The Village of Harwood Heights has received a $2.165 million grant from the state to build a new recreation center. The money had been suspended due to state budget restrictions, but is now finally being authorized.

From the Chicago Tribune:

State Rep. Michael McAuliffe brought an oversized check from the state to the Sept. 22 Village Board meeting. He said he pressured state leaders to release the funding to Harwood Heights.

"We had money that was approved by previous general assemblies, (but) the governor suspended a lot of grants," McAuliffe said. "Due to some hard work on behalf of myself and Senator John Mulroe, we're happy to see the governor is releasing it because that back room needs to be fixed."
The state of Illinois has backed off a 2-year-old policy that allowed only its sickest residents with hepatitis C who rely on the traditional Medicaid program to get disease-curing drugs.

The policy change, announced Friday evening, means Illinois residents on Medicaid with stage 3 liver scarring — not just the sickest patients with stage 4 liver scarring — will be able to access the drugs. If left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to liver failure, cancer and even death.

At least 12,000 Illinoisans covered by Medicaid had been diagnosed with hepatitis C as of last year, according to the state.


State Rep. Michael McAuliffe, R-Chicago, was elated to hear of the new policy Friday. McAuliffe is chairman of the state's task force on hepatitis C, which he created after losing his father-in-law, brother-in-law and uncle to complications of hepatitis C. The task force had been pushing for changes to the policy.

"I think it's going to save a lot of lives," McAuliffe said.

Read more on the policy change at the Chicago Tribune.