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Illinois House gives PANDAS-PANS a code

Thomas Clatterbuck

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In its last day of veto session, the Illinois House voted to give a code to cover PANDA-PANS.  Despite its cute sounding name, PANDAS-PANS is no joke.  PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections, is a potential side effect of a normal strep throat infection.  During a strep infection, the body’s natural defenses hunt down the strep bacteria, which can mimic normal cells.  Sometimes, when strep mimics brain cells, that can cause the body to attack healthy brain cells by mistake.  The result is a sudden onset of conditions such as ODC or anxiety disorders.  PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) describes the same effect, but from any source, not just strep.

In July, HB 2721, better known as “Charlie’s Law,” required insurance companies in Illinois to cover the disorders.  Illinois was the first state to make such a requirement.  There was only one problem: PANDAS-PANS are relatively new disorders.  As such, there is no code for either disorder, so there was no way to bill for it or record that someone had it.  To fix this problem, HB 1277 allows PANDAS-PANS to be coded as autoimmune encephalitis until the disorders get unique codes.

Technical bills like HB 1277 often get ignored as boring or unimportant.  HB 1277 is only three sentences long.  But when it comes to keeping our state’s medial system on the cutting edge, small changes can be critical.

To learn more about PANDAS-PANS, visit the PANDAS Network.

Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

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Outdoors

Bourne’s Combination Youth Hunting and Trapping License Bill Signed into Law

Staff Contributor

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PRESS RELEASE | House Bill 4783, which merges two youth Department of Natural Resources issued licenses, was recently signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. The new law, sponsored by Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), combines the previously separate youth hunting and trapping licenses. This bill was an initiative of the DNR to cut red tape and streamline the licensing process for those under 18 years of age in the state.

Representative Bourne stated, “This new law will enable young hunters to obtain and carry only one license. They are able to hunt or trap under it while supervised by an adult who is 21 years of age or older who will mentor them, and teach them the proper techniques and safety measures to trap or hunt.” Rep. Bourne added that if a youth has a valid certificate of competency for hunting or trapping approved by the Department of Natural Resources, he or she is exempt from these supervision requirements.

Under the new law the fee for a Youth Hunting and Trapping License is $7. To learn more about hunting and trapping or to apply for a license, visit www.dnr.illinois.gov.

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Illinois Govt

Rep. Jimenez’s Legislation to Move State Jobs Back to the Capital City Signed into Law

Staff Contributor

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State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez’s push to return state jobs to the capital city today culminated in the signing of a new law mandating that Sangamon County be the default location for state positions in agencies under the Governor. House Bill 4295 directs state agencies to set a geographic location for each job, and if there isn’t a geographic necessity for the state job, then it should be located in Sangamon County.

“For all of my time as state representative, I have made it a priority to push State agencies to identify positions within State government that can and should be located in Sangamon County. A recent report identified hundreds of jobs that could potentially be relocated to the capital city. By making Sangamon County the default location for state jobs in state law, it sends a clear signal that state jobs should be in the capital city, unless they need to be located somewhere else in the state to best serve our residents,” said State Representative Jimenez (R-Leland Grove), the legislation’s chief sponsor.

Rep. Jimenez previously spearheaded passage of a resolution urging agencies under the Governor to compile a report listing the number of state employees in each county, including justification for the location. The report released indicates the potential for nearly 400 jobs to move back to the capital city. The new preference contained in House Bill 4295 takes the next step in the process, requiring the Director of Central Management Services to relocate to Sangamon County all State employment positions under the Personnel Code that are not required by their nature or function to be located in another area. It also requires that all new positions created be located in the Capitol City unless required to be located in another specific location.

The relocation provisions will apply to currently vacant positions and as they become vacant in the future.

“The home of Illinois’ state government should also be home base for as many state government employees as possible. That will help streamline the process of providing services and also save taxpayer dollars in the long run – two improvements we need now more than ever,” Representative Jimenez said.

For more information and detail about this bill, previous efforts and the report from 2016, visit www.repsara.com.

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Entertainment

Illinois DNR taking applications for archery hunting on private land

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Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources is getting ready to divvy up more than 18,000 acres of private land in 20 counties for archery deer hunters.

The Illinois Recreational Access Program allows hunters to apply for one of about 120 hunting spots on private land across the state.

DNR spokesman Ed Cross said the idea is to get hunters into the field, even if they don’t have a field of their own.

“We have a lot of hunters who say they don’t have access to hunting ground,” Cross said. “The IRAP program is great way to get folks out there and enjoy as many opportunities throughout the state.”

There are spots available in some of Illinois’ best deer country, including Pike and McDonough counties in western Illinois and Williamson County in southern Illinois.

“This is a very popular program,” Cross said. “For deer season, as an example, more than 120 sites are available through 20 different counties in Illinois. And each year we see more and more folks who are interested in it.”

Cross said applications are due by Aug. 24. Hunters must pick one of Illinois’ two October archery seasons when they apply.

Applications are available on the DNR’s website.

Article by Benjamin Yount, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit ILnews.org 

To learn more about IRAP, check out the Springfield Daily video here

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