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Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - August 2, 2016

State begins mailing sticker renewal notices again
Starting this month, Illinois vehicle owners will start receiving notices that stickers on their licenses plates are about to expire, a courtesy that ended almost a year ago to save money.
Secretary of State Jesse White announced this week that recent approval of a stopgap budget gave his office additional funding for postage. Discontinuation of the renewal notices saved an estimated $450,000 monthly since October 2015.
Fees for late renewal doubled to $11 million for the first six months of 2016 over the first half of 2015; the revenue went into the state's general fund, not White's office.

New laws protect access to health care, especially for women
State Senator Steve Stadelman supported measures that were signed into law last week, strengthening women's rights to make informed decisions about their medical care and reproductive health. 
One measure requires insurance companies to provide coverage for most FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products and to provide up to 12 months of contraceptives at one time.
Previously, insurance companies only were required to cover at least one contraceptive in each drug class, leaving out a host of medical options for women who must try multiple forms of birth control before finding the right fit.
All medical patients – but particularly women seeking reproductive health care – will benefit from the second measure, an update of the state's Health Care Right of Conscience law.
The law, which allows medical providers to refuse certain medical treatments based on religious objections, failed to adequately protect patients' rights to information about their medical condition and treatment options. Providers could withhold vital information because of their personal beliefs.
Now, Illinois encourages more transparency and balance in the patient-doctor relationship by requiring medical providers to establish written protocols for offering information about available treatment options and how patients can access them.

College accountability reforms go on the books
Efforts to protect taxpayers and college students from misuse of their money by colleges and universities also were signed into law last week. The measures, both supported by State Senator Steve Stadelman, were advanced  in response to widely reported abuses at the College of DuPage.
The news law prevents a lame-duck community college board from entering into a new contract with a college administrator starting 45 days before Election Day until the end of the expiring terms in office. Under the new laws, board members also must take four hours of professional development training in ethics and other subjects.

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