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Lang Moves To Reject Governor's Rollbacks To Anti-Heroin Bill

State Rep. Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, said Speaker Madigan will decide what happens to former leadership job.
Amanda Vinicky

A state lawmaker says he won't agree to changes Governor Bruce Rauner has made to a major anti-heroin package. 

It took more than a year for legislators to draft what Rep. Lou Lang says could be a model for the nation, in combating an uptick of opiod use.

The end result requires school nurses and ambulances to be equipped with antidotes, mandates the state maintain a list of heroin-related deaths, and has doctors track some painkiller prescriptions.

The governor left that untouched. But he nixed a portion of the measure that would expand the treatments covered under Medicaid.

The measure's Democratic sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, calls Rauner's move "penny wise and pound foolish."

"If you only cover through state services and state law those who have insurance, than what you're telling us is that a whole swath of Illinois citizens -- probably more than half of the people who have addiction problems, who are on Medicaid, who can't afford insurance, don't get covered," Land said. "If you take people out of the bill who are on Medicaid ... you're saying that these folks cannot have their lives saved, these folks cannot get off of their addictions. And that's simply wrong," he said.

Lang has filed to reject Rauner's changes.

Republicans were on board with the package initially, but Illinois still has no budget. The GOP has been united against Democrats on most spending matters.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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