves ER facility in Lindenhurst

    By Paul Biasco   ·   Daily Herald Staff   ·   Published: 6/9/2010 12:01 AM

    State health officials unanimously approved a proposal to construct a free-standing emergency room facility in Lindenhurst on Tuesday.

    Vista Health Systems plans to complete the facility by the end of the year. The $3.9 million proposal calls for a seven-station, 4,235-square-foot expansion to Vista's existing outpatient medical treatment campus located at 1050 Red Oak Lane in Lindenhurst, according to a Vista news release issued late Tuesday. The center will provide 24-hour emergency services seven days a week with access to CT, MRI, X-ray and ultrasound scans.

    "The organization recognized a need for improved access to emergency health care in that community," said Barbara Martin, president and CEO of Vista Health Services in an e-mail interview.

    The existing campus includes a full-service ambulatory surgical treatment center as well as a Federal Aviation Administration-approved heliport for emergency transfers.

    "We are very happy. Now we can finally do what's right for Lake County - improve access to emergency health care for North Central and Northwestern Lake County residents," Martin said in the news release.

    Waukegan-based Vista, whose previous bid to build a hospital in Lindenhurst was denied, applied for permission to build the free-standing emergency center in 2007.

    The center will be the second free-standing emergency center in Lake County.

    Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board officials did not have any immediate comment on their decision to accept the proposal.

    Vista plans to break ground on the center in midsummer, according to Martin.

    Officials from Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville were among those who spoke in opposition to Vista's plan at a public hearing last month. Advocate representatives argued that adding emergency services in Lindenhurst would duplicate what already is offered in Lake County.

    Condell was named a Level 1 trauma center in 2009. The hospital also has finished an expansion of its emergency services and now has 32 stations.

    Vincent Pierri, a Condell spokesman, declined to comment on the Vista decision announced Tuesday.

    Opposition also came from Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. Officials there at last month's public hearing contended Vista's Linderhurst center would be 6 miles from Lake Forest's new free-standing emergency center in Grayslake, and unnecessary.

    Matt Koschmann, a Northwestern Lake Forest vice president, could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.

Union of Concerned Scientists

  • Successfully opposed a bill allowing tire burning (S.B.380), which would have raised serious environmental justice concerns
  • Assisted with the passing of the Solar Ramp Up bill (H.B.6202) that requires renewable energy resources to be procured by the State and aided with the Homeowners Solar Rights Act (H.B.5429), a new act allowing homeowners to put solar panels on their homes
  • Collaborated efforts to help pass ComEd “smart grid” legislation that includes key energy efficiency provisions. View S.B.1652 – P.A. 97-616 »

Roosevelt University

  • Continued advocacy led to 4 suburban legislators including $450,000 in Earmarks for RU Pharmacy School in FY10. View S.B.1221 – P.A. 96-39 »
  • Worked with universities and colleges throughout the state on restoring funding to the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) that provides financial aid to low-income students

    Students stand up to lawmakers and bring the Monetary Award Program back to Illinois schools

    By Laura Janota and Tom Karow   ·   View Article

    Despite tough economic times, Stephen Franklin, a first-generation college student at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg Campus, was doing well. His goals of earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Roosevelt and entering law school were in sight. Then with little warning last fall, Illinois lawmakers cut $200 million from the state’s largest need-based-aid program for the spring 2010 semester to help reduce the state’s budget deficit.

    Suddenly, Franklin and 138,000 other low-income college and university students in Illinois faced the possibility of losing up to $5,000 a year in Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding, meaning they could be forced to drop out of school or take fewer credits this semester.

    Realizing that something had to be done, Franklin, along with Roosevelt students on both campuses, decided to actively campaign to have the MAP funds restored. Calling the cuts to MAP a social justice issue, they organized letter-writing initiatives, visited elected officials and participated in rallies. Their hard work was successful. Late last semester state lawmakers agreed to appropriate an extra $200 million for the MAP program and Gov. Pat Quinn, with three Roosevelt students by his side, signed legislation to restore the money.

    “I’m one of the students affected by your action,” Franklin told several Illinois legislators during visits to their offices. “It’s time to stop talking about how education is such a priority. Show us you really mean it’s a priority,” he said.

    His comments were echoed by others, including Vinny Cascio, another Schaumburg Campus student. He joined Franklin and 44 Roosevelt students at an October rally at the State Capitol in Springfield. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re from Schaumburg or Chicago or downstate, we’re
    united on this issue,” Cascio said.

    Roosevelt University President Chuck Middleton, who also aggressively worked to have MAP funds restored, praised those involved. “We are tremendously proud of the grassroots efforts of our students,” he said. “They provided leadership on a public-policy initiative and they lived the engaged life that we strongly encourage for all of our students.”

    Over the years MAP funds have helped to reduce the disparity between students who can afford college educations and those who cannot. Available from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, they are awarded to undergraduate students who need financial help the most. Approximately 47 percent of MAP grant recipients come from families with an annual household income of $20,000 or less.

    “We were fighting for our future – everyone’s future,” said Roosevelt student Josh Emerick, a political science major, who was also involved. “The University totally supported our ideas.”

    Those ideas were part of a comprehensive and coordinated campaign that used students, administrators, trustees and alumni. For example, the student-run RU Sociological Society collected nearly 250 letters that were sent to dozens of state senators and representatives. Some of the other initiatives were a Roosevelt website dedicated to MAP issues, free buses so students could attend rallies in Springfield, Chicago and Peoria, a video which was on You Tube and Facebook, posters signed by students and delivered to House Speaker Mike Madigan, emails to alumni asking them to contact their lawmakers, newspaper interviews, informational meetings at both campuses and T-shirts proclaiming “Keep IL Students on the MAP.”

    “It’s rather unusual these days to see students organize around one issue and let their voices be heard,” said Donald McNeil, chair of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. “The support MAP has received from Roosevelt and students across the state – from four-year publics, private liberal arts colleges, community colleges and proprietary schools – shows what can be done when you come together with a common interest.”

    Danielle Medine, a MAP student and finance and accounting major, went up to Gov. Quinn at a rally in Chicago to let him know how the loss of her MAP grant would affect her ability to pay for her education. “I had mixed feelings about the governor at first, but was pleasantly surprised that he was so enthusiastic about our efforts,” said Medine, who was wearing her green Roosevelt University “Keep IL Students on the MAP” shirt during the rally.
    Quinn also met privately with Middleton and the presidents of Loyola University, Northern Illinois University and Illinois Central College. At the meeting, Middleton said his biggest fear was that if students dropped out of universities or colleges for financial reasons, they would never return to complete their degrees.

    “That was an historic meeting and the first time in my memory that presidents representing public, private and community college institutions in Illinois joined forces and informed the governor of their concerns about an issue that has broad implications and consequences for college students across the state,” said David Tretter, president of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities and an activist in Springfield for the last 20 years.

    “I think people realize that what we were able to do was great,” said Dimitra Georgouses, a political science major at the Chicago Campus who stood on a platform during the rally in Springfield and led shouts of “save MAP now” along with hundreds of other students from across the state. “However, we may have to do something even bigger in the future to save MAP for other students,” she said. “I plan to be there to fight because if we don’t make higher education a priority everything else in our society will start to crumble. This is not simply about giving some schools money. It’s about our future as a society.”

Salvation Army

  • Earmarks FY2005/2006 with support of legislators in Quincy and Aurora, IL