KUDOS TO THOSE WHO WORKED TO REOPEN STATE HISTORIC SITES
Communities throughout the state received good news this week, when the reopening of more than a dozen state historic sites was announced.
Despite strong opposition, former Governor Rod Blagojevich closed the sites in November 2008, and local citizens, lawmakers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have been working for months to reopen the sites.
In early April, the General Assembly approved a $1.6 million appropriation to reopen the sites. Several sites are scheduled to reopen April 22, with other facilities opening later because of required maintenance.
Kudos to those who worked so hard to get these sites reopened. They are important to our state’s tourism and the preservation of our heritage.
MONEY TO BE USED TO PAY DOWN MEDICAID DEBT
Medicaid providers should also be relieved after receiving notice this week that the Governor has plans to utilize $200 million in federal dollars to pay down the state’s staggering backlog of Medicaid debt.
For years, Illinois has lagged behind in payments to hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies and physicians—some waiting as long as 150 days to receive payment.
The federal government will provide stimulus dollars to help cover Illinois’ overwhelming Medicaid obligations on the condition that the state reduces the payment cycle to 30 days or less by June 1.