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Springfield, IL… In response to the State’s slow moving efforts to expand newborn screening tests, State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) unanimously advanced legislation to help speed up the implementation process of additional tests like Krabbe disease.

Krabbe disease is a rare neurological illness that must be identified as soon after birth as possible if it is to be treated. By the time symptoms appear in babies, it is often too late to receive treatment. A state law passed in 2007 added Krabbe to the newborn screening panel, a state-mandated public health program designed to catch certain genetic, metabolic, and congenital disorders in newborn babies. Ten years later and testing is still slow to be administered. Five children in Illinois have died of Krabbe since the statewide screening should have begun.

“Early identification can literally mean life or death in these tragic situations,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “The sooner we can get these tests implemented, the more babies lives we will save. Bureaucratic red tape should not stand in the way of that.”

New tests and screenings as well as medical advancements require new equipment. House Bill 4745 amends Illinois’ procurement law so that it no longer applies to contracts for services, information technology purchases, commodities, and equipment to support the delivery of timely newborn screening services provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The procurement process, while intended to make sure we’re getting the best use of taxpayer dollars, is often lengthy and cumbersome. Last fall IDPH testified before the House Health Care Availability and Access Committee and said that the nearly two year procurement process is partly to blame for the delayed implementation of new testing.

HB 4745 passed out of the State Government Administration Committee 7-0 and will now be considered by the full House of Representatives.
Springfield, IL… State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) unanimously advanced legislation to require women to be informed if they have an increased risk of breast cancer or if they need to seek additional tests.
Statistics suggest that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Around half of women have dense breast tissue, which makes the cancer much more difficult to detect. According to the Mayo Clinic, nondense breast tissue appears dark and transparent on a mammogram while dense breast tissue appears as a solid white area, which makes it difficult to see through. Cancer tumors also appear white. Often a mammography alone, the gold standard for breast cancer screening, can miss cancer diagnoses; as often as one third of the time. Dense breast tissue also raises a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
“Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women and the earlier the detection, the better the odds of survival,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “Many women don’t know that they have dense breast tissue and that they need more than the standard mammography test.”
A few years ago Illinois passed legislation that stated that if women have dense breast tissue they may be afforded an ultrasound covered by insurance. House Bill 4392 will serve as an educational enhancement to that mandate. It requires mammography providers to notify women who have dense breast tissue and inform them of the implications so that they can go to a doctor and discuss supplemental tests and breast imaging tools that may be necessary for a proper diagnosis.
HB 4392 passed the House Human Services Committee today on a 12-0 vote. Along with Rep. McAuliffe the committee heard testimony from Dr. Georgia Spear, Chief of Mammography at NorthShore University HealthSystem, and Bridget Pargulski and Patricia Beyer, two women who received breast cancer diagnoses after inaccurately clean mammograms.
The bill now heads to the floor for a full House vote. Similar legislation is in the Senate sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago).
The Illinois House and Senate are adjourned until April 9th. Speaker Madigan sets the schedule and all told the House has met for just 12 days this year. When the House returns, we will be in session nearly every day until scheduled adjournment on May 31st. By then we are expected to have passed a budget. However, the House has yet to adopt a revenue estimate and has failed to do so for years. This estimate serves as a taxpayer protection so we don't spend more money than we have available. As a result, over the past few years we have had budget deficits ultimately culminating in last year's tax hike.
It can be incredibly difficult to pass meaningful legislation and make tough budgetary choices in an election year. Increasingly partisan politics means neither side wants to give the other a "win".

Gun Legislation Update
Both within Illinois and across the nation, public safety is under threat from gun violence and mass shootings. We need to give our law enforcement officials, our regulatory agencies, and our communities the tools they need to help prevent tragedies across the state. We can do that while maintaining a respect for an individual's 2nd amendment rights.The Illinois House has responded with the following legislation:
Today House Republican Leader Jim Durkin appointed State Representative Michael McAuliffe to serve on the Firearm Public Awareness Task Force. The task force was created by House Resolution 648, which passed the House on February 28th. 

HR 648 reconstitutes a task force that expired in 2012 and was originally responsible for finding and analyzing data from states with concealed carry laws and the number of handgun crimes in each state before and after the laws went in to effect. Illinois’ own concealed carry law was adopted in 2014. 

The new reiteration of the Firearm Public Awareness Task Force will analyze the distribution of shootings in regions across the state, the flow of illegal guns into Illinois from other states, the conditions and gun dealer practices that facilitate straw purchases, and states with the best practices for regulating handguns and rifles. 

Rep. McAuliffe was one of five members of the Illinois House Republicans to be selected for the task force and the only one whose district includes parts of Chicago, a city plagued with gun violence. In addition to state legislators, the task force will include representatives from the policing community, gun violence advocates, the Illinois’ Department of Public Health and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.  

State Representative Michael McAuliffe successfully passed a resolution to honor Brian Urlacher on his induction in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Urlacher played linebacker for 12 years for the Chicago Bears from 2000-2012. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility on February 3rd. 

Image result for brian urlacherIn his first season, Urlacher recorded 124 tackles and eight sacks, breaking the franchise rookie record. He was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2000. He holds the Chicago Bears record for total career tackles; 1,353. As an incredibly popular player with nationwide recognition, Urlacher was voted in to eight pro bowls. Throughout his career he received numerous accolades including the Ed Block Courage award for sportsmanship and courage on and off the field. Urlacher is just the 28th Chicago Bear to enter the Hall of Fame.

The resolution was passed by the 100th General Assembly on February 13th. It applauds Brian Urlacher on his accomplishments, hard work, and the positive impact he has had on the Chicago Bears and the City of Chicago. Copies of the resolution will be presented to Urlacher and the Chicago Bears Organization.
At Governor Rauner's State of the State Address, Rep. McAuliffe and fellow state representatives wear black in solidarity against sexual harassment and discrimination

The Illinois School District Library Grant Program recently announced the recipients of Fiscal Year 2018 grants. The list includes several school libraries in the 20th district.  

Image result for School District Library Grant ProgramThe program is designed to help provide more library books and materials for the students of public schools in Illinois. The state legislature has authorized up to a $.75 per pupil expenditure for qualifying schools. The grant award is based on funds appropriated by the General Assembly and the official enrollment as of the previous September 30th of a school district.

The program was started by Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White:

“As a former public school teacher and administrator, I know our school libraries are very important in helping students learn and prepare themselves for the future. Illinois was the first state to implement a school district grant program for libraries, and I am pleased that we can continue to provide them with some of the financial resources they need to produce well-educated students.”

East Maine School District #63 will receive the largest grant in the district, at nearly $2,500. The other libraries include Ridgewood Community High School District #234 and Schiller Park School District #81.