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Simmons Medicaid r

SPRINGFIELD – To ensure continuous access to healthcare for very low-income people and those who are housing insecure, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) was proud to introduce a measure to create an automatic renewal process and ensure 12 continuous months of coverage for Medicaid recipients.

“Adults whose monthly income fluctuates or who lack stable housing can lose Medicaid coverage and end up falling through the cracks if they need to see a doctor or access care,” Simmons said. “My legislation, SB3136, eliminates the interim income-change reporting requirement for adult Medicaid enrollees and guarantees at least a year of consistent coverage for Medicaid recipients.” Simmons' measure was included in the Medicaid omnibus, HB4343, which cleared the Senate today.

According to the Heartland Alliance, up to 30% of people eligible for Medicaid lose coverage at renewal with Black families being disproportionately affected. Simmons’ measure will remove unnecessary administrative hurdles Medicaid recipients face.

Under current law, individuals receiving Medicaid benefits must report changes in income during the 12 months following their approval or last redetermination. House Bill 4343 would remove this reporting requirement during that time, allowing for continuity of coverage for those who may be in between jobs, those who work several part-time jobs, or those whose work hours and income simply are not consistent each month. The legislation would also automatically re-enroll individuals with zero income.

The legislation also requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to provide information on how to request a hardship waiver in Spanish and a number of other languages.

“I have constituents who are houseless with no income at all, and I think it is especially important to re-enroll those with zero income automatically and annually so they are not turned away at a clinic. This ensures their care is not disrupted and they can maintain a consistent relationship with a primary care doctor who can help them meet their other healthcare needs. We are correcting a systemic gap in access to healthcare with this legislation today.”

House Bill 4343 passed the Senate. 

Category: Press Releases

Simmons AG Floor rSPRINGFIELD – To better recognize the historic injustices that Black farmers face in the agriculture industry, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to create the Agriculture Equity Commission.

“For far too long, our Black famers have been systemically pushed out of the agriculture sector of Illinois,” Simmons said. “My goal is to see this commission address the root issues and find actionable solutions to give Black farmers justice in the largest job producing sector in Illinois.”

The commission would reflect representation of socially disadvantaged communities, businesses, and farmers, and include academics, policy experts, and legislators who are experienced in agriculture and related matters.

In 1920, Illinois had 892 Black farmers, and Black Americans owned 14% of the nation's farmland.  As of the 2017 Agricultural Census, there are 188 individually Black-owned farms which make up a combined 40,412 acres. Out of the 116,417 agricultural producers in Illinois, 267 are Black and 115,896 are Caucasian. Farming is Illinois’ top job producing industry.

“I want to thank the stakeholders who worked with Rep. Sonja Harper and me on this timely legislation,” Simmons said. “I appreciate the bipartisan nature of the passage and look forward to righting the wrongs of previous generations.”

House Bill 5201 passed the Senate and awaits further consideration.

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons Agriculture committee rSPRINGFIELD – To better recognize the historic injustices that Black farmers face in the agriculture industry, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to create the Agriculture Equity Commission.

“We are taking the right steps to correct the intergenerational and well-documented discrimination experienced by Black farmers,” Simmons said. “My goal is to see this commission address the root issues and find actionable solutions to give Black farmers justice.”

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons HIV Floor rSPRINGFIELD – To allow more people to access HIV preventative care easier, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to allow pharmacists to provide HIV tests and preventative medications to help reduce new HIV infections.

Simmons’ measure would allow pharmacists to dispense and administer drugs, order laboratory tests, and consult individuals related to HIV pre-exposure drugs (PrEP) and post-exposure drugs (PEP). Pharmacists would first have to complete an educational training course on the administration of tests and medications prior to being permitted to assist patients. 

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Category: Press Releases

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District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-1717

Springfield Office:
Senator 7th District
M115 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8492

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