Rep. McCombie Co-Sponsored Initiatives Pass House

HB 5749 increases farm truck weight limits and HB 4771 provides critical consumer protections to the long-term care application process 

Springfield, IL – Rep. McCombie’s co-sponsored initiatives, HB 5749 which increases farm truck weight limits and HB 4771 which provides critical consumer protections to the long-term care application process, both passed nearly unanimously with broad bipartisan support.

House Bill 5749 (Phelps Finnie-118) increases haul weight by 10 percent for farm trucks. This change is needed to reduce competitive disadvantages for farmers hauling harvests to storage silos in Illinois. Surrounding states have higher weight limits and this bill will create parity between states and encourage drivers from neighboring states to utilize Illinois’ grain elevators.

In 2017, a law allowing farm trucks hauling goods to be heavier than routinely allowed during ‘Harvest Emergencies’ was signed by the Governor. The Governor issued such a declaration last harvest season after heavy rains delayed getting crops out of the fields. This legislation makes the small emergency weight limit increases permanent.

“Harvest time can be very challenging for farmers and Illinois’ regulations often make it more difficult. This small change will give farmers just one more tool to be more productive during the harvest season and will help farmers increase commerce to our communities,” said Rep. McCombie. “The concerns heard about the weight of the trucks on rural roads and bridges were heard and can be offset by the fees paid and the decrease of truck traffic.”

HB 4771 (Hammond-93) will require the Departments of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and Human Services (DHS) to make critical consumer protection reforms to improve the overall application process for long term care under the State’s Medicaid program. The changes include developing an electronic application process, providing a step-by-step checklist of required documents, and requiring the Departments to provide written receipt of application documents. The process will ensure that applicants will no longer have to ‘start over’ if there are changes in their legal representation.

Facilities will also have a system for providing provisional eligibility if the applications cannot be processed in the required federal time guidelines of 45 days. These much-needed changes will overall system and increase efficiencies for applicants. The bill is the result of a three year bipartisan negotiation process.

“This change is long overdue, and navigating the process to enter long term care should never had been this difficult. This process improvement will ensure a more secure, efficient and prompt application process that will address the struggles of our seniors, their families and the long term care providers,” said Rep. McCombie. “Our long term care population is increasing and they deserve must better than they have been receiving.”

Both pieces of legislation will move to the State Senate for consideration.