Flurry of activity at state capitol


SPRINGFIELD - There was a flurry of activity Tuesday at the State Capitol.

Governor Bruce Rauner created a task force to look for waste, fraud, and abuse in taxpayer-funded health care. An executive order was signed Tuesday establishing the group. The program will also try to prevent waste in employee health insurance programs and Medicaid.

Meantime, lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill designed to raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21.

Democratic Senator John Mulroe, who is sponsoring the bill, told colleagues studies show young people who don't try cigarettes or other tobacco products until they're at least 21 are less likely to pick up the habit long-term.

According to the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, at least 131 cities in nine states have passed legislation to raise the smoking age to 21.

Also at the capitol, a proposal designed to regulate certified professional midwives remains on the table. A committee took no vote on the issue, and may take it up again later.

The state has not issued licenses to midwives since 1963.


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