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Gov. Blagojevich signs law reconstituting Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board

The governor will appoint new members by end of the month      Send a link to a friend

[AUG. 12, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- On Monday Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed House Bill 7307, which immediately ends the terms of all nine current members of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board and allows him to name a leaner five-member board.

"Given all of the issues raised concerning the Health Facilities Planning Board, wiping out the current board and giving it a fresh start with new members is the best way to move forward," Gov. Blagojevich said.

The governor said he expects to appoint new members to the board by the end of the month.

"There have been calls to abolish the board, and that's something I am still considering," he said. "In the meantime, it's important to appoint a new board to begin dealing with the pending applications so that projects are not held up any further."

On July 7, the governor declared a moratorium on all activities of the board, in response to a federal investigation and allegations of potential conflicts of interest.

The Health Facilities Planning Act was created to restrain rising health care costs by preventing unnecessary construction or modification of health care facilities. The board issues permits for construction or modification projects proposed by or on behalf of health care facilities and approves transactions for the acquisition of major medical equipment.

 

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House Bill 7307 also provides for a repeal of the board on July 1, 2006, two years earlier than scheduled, and puts additional restrictions on who can be a member of the board. It requires that those appointed have a reasonable knowledge of health planning, health finance and health care at the time of their appointment. It specifies that a person should not be appointed or continue to serve as a member of the board if the individual, spouse, parent or child is a member of the board of directors of, has a direct or indirect financial interest in, or has a business relationship with a health care facility.

The new law also prohibits ex parte communications between members, employees or hearing officers of the state board and any person or party with a financial interest in the outcome of a pending or impending permit application.

The legislation, which was sponsored by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, D-Chicago, and Senate President Emil Jones Jr., D-Chicago, takes effect immediately.

[News release from the governor's office]

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