A1C Test

SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that would require insurers to cover important tests for people with or at risk of developing diabetes passed the State Senate on Thursday.

“Diabetes is a serious, often preventable condition,” Ellman said. “People have the right to know if they’re at risk, and insurance providers should cover the tests.”

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, identified risk factor for people who have or may have prediabetes and diabetes are vitamin D deficiency and low blood sugar levels. Ellman’s measure would require insurers to cover A1C and vitamin D tests that are recommended by health care providers for people who may have or have prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The A1C test, also known as the hemoglobin A1C, is a simple blood test that measures the average blood sugar levels of an individual over the three months prior to the test being administered. It’s one of the most common tools used to diagnose prediabetes.

The measure was brought to Ellman by a constituent.

“Managing diabetes is not an easy task, and unchecked diabetes can lead to serious health issues later in life,” Ellman said. “Insulin is costly. We need to make preventative tests as accessible and affordable as possible.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, as of 2014, nearly 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and an additional 86 million are considered to have prediabetes.

Senate Bill 1854 passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 57-0 and now heads to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.

LE

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) designed to recognize the historical and present-day contributions of Muslim culture in the state of Illinois passed the State Senate on Wednesday.

“This legislation is meant to raise awareness of the contributions made by the Muslim community across the nation and the state of Illinois,” Ellman said. “It’s our responsibility to ensure all Illinoisans feel represented in this state, and that begins by making sure students learn about people like them in school.”

The measure would require all Illinois public schools to cover contributions made by Muslims and Muslim Americans in history classes. Currently, the teaching of history in Illinois public schools must include the roles of African Americans and other ethnic groups. This legislation would emphasize the importance of Muslim contributions in the state of Illinois.

The measure would also honor one of the most famous practicing Muslims in modern American history by creating a new commemorative state holiday, declaring Jan. 17 Muhammad Ali Day in Illinois.

“Muhammad Ali was notorious for his bravado in the ring, but many don’t know about his quiet lifelong philanthropic efforts,” Ellman said. “He truly floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.”

Senate Bill 564 passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 46-3 and will now head to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.

ellman from above

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that would make the retirement process fairer for many Illinois firefighters passed the State Senate Wednesday.

“This legislation levels the playing field for all of Illinois’ firefighters,” Ellman said. “The current law doesn’t address an oversight that could cause hundreds of firefighters to lose out on time they’ve served when they retire.”

Currently, firefighters outside of Chicago who began work after 2011 are not allowed to purchase service credit after changing employers. This measure would ensure that all firefighters, would be able to purchase service credit if they move to a new employer who is covered by a different fire pension fund.

Members of a pension system earn service credits for time they’ve worked. A purchased service credit is an additional amount of service that pension system participants can purchase – or essentially move from one pension system to another – that can be used to calculate the amount a person will receive when they retire. Many firefighters outside of Chicago can purchase credit when they switch employers, so their service at their prior employer will be factored into their retirement earnings. For example, a firefighter who moves from Peoria to Rockford might purchase their time in Peoria to move it to the Rockford system.

“Our firefighters risk their lives daily,” Ellman said. “They keep our communities safe. We need to make sure they all receive the money they’ve earned and deserve when it comes time for them to retire.”

Senate Bill 167 passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 59-0 and now heads to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.

Laura

SPRINGFIELD – A measure introduced by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that would reduce PFAS chemicals used in firefighting foam passed committee on Thursday.

“Evidence shows that exposure to PFAS found in firefighting foam can lead to numerous health issues, including cancer and kidney problems,” Ellman said. “We need to act now if we want to reduce the risk to the public, including our firefighters.”

Per - and polyfluoradlkyl substances, commonly called PFAS, are a large group of toxic chemicals that have the ability to repel oil and water, reduce friction, and put out fires. For these reasons, they are especially prevalent in firefighting foam.

There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to negative health effects, like cancer, reproductive issues, and liver and kidney problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The measure would put Illinois on a path to phase out the production, distribution, sale and use of PFAS to protect firefighters from potentially toxic exposure and keep chemical waste out of landfills and waterways, helping to keep Illinois’ environment healthy.

“The same properties that allow PFAS to put out fires are also what has made them such a problem,” Ellman said. “They’re durable and break down slowly, which makes them a long-lasting danger to our environment.”

Senate Bill 561 passed the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee with a vote of 10-0 and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration. 

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Naperville, IL 60540
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