At the Capitol this week, lawmakers in the House spent several hours debating legislation as dozens of bills continue to move through the legislative process. I am pleased with some of the bills that passed this week, but I remain very concerned over some of the others.
One bill in particular this week that passed through the House changes the age required for parental consent for children seeking preventative medical care to 12 years old.
HB 2665, as currently written, potentially allows children as young as 12 years old to access birth control, and medication to prevent sexually transmitted and other serious illnesses and diseases. A serious discussion ensued on the House floor on this bill, with Republicans arguing that 12 years old is far too young to be making major decisions on medical care.
I agreed with my colleagues that rose during debate to say that children as young as 12 do not have the mental and emotional maturity or adequate health education to make the decision on their own to seek AIDS prevention medicine and/or birth control.
My colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle made valid arguments pointing out the hypocrisy of lowering the age for parental consent for serious medical care, while the State of Illinois requires parental notification and or permission for someone under the age of 17 to get their ears pierced and to get a tattoo. Opponents argued that we can’t have it both ways…Illinois now bans adults between the ages of 18 and 21 from buying tobacco products, but the bill’s sponsors are working to lower the age for someone to make serious decisions about their medical care to the age of 12.
I joined 47 other members of the House in voting NO. But, the Democrats scraped together enough votes to pass the bill over to the Senate (62 yes, 48 no). It is my prayer that this legislation sees no further light of day. If you wish to have your voice heard on HB 2665, you can visit my.ilga.gov and search for the bill using the Senate menus. A quick tutorial on how to fill out a witness slip is pictured below.
I was also blessed to have several visitors to the Capitol from the 115th district, including some outstanding women! It is great to get the feeling of familiarity with friends from Southern Illinois when I am spending long days in Springfield. You are welcome at the Capitol any time….and I hope you will take advantage of any opportunity you have to visit Springfield during Session. It is quite the educational experience! I’ll share pictures and more with you, all in this week’s Bryant E News!
Press Release: Bryant Passes Bill to Curb Elder Abuse
Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) earned unanimous support from the Illinois House for legislation aimed at curbing elder abuse in Illinois. Bryant says the idea for the legislation came from a concerned citizen that lost a family member to elder abuse by a fellow relative.
“The case that was brought to me was really heartbreaking, and I just felt that something needed to be done to strengthen our efforts when the Department of Aging is investigating crimes of elder abuse,” Bryant said. “I am pleased to know that my colleagues in the House felt strongly enough about this issue to vote unanimously in support.”
HB 3065 makes a change to the Adult Protective Services Act. The legislation, if passed, directs the Department of Aging to contact as many family members as they can find during any investigation of elder abuse. Bryant says it is sad, but true that some family members become violent with seniors that are in their care, and that often times the abuse can go unnoticed and unreported.
“We want to give every protection we can to the most vulnerable citizens whose lives depend on proper care,” Bryant said. “As a member of the Human Services Committee, I want to do all that I can as a legislator to curb the very serious issue of elder abuse.”
Visitors! Snapshots from the Capitol and Beyond
There are several major issues left to be resolved in the coming two months ahead of the House’s scheduled May 31 adjournment. Here’s what I see coming down the pike:
The Governor’s proposed constitutional Amendment to institute a progressive income tax, as well as dealing with the Governor’s proposals to raise taxes on plastic bags, insurance plans, online better, e-cigarettes, and cigarettes. Legislation to legalize/not legalize cannabis for adult recreational use.
There are also rumors that a capital infrastructure plan to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges, schools, and water treatment facilities across the State could be on the horizon. Also, there is the issue of passing a balanced budget that spends more than 36.5 billion dollars.
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Tuesday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Wednesday and Fridays from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org