Time Shortage Prevents Passage of Illinois Syringe Bill
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago, an organization that has worked to ensure passage of a syringe deregulation bill, says the 2000 state legislative session ended on a "mixed note" for the Illinois AIDS advocacy community. While no legislation that would have "adversely affected the lives of people with HIV/AIDS" advanced in the state General Assembly this year, and while "tremendous progress was made promoting HIV prevention through expanded access to sterile syringes," support for a Chicago Bears stadium "left virtually no opportunity for state senators to pass the syringe purchasing bill." House Bill 298, permitting the adult purchase of sterile syringes at drug stores without a prescription, passed the Illinois House of Representatives 65-49 in April. The Senate Rules Committee passed the bill in November, and "had time allowed," the legislation could have passed the full chamber, the group says. The foundation adds that if the bill had been enacted, Illinois would have become the 46th state to allow syringe purchases without a prescription, saving at least 150 people from HIV infection each year. Principal sponsors Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Sens. Steve Rauschenberger (R-Elgin) and Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) plan to reintroduce the legislation next year, when it may "have a better chance of reaching the governor's desk for signature" (AIDS Foundation of Chicago release, 12/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.