The Policy and Advocacy Committee’s purpose is to educate and engage ILAIMH membership in early childhood mental health policy and advocacy by promoting the inclusion of the Association’s infant mental health expertise in state level committees, coalitions, and advocacy groups that are impacting early childhood policies, programs, and systems; and informing ILAIMH members of efforts to improve public policies in Illinois that impact the lives of young children and their families.
Recent State Updates
The Illinois legislature is in veto session
The Illinois legislative session continues into next year and currently, the legislature is in veto session, which is used by legislators to reassess bills that have been vetoed by the Governor. The bills that did not move forward and have been “re-referred” may be brought up again when the legislature reconvenes in January, be reintroduced as new bills, or may not move forward.
How to request a temporary Medicaid card
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has released information on the process to request a temporary Medicaid card (T-Card) for those on Medicaid who are experiencing a delay in application processing: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=116877&newssidebar=27893
HealthChoice Illinois enrollment of Special Needs Children deadline extended
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) released a provider notice to extend the effective date for HealthChoice Illinois enrollment of Special Needs Children to February 1, 2020: https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/MedicalProviders/notices/Pages/prn191029a.aspx
Children under the legal custody or guardianship of DCFS will enroll in a specialty health plan (YouthCare) administered by IlliniCare Health. Former Youth in Care will be auto assigned to IlliniCare Health, with the option to select from other health plans serving under the existing HealthChoice Illinois managed care program. All other Special Needs Children populations will enroll in a HealthChoice Illinois managed care health plan.
Providers serving these Special Needs Children populations are encouraged to continue contract discussions with the managed care plans. Providers who are not enrolled to participate in HFS’ Medical Programs must go through IMPACT enrollment prior to pursuing contracts with the plans.
Questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Department’s Bureau of Managed Care at 217-524-7478.
Illinois State Board of Education budget hearings
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is in its Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget process, and they are hosting hearings as the first step in determining next year’s early childhood education budget. At these hearings, stakeholders help shape the drafting of its budget – to better address the far too many children in Illinois facing significant hurdles to school readiness. The next will be held:
Thursday, November 21 | 1 – 4 p.m.
James R. Thompson Center, Room 16-503
100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, Ill.
If you are unable to attend hearings, you can still submit your testimony and form.
Learn how to submit a budget request here:
More information can be found at https://www.isbe.net/board
Proposed Rules for PA100-105
The proposed rules for PA100-105 have been posted by both DCFS and ISBE. The DCFS Rules for Licensing Standards for Day Care Homes (Rule 406, pg 10613), Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers (Rule 407, pg 10634), and Licensing Standards for Group Day Care Homes (Rule 408, pg 10661) are posted to JCAR and the comment period is open until 11/14. You will find the rules under:
ISBE approved their 2nd draft of Rules at the ISBE board meeting and they have moved to JCAR for second notice, which will be discussed at the 11/14 JCAR meeting. Here is the link to the board packet with 2nd draft (starts on page 190): https://www.isbe.net/Documents_Board_Meetings/Public-Board-Packet-9182019.pdf
If you have any questions about making comments you can reach out to Alli Lowe-Fotos email@example.com
Preschool Development Grant
The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development is submitting Illinois’ application for the 2nd round of the Preschool Development Grant. Funding for infrastructure around infant/early childhood mental health consultation has featured prominently and has been written into the application.
Prenatal to Age 3 Initiative
There is also a statewide Prenatal to Age 3 Initiative (PN3) that is to develop a strategic policy agenda and implementation plan focused on prioritizing the expansion of high quality services to low-income infants, toddlers, and their families. In Illinois, the policy agenda and implementation plan will seek to provide services to an additional 25% of Illinois’ infant/toddler population by 2025 (100,000 low-income infants and toddlers).
The PDG and PN3 planning are hoping to align, along with the Governor’s proposed School Financing Commission to ensure that the early childhood system will be adequately funded. Within these are opportunities to raise up quality indicators, such as mental health consultation and so the Mental Health Consultation Initiative is working on cost-modeling so that proposals can be taken to these bodies.
Recent Federal Updates:
Federal budget planning is still underway. Earlier this summer, the House of Representatives passed a “minibus” package with substantial funding increases for many of the federal early learning and care programs that fall under the jurisdiction of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations subcommittee. In August, Congress passed a two-year budget deal setting defense and non-defense spending levels for FY2020 and FY2021, which was necessary to avoid across-the-board funding cuts to non-defense discretionary programs. With these new levels in place, the Senate then moved forward in September with markup of its FY2020 appropriations bill, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed shockingly small increases or level funding for key services, despite significant increases approved by the House in June. Funding allocated in the Senate to the bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education was more than $3 billion less than the House bill. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which received a major $2.4 billion increase in the House, was increased by only $25 million in the Senate. Head Start would grow by only $50 million, compared with $1.5 billion—including $525 million for Early Head Start (EHS)—in the House. Many other programs that support health and well-being, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which includes funding for early intervention services, were level funded. Even small increases would not be enough to account for inflation, placing current levels of services at risk in many programs. Congress did not agree to a budget before the fiscal year ended on September 30, 2019 and so to avoid a government shutdown, lawmakers passed an intermittent spending bill known as a “continuing resolution” to fund the government at FY2019 levels through November 21, 2019, while they continue to negotiate a final FY2020 funding bill.
“Public Charge” is a term used by US immigration officials to refer to a person who is considered likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence. An immigrant found likely to become a “public charge” may be denied admission to the U.S. or lawful permanent resident status. In some circumstances, people can be deported based on public charge grounds. Current ‘Public Charge’ test affects immigrants primarily dependent on the government for Cash assistance (i.e. TANF, SSI) and/or institutionalization for long-term care.
Multiple federal courts, including one in Chicago, as well as three other states, have issued injunctions temporarily blocking President Trump’s Public Charge regulation from going into effect on October 15. The Illinois effort was led by Cook County government and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Currently Protecting Immigrant Families Illinois is working on a rapid response plan. Public comment documents are being updated and will be posted to the website: https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/
The 2020 Census is quickly approaching and IL Count Me In 2020 (http://ilcountmein2020.org/) is leading IL’s advocacy efforts. Children under 5 are often underreported which can have a great impact on funding and service delivery. The 2010 Census missed 1 in 10 young children, reducing for a decade federal funding for programs that help children thrive.
The Trauma-Informed Schools Act of 2019 has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor by Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts. If signed into law, this act would amend the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act to align federal funding sources to invest in trauma-informed education for teacher professional development and after-school programming, as well define “trauma-informed practices” for federal education laws:
- We submitted comments to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Maternal Child Health Title V Block Grant 2020 Application/2018 Annual Report and the 2020 Illinois Maternal Child Health Title V Block Grant Action Plan.
101st General Assembly Legislation
The ILAIMH Policy & Advocacy Committee follows activity in the state legislation in order to disseminate information and promote activism among our members.
The Illinois legislative session continues into next year and currently, the legislature is in veto session, which is used by legislators to reassess bills that have been vetoed by the Governor. The bills that did not move forward and have been “re-referred” may be brought up again when the legislature reconvenes in January, be reintroduced as new bills, or may not move forward. click to read details of current legislation in progress.