"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
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.
[to top of second column in
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.
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