March , 2019

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While bills for concealed carry and pension reform have created controversy for Illinois lawmakers recently, the American Heart Association would like to celebrate and thank the members of the Illinois General Assembly for passing legislation that will help save lives and improve the health of Illinoisans.

Several bills have passed the legislature and are awaiting Governor Quinn’s signature. These bills are small but important steps in treating cardiovascular disease in Illinois. Below is a short description of each bill passed:

 •HB 2661: known as the “Pulse Ox” bill, which requires hospitals to perform an inexpensive, non-invasive screening for congenital heart defects. This screening can catch heart defects that were not yet presenting symptoms in babies, which resulted in serious health issues and sometimes death.

 •H.B. 1225: This bill will ensure high-school PE teachers and coaches have access to a free CPR video training program.

•H.B. 2506: This bill will ensure that at least two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) will be available to thousands of patrons and employees who visit Illinois’ horse racing parks.

 •H.B. 1854: This bill will ensure the brave men and women of Illinois’ Emergency Medical Services are properly honored with a flag flown at half-staff in the tragic event that a member of an EMS crew is killed in the line of duty.

 •H.B. 2777 and H.B. 3186: These bills will make it easier for cash and time-strapped EMS systems to maintain a full roster of EMTs in the field, especially in rural areas of the state helping to make sure individuals receive treatment when they need it the most.

One additional bill made it within sight of final passage before running out of time prior to a final vote:

 · H.B. 2778: another important EMS bill that would make it easier for EMTs with Advanced and Intermediate-level training to use that training to save a life even when they’re aboard a Basic-level ambulance. The bill passed the House and was then amended and passed in the Senate, but still needs one more vote in the House before it can be sent to the Governor for signature. This procedural vote, known as concurrence, can take place later this year when the legislature comes back into session before final adjournment. We urge the Illinois House of Representatives to move this bill to final passage at their earliest opportunity.

 “We thank the Representatives and Senators who worked with the American Heart Association, our volunteers, and other health organizations and advocates to pass these bills,” said American Heart Association Government Relations Director, Alex Meixner.

For more information on the American Heart Association’s legislative priorities in Illinois, or how you can be an advocate for heart health, log on to www.yourethecure.org.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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