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New bill aims to help diabetic students in Illinois

VIENNA (WSIL) — Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 822 Monday. The bill allows schools across the state to keep a supply of a diabetic drug Glucagon, for students who need it. That law took effect immediately. School leaders in Vienna believe this new bill will take some of the financial burden off parents of diabetic students.

Vienna High School Nurse Sherie Smith, explains the diabetes medication, glucagon, can really make a dent in your wallet.

"For a family that would want one here at school and one with the student, possibly one at home, you’re talking $300 to $450," says Smith.

Smith adds the drug is a life-saver, "They do have to understand that when they do have hyperglycemia this is a life-threatening issue and this could be the difference between living and dying."

That’s why Governor J.B. Pritzker signed HB822. The bill allows schools across the state to store an undesignated supply of the diabetes medication to treat students with diabetes.

Principal John Giffin, says he makes student safety a top priority, especially for those with health issues.

He says he believes the new bill is good news for students, "I think it removes a roadblock to students health issues here at school. Just like having an EpiPen which would be again a potentially life-saving measure."

Smith says, up to this point, the school has offered students juice or candy when their blood sugar levels got low. This bill gives them another tool to use. 

"If for some reason is if they would not have that with them we would have access to be able to provide that care that could save their life," says Smith. 

Vienna High School officials say they’re working getting their supply of glucagon. News 3 reached out to Governor Pritzker’s office to see if schools will receive state funding for the diabetic drug. They have yet to respond.

News 3

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