SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following the adjournment of her first legislative session as state representative, state Rep. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, helped pass a fiscally responsible budget that prioritizes COVID-19 relief for individuals and businesses that have struggled during the pandemic, all while staying within its means.
“My chief goal when I began my time as a legislator was to make sure that the middle-class families throughout my district have the support and resources they need, which starts by making sure that the state has a balanced budget,” said Ness. “The budget we passed this year will help control spending and pay down bills, while investing in job training programs, education and health care. It is a budget that lifts people up and I am proud of the work we’ve done throughout the budget process.”
Ness helped pass several measures that came about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as seniors in nursing homes being cut off from their families. Ness supported House Bill 3147, which requires nursing homes to provide residents with virtual visits during disasters. She also sponsored House Bill 2454, which allows local governments to waive certain business fees and costs for businesses who experienced hardship due to COVID.
“Every aspect of our lives was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was crucial that the work we did in the General Assembly adjusted to provide assistance to those who need it most,” said Ness. “I worked hard on several measures that we might have never considered pre-pandemic but will now serve to fill those gaps and provide relief to our most vulnerable residents and to the struggling economy.”
Additionally, Ness worked towards increasing health care affordability. She supported House Bill 119, which would create a prescription drug repository program, allowing for unused, unopened prescription drugs to be donated and distributed to patients. As more people have turned to telehealth for healthcare over the last year, Ness worked to expands these services by backing Senate Bill 332, which would require health insurance companies to include information on telehealth providers and services in their provider directory.
“Living through this pandemic this past year has shown the critical need for better access to health care,” said Ness. “I am proud to have supported measures that promote regular preventative cancer screenings, expand telehealth and mental health care resources and reduce and cap skyrocketing prescription drug costs, as our families need affordable health care more than ever.”
“While I am proud of the work we have done in my first session, there is still more work to be done to keep Illinois moving forward towards full recovery,” said Ness. “I will continue to work hard on behalf of the residents of the 66th district and prioritize investing in healthcare, seniors, education and job creation, small businesses, and our first responders as we emerge from this pandemic.”