05312018CM0523 rSPRINGFIELD – Legislation providing access to medical alternatives to opioids as a means to combat the opioid crisis is headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.

Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) passed the Alternatives to Opioids Act out of the Senate in April and worked closely with the Department of Public Health and the House sponsor to address any concerns before bringing it for a final vote today.

The measure creates a pilot program allowing individuals over the age of 21 with any condition for which opioids might be prescribed to apply for temporary access to the state’s medical cannabis program.

“Opioid addiction takes the lives of thousands of Illinoisans every year,” Harmon said. “We should be open to any reasonable alternative treatment – and no one has ever died of a cannabis overdose.”

Under the program, patients will obtain a physician’s certification that they have a condition for which an opioid could be prescribed. They may then take that to a dispensary to receive medical cannabis for a fixed period of time.

To help clean up the backlog of applications for the full medical cannabis program at the Department of Public Health, the measure also allows anyone with a qualifying condition for the medical cannabis program to take physician certification to a dispensary to receive cannabis on a provisional basis while their application is processed.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control last year found that a patient can become addicted to opioids within a week or even a few days of use.

“It’s imperative that we give people the immediate option to pursue an alternative treatment to opioids,” Harmon said. “Opioid dependence can develop quickly and has devastating effects.”

Senate Bill 336 passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support and now awaits the governor’s signature.

Category: News

05302018CM0252 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) voted today to approve a bipartisan, balanced budget.

The budget is balanced through a combination of spending cuts and pension reform. It restores funding to vital human service programs and fully funds K-12 and higher education.

“It is a breath of fresh air to vote on a budget package that was the result of bipartisan negotiations rather than partisan bickering,” Harmon said. “I am encouraged by our efforts to continue the stability we put in place last year, and I hope the people of Illinois are as well. ”

Included in the budget is $350 million in new funding for public schools, in line with the new education funding formula passed last year, as well as $50 million for early childhood education.

The plan also rolls back Gov. Bruce Rauner’s 10 percent cut to the Local Government Distributive Fund, resulting in approximately $120 million more for municipalities.

Funding is restored to human services programs, including: community mental health centers, youth employment services, addiction treatment and prevention services and the Child Care Assistance Program.

“This is a responsible budget that was crafted in a responsible manner,” Harmon said. “I urge Gov. Rauner to follow the example of his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate and sign this into law.”

The budget package now moves to the House for final approval before heading to the governor’s desk.

Category: News

IMG 2009 rSPRINGFIELD – A bipartisan plan to regulate gun dealers and reduce the number of illegal guns being used to commit crimes in the state was sent to the governor today.

Senate Bill 337, sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), is the result of a bipartisan compromise that took place after Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a similar measure on March 13.

“This bill took into consideration the governor’s concerns about red tape,” Harmon said. “Seeing the bipartisan support it received in both the House and the Senate, I look forward to the governor honoring his commitment to public safety and signing it into law.”

Senate Bill 337 contains provisions to better record and track private gun sales. It treats all firearm licensees the same, regardless of their size. It requires the Illinois State Police, rather than the state agency that regulates professions and occupations, to certify gun dealers.

Additional provisions in the bipartisan proposal include:

•    requiring gun dealers to safely store firearms at all times,
•    requiring gun dealers to make copies of FOID cards or IDs and attach them to documentation detailing each gun sale,
•    requiring employees to undergo annual training about the law and responsible business practices, and
•    requiring gun dealers to open their place of business for inspection by state and local police.

Senate Bill 337 passed both the House and the Senate on a bipartisan vote and heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Category: News

library shelvesSPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) announced $45,000 in new funding to remodel and renovate the Elmwood Park Public Library’s public service area.

Elmwood Park’s library is one of 15 statewide to be awarded a Live and Learn Construction grant. Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has awarded $724,424 in grants this year to help pay for essential capital improvements.

“Libraries play a central role in our communities and provide invaluable resources,” Harmon said. “I am pleased that Elmwood Park’s library received this recognition from the state.”  

Information concerning the Illinois State Library’s Live and Learn Construction grant program can be found at http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/livelearn_construction.html.

Category: News

05162018CM0595c rSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate today approved a bipartisan initiative to regulate gun dealers and reduce the number of illegal guns being used to commit crimes in the state.

Senate Bill 337 is sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and builds on a similar measure he sponsored that Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed March 13. Lawmakers were unable to override the veto despite urging from Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, medical professionals who treat gunshot victims and others.

“We are back with a much better bill that addresses the governor’s concerns about small businesses, but we are doing so without compromising public safety,” Harmon said.

Senate Bill 337 contains provisions to better record and track private gun sales. It treats all firearm licensees the same, regardless of their size. It requires the Illinois State Police, rather than the state agency that regulates professions and occupations, to certify gun dealers.

To crack down on illegal transfers after a gun purchase, it establishes a penalty for those who fail to maintain a record of private gun sales and requires the state police to make key information about guns used in crimes available to the public.

Additional provisions in the bipartisan proposal include:

•    requiring gun dealers to safely store firearms at all times,
•    requiring gun dealers to make copies of FOID cards or IDs and attach them to documentation detailing each gun sale,
•    requiring employees to undergo annual training about the law and responsible business practices, and
•    requiring gun dealers to open their place of business for inspection by state and local police.

Senate Bill 337 was approved 35-18 and will be sent to the House for consideration.

“This is a sensible measure that satisfies everyone’s concerns,” Harmon said. “It doesn’t compromise our objectives, nor does it infringe on anyone’s 2nd Amendment right to buy, sell or own a firearm. I look forward to passage in the House and to Gov. Rauner signing it into law.”

Category: News

Contact Me

Email Senator Harmon

Springfield Office:
329 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(p) 217.782.8176
(f) 217.558.6013

Oak Park Office:
6941-B W. North Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(p) 708.848.2002
(f) 708.848.2022

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