State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – In an effort to improve health care access and affordability for pregnant women, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) introduced a measure to establish a permanent licensure pathway for freestanding birth centers, which passed committee Tuesday.

“As health care disparities continue to widen in our state, it’s important that we increase access to quality, affordable health care,” Senator Fine said. “A pathway to permanent licensure for freestanding birth centers will create more opportunities for the women who rely on their services.”

Senator Fine’s legislation would create the Birth Center Licensing Act, lifting the current cap on the number of freestanding birth center licenses so more women, especially those experiencing health care disparities, have access to the birthing style they prefer. Freestanding birth centers would still be regulated under the Alternative Health Care Delivery Act, and licenses would have to be renewed every year.

Freestanding birth centers are a lower-cost option for expectant mothers seeking a more homelike approach to childbirth and who do not want a hospital setting. There are currently just two freestanding birth centers in Illinois that provide this style of care.

“Women should be able to choose between a home birth, a hospital birth and the choice in between: freestanding birth centers,” Senator Fine said. “Lifting the licensure cap for birth centers will be an immense help for Illinoisans seeking a certified nurse midwife to help them bring their child into the world.”

House Bill 3995 passed the Senate Health Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Individuals could more easily change the sex designation on their birth certificate and receive fee waivers for copies of corrected birth certificates under an initiative proposed by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), which passed committee Wednesday.

“Unnecessary barriers to changing sex on a birth certificate can push marginalized communities further into the margins,” Senator Fine said. “An individual who identifies as female, male or gender nonconforming should be able to have their gender reflected on their birth certificate as easily as they do on their driver’s license.”

Senator Fine’s measure makes it easier for individuals who don’t identify with the sex on their birth certificate or who are intersex to change their original birth certificate by removing the requirement for a note from a medical professional. Eligibility for fee waivers for new birth certificates would also be expanded under this legislation to include individuals who are homeless, released from the Department of Corrections or in a domestic violence shelter.

The requirements set forth in the proposal line up with the requirements for changing sex designation on a driver’s license in Illinois, as well as the requirements for changing sex designation on birth certificates in 12 other states.

“Having access to a birth certificate that properly reflects your identity is the first step to proper identification for everyday activities,” Senator Fine said. “An individual stating their gender identity or that they are intersex should be more than enough for that change to be reflected on their birth certificate.”

House Bill 9 passed the Senate Executive Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – The Department of Healthcare and Family Services would be required to reimburse epilepsy specialists for providing telehealth treatment services under State Senator Laura Fine’s (D-Glenview) legislation, which passed committee Tuesday.

“Epilepsy affects hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, and it’s important they have the option to seek treatment from the comfort of their home in the midst of a global pandemic,” Senator Fine said. “Epilepsy specialists need to be reimbursed for providing critical telehealth services to their patients.”

There are more than 65 million people around the world who have epilepsy, according to the Epilepsy Foundation, and many have sought treatment via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Fine’s legislation would ensure epilepsy specialists in Illinois receive the reimbursement they deserve for providing telehealth treatment to individuals with epilepsy or related disorders.

“Illinoisans deserve access to medical services in a timely manner,” Senator Fine said. “This legislation will make this access more convenient and improve the quality of life for patients. Many other behavioral and medical health providers are already being reimbursed for telehealth services, and expanding this umbrella to include epilepsy specialists will benefit individuals living with epilepsy across the state.”

House Bill 3025 passed the Senate Health Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Patients seeking copies of their medical records to file claims for benefits would no longer have to pay for copies under legislation from State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), which was introduced in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Tuesday after passing the House with unanimous bipartisan support.

“Illinoisans seeking benefits should not have to spend their hard-earned money on copies of medical records required to file claims,” Senator Fine said. “These benefit programs are in place to help our most vulnerable populations, and it’s imperative that we make the application process as easy as possible.”

Current law only allows homeless indigent veterans to receive medical records from health care facilities and practitioners at no cost to support claims for veterans’ disability benefits. Senator Fine’s measure would expand eligibility to allow anyone to receive free medical records to support a claim for veterans’ disability, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled benefits.

“This has been a successful program for veterans for years, but it’s time to expand eligibility to include other groups,” Senator Fine said. “Benefits programs can’t help people if they are unable to afford to submit claims for benefits.”

House Bill 714 passed the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Information

Springfield Office:
121C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717

laura@senatorfine.com