As thousands of Illinoisans prepare for an onslaught of window-rattling noise brought on by new runway patterns at O’Hare International Airport, State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) is supporting a bill that would provide income tax credits for those who choose to purchase noise mitigating windows, doors and other soundproofing items.

This week McAuliffe signed on as a Chief Co-Sponsor of HB 4273, a measure that would help cover the costs associated with the purchase of materials to help soundproof homes in the path of the new runway configuration. “These families will endure the noise of jet aircraft flying less than a mile over their homes as planes take off and land at O’Hare,” said McAuliffe. “While federal grants are in place to assist homeowners in other areas near the airport, the FAA has decided not to provide relief to those impacted by the new runway patterns. It’s unacceptable.”

HB 4273 creates an income tax credit for taxpayers impacted by aircraft noise who purchase and install soundproofing materials in their homes. According to the provisions of the bill, the credit could equal the cost of qualified materials and services, and would be available for up to five years after soundproofing expenses were incurred.

“These people are facing a significant decrease in their quality of life due to a decision that was not of their making,” McAuliffe said. “Soundproofing materials are expensive, and since these families do not qualify for federal grants, I believe the State has a responsibility to step in and help provide some relief.”

The new runway configuration at O’Hare will take effect in October of this year, and FAA officials estimate the patterns will be in place for at least the next six years.
Illinois women will now have improved access to life-saving 3-D mammography because of a bill signed into law this week by Governor Bruce Rauner.

SB 54, now known as PA 99-0407, expands healthcare coverage for breast cancer screenings by adding the use of “breast tomosynthesis,” or 3-D breast screening technology, to the procedures that must be covered by health insurance plans. The improved technology provides for cross-section 3-D images of breast tissue that can more accurately detect early stage breast cancer.

“Early detection is the key to the best prognosis for those diagnosed with breast cancer, and this enhanced imaging technology will save lives,” said State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), the Chief House Sponsor of the bill. “Ensuring that this 3-D technology is covered by insurance will allow more women to be properly diagnosed early so they can begin a treatment plan sooner.”

According to the provisions of the new law, healthcare plans will only cover breast tomosynthesis if the technology is not considered as a mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law took effect immediately upon being signed by the Governor.