Schimpf-backed legislation to aid veterans, curb opioid abuse to become law
Laws affecting Illinois veterans and limiting opioid abuse will take effect as the new year begins, according to a recent newsletter from state Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo).
Schimpf, who serves as minority spokesman for the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, played a role in getting the new bills moved through the legislative process
“Our first and foremost priority must be to ensure our veterans receive the best care possible and that they receive it in a healthy environment,” Schimpf said in the newsletter, referring to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy that proved deadly for 13 veterans.
Schimpf said the facility was following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols to stem the disease's spread, and he said hearings would take place to help avoid a future outbreak.
A new rule establishing the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program is aimed at curbing opioid abuse. The program will allow doctors to view a patient’s drug history, making it harder for addicted patients to switch doctors in order to obtain new doses of opioid medication, the newsletter said.
Two other laws mentioned in Schimpf’s newsletter are health related. The first, SB838, focuses on reminding veterans about the value of early cancer detection. Another law, SB866, is designed to raise awareness among veterans about options concerning service animals.
Another law mentioned in the newsletter, SB1238, adds more veterans’ courts that can make it easier to resolve issues that may prevent members of the military from accessing all their due benefits. One of those benefits includes college education for veterans, which is addressed by HB3701. This law calls on colleges and other institutions of higher education to recognize military service as academic credit.