medicaidSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) issued the following statement after the Senate approved Medicaid expansion legislation he co-sponsored:

"I'm pleased to support improved access to health care for many of our state's most vulnerable residents. Accepting the available federal funds will let us move medical treatment out of the emergency room and into the doctor's office and mental health clinic. Today, by choosing full participation in the Affordable Care Act, we're also moving toward coordinated, preventive, effective care and away from a system that treats the uninsured only after their conditions have become costly and debilitating. I'm proud Illinois is taking advantage of this opportunity, after last year's difficult cuts, to put our Medicaid program back on the right track."

Key components of Senate Bill 26:

  • All adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit ($15,415 for an individual) will be able to enroll in Medicaid starting January 1, 2014. Currently, adults are eligible for Medicaid only if they have disabilities or care for dependent children.
  • The federal government will reimburse Illinois for 100 percent of the costs of covering these newly eligible enrollees through 2017.
  • The reimbursement rate will decrease gradually after 2017 but stay at 90 percent after 2020.
  • If the federal government fails to reimburse the state at 90 percent or above, the newly eligible clients will become ineligible; Illinois will not be stuck with the bill.

Expected benefits include:

  • Access to routine, coordinated care for 342,000 low-income adults
  • Fewer unnecessary and uncompensated emergency room visits
  • An influx of $1.1 billion in federal dollars in the first year and more than $12 billion in federal funds in the first eight years of the expansion
  • Job creation in the health care sector
  • $105 million in annual savings to the state as federal funds replace state expenditures on mental health, HIV/AIDS drugs and other areas of spending
  • A reduction in the burden on hospitals and local government currently caring for the uninsured
  • Better preventive care and mental health care for a vulnerable segment of the population
Category: Press Releases

biss75x75Concerned with the privacy of citizens, Senator Biss has introduced legislation that would regulate the use of unmanned aircraft by law enforcement:

With the possibility of drones becoming the latest aircraft traversing the skies, Biss said this is "the exact moment states should be looking into" unmanned aircraft legislation.

"We're heading into a world where technology surveillance is unreal," the Evanston lawmaker said.

The bill, Senate Bill 1587, would require police to obtain a warrant before using a drone to gather information and would prohibit the use of on-board weapons.

Category: Latest

This is the address Senator Biss gave in support of Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, on Thursday.

Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) addresses the Senate on Thursday in support of Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.A month ago, after this issue was last debated in this chamber, my wife and I sat and talked about it at the kitchen table. Our 4-year old son, Elliot, overheard our conversation and asked what we were talking about.

"A bill in Springfield," I told him.

He asked, "When they voted on the bill, were there more green lights or more red lights?"

"Well, it didn't get enough green lights to pass," I explained.

"Is that what you wanted to happen?"

I answered: "No. I was hoping the bill would pass."

And so he asked: "Why, Daddy?"

"I thought the bill was a pretty good idea. It said that our friends Mark and Neal can be together just like Mommy and Daddy."

Elliot thought about this quietly for awhile. Finally, with a puzzled look on his face, he said "But, Daddy, they already are!"

At first, I was proud of Elliot -- proud that he could be so open and accepting at the tender age of 4. But after a moment, I realized that there was nothing surprising about a small child looking at a loving couple committed to living together in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, and seeing a marriage like any other. After all, we're not born differentiating between people based on race, color, creed, religion, or sexual orientation. No, that's learned behavior.

It's not impressive for a 4-year old to see all couples as equal. What would be impressive is for a 14-year old to feel the same way. That's because Elliot is going to spend the next decade bombarded by signals telling him that same-sex couples aren't truly legitimate or entitled to equal rights. These signals will come from popular culture, from peers in school, from adults, and -- at least as of this moment -- from the government of the state of Illinois.

And that brings me to the question before us today. The question is whether Illinois -- land not only of Abraham Lincoln but also of Jane Addams, Richard Wright, Studs Terkel, Aaron Swartz, and Barack Obama, a state with a proud history of social action for openness, equality, and civil rights -- will continue to enshrine discrimination in its law, and in doing so send a signal to all citizens that discrimination is appropriate. Or, instead, will we make a stand for justice and grant all couples equal access to the rights and responsibilities of marriage?

On behalf of all my gay and lesbian constituents, who have waited quietly and patiently for far too long for the right to simply be treated like everyone else, I ask you to vote yes. Please push that green button -- fill that board with beautiful green lights -- so we can show the world and teach all our children that the state of Illinois stands for equality.

Thank you.

Category: Press Releases

biss75x75SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), who co-sponsored the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, hailed the Senate's approval of the measure, which would legalize marriage for same-sex couples. Biss issued the following statement:

During today's debate on the Marriage Fairness Act, I told my colleagues about my son Elliot. At age four, he is open and accepting. But there's nothing surprising about a small child seeing a loving same-sex couple committed to living together in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, and seeing a marriage like any other. After all, we're not born differentiating between people based on race, color, creed or sexual orientation. That's learned behavior.

Unfortunately, Elliot may spend the next decade bombarded by signals telling him that same-sex couples aren't legitimate or entitled to equal rights. These signals will come from popular culture, from peers in school and from adults. Today the Senate took a stand and said those signals will no longer come from the State of Illinois.

On behalf of all my gay and lesbian constituents, who have waited patiently for far too long for the right simply to be treated like everyone else, I voted yes. I voted to teach all our children that Illinois stands for equality.

Category: Press Releases

Contact Me

District office:
3706 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 568-1250
(847) 568-1256 FAX

Springfield office:
417B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

Email:
senatorbiss@gmail.com

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.