One of the more important ways of finding out what Illinois government is doing is the Illinois Register, which the Index Department of the Secretary of State’s office publishes regularly. That volume gives full text of new and proposed and changed rules and other administrative agency actions. It is, like the Federal Register, excellent bedtime reading, and suitable for use as a doorstop, once a month or two of paper has been accumulated.
For those of us with less time and less brains every month, there are some alternatives to reading the whole thing. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity summarizes business regulations. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules summarizes just about everything in the Illinois Register, in their publication titled “The Flinn Report.” This note is the “Twitter” version (less than 140 characters per item, I hope) of their most recent issue. The significance and range of issues that our agencies address should be obvious, once you look at the new and changed rules they have most recently proposed:
• New nursing home regulations are at the adoption stage, to limit financial abuse of the disabled and aged;
• New cemetery regulations are, also, at the announcement stage, per the current Flinn, and the Tribune’s investigation of many bodies dumped at a SW Cook cemetery.
• Food assistance would be made easier by a coordination of eligibility standards.
• Parents will be able to make more money and still qualify for child care assistance.
• University-based healthcare provider payment rates from Medicare will increase.
• Paper, film, and foil coatings, metal furniture coatings, and large appliance coatings, as well as cleaning processes for the latter two, will be affected by new volatile organic materials limits for the Chicago and St. Louis areas.
• Hospitals will have to implement federal treatment protocost for multidrug resistant organisms.
• Changes are proposed in the treatment of sexually abused persons.
• Teacher learning standards have changed.
• Grants will be available for multi-organization work to encourage high school dropouts to go back to school.
• The Commerce Commission proposes changes in internal review of hearing officer decisions.
• The Department of Revenue created some multi-township tax assessment districts.
• The Department of Children and Family Services will garnish assistance payments from parents owing child support.
• There will be no more special fall turkey hunting in the Savanna Army Depot -- and there were other hunting and fishing area changes. You may want to avert your eyes. The state apparently runs a “Mt. Vernon Propagation Center.” Thousands of cloned George and Martha Washingtons are probably not what they encourage to reproduce down there.
For more, and better details, see: <http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/flinn/reg15.pdf>. ■