SPRINGFIELD – As the General Assembly approaches the end of the spring legislative session, House Assistant Minority Leader Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) joined House Republicans in providing an update on the Supporting Women & Families working group. Leader Haas has led this group since its inception in February 2023.
“We introduced constructive pieces of legislation to make our state better for the health of Illinois women and families,” said Leader Haas. “I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to debate these bills and move them to substantive committees for consideration. With our ideas, we can help address Illinois food deserts, increase Illinois’ healthcare workforce, and improve maternal healthcare in our state. We still have a week left, let’s get to work and debate these critical issues for our constituents.”
Bills introduced by Leader Haas include House Bill 4056 to create the Maternal Health and Well-Being Workgroup within the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Division of Maternal, Child and Family Health Services in the Office of Women’s Health Services. According to an IDPH 2021 report on Illinois’ maternal morbidity and mortality, in 2016-2017, 34% of women who died while pregnant or within a year of pregnancy died from a cause related to the pregnancy. Black women were also about three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related condition as white women, and the leading cause of pregnancy-related death, comprising 40%, was mental health conditions (including substance use disorders).
Bills co-sponsored by Leader Haas to address related issues are HB 4073 to work with graduate medical education and training programs and address the healthcare workforce shortage in Illinois. Senate Bill 1360, also co-sponsored by Leader Haas, would require the Department of Agriculture to conduct an access to nutritious food program in Illinois food deserts.
All three of these bills have been referred to the House Rules Committee. Leader Haas also serves on the Appropriations – Health & Human Services, Health Care Availability & Access, Human Services, and Mental Health & Addiction Committees. She has worked as a social worker in her communities for over 30 years.