SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after a gunman shot and killed three people at Mercy Hospital in Chicago:

“I offer my sincerest condolences to the families of those killed, even though no amount of sympathy can bring their loved ones back.

“I especially offer my deepest gratitude to Officer Samuel Jimenez and the other Chicago Police Department officers who heroically responded to the scene and undoubtedly saved lives.

“While it is right to offer kind words and prayers following such a tragedy, these words begin to ring hollow when we find ourselves in a position to speak them on an almost daily basis.

“America is the only industrialized country that faces this level of gun violence. A recent report from the New York Times found one factor that sets us apart: the startling number of guns we sell and own.

“There is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution to our unique problem with gun violence. However, many politicians are so indebted to the NRA that they refuse to even start the conversation. In order to begin to stem the tide of the daily violence that plagues so many communities, we must treat gun violence as the public safety epidemic it truly is rather than accepting it as a fact of life in America.”

Category: News

file000856185141 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation raising the age to legally buy tobacco products to 21:

“We took a step today that we know, based on evidence from other states and communities in our own states, will reduce the rates of smoking among high school students.

“The dangers of cigarettes have been well-known for decades, and teens are even more at risk with the increasing popularity of vaping products.

“This is legislation that could prevent teenagers and young adults from ever picking up a cigarette, which could literally save their lives.”

Category: News

04192018CM0231 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the VOICE Act:

“The governor’s veto was an ill-advised, knee-jerk response to the word ‘immigrant’ becoming politically charged over the last several months.

“This is a commonsense piece of legislation that simply expedites a process already in place to assist victims of terrible crimes like kidnapping, rape and human trafficking.

“I am glad we were able to put partisan politics aside today and override the governor’s veto, hopefully creating a speedier path to safety for those who come to our country fleeing unimaginable circumstances.”

Category: News

Opioid therapy rSPRINGFIELD – Legislation providing access to medical alternatives to opioids as a means to combat the opioid crisis became law today, making Illinois the first state in the nation to enact such a measure.

State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) sponsored the legislation, which 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.

“The opioid crisis is getting worse at an alarming rate,” Harmon said. “People dealing with severe pain and other medical conditions are looking for relief, and it is becoming increasingly clear that opioids may not be the safest treatment. We must be open to any reasonable alternative, and I am thankful for the support I received on both sides of the aisle for this legislation, and to the governor for signing it into law.”

New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that opioid deaths are on the rise nationwide, with an estimated 72,000 people dying of an opioid-related overdose in 2017, including a 10 percent increase in deaths in Illinois.

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.

“Studies show that opioid dependence can develop within a week or even a few days of use,” Harmon said. “This law gives people a chance to act quickly and pursue another treatment option if they choose.”

To help clean up the backlog of applications for the full medical cannabis program at the Illinois 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.

Senate Bill 336 takes effect immediately.

Category: News

solar energy panel rSPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) ensures local communities benefit from the tax revenue generated by Illinois’ solar industry.

“Solar energy is a rapidly growing industry in Illinois, and it’s good not only for the environment but also for the economy,” Harmon said. “It is my hope that the revenue generated from this industry can benefit local schools and communities and encourage the continued growth of solar power in our state.”

The legislation, which became law on Friday, sets a standard tax assessment value for commercial solar farms located anywhere besides Cook County. This creates certainty around the revenue that local governments will receive from the farms.

Under the legislation, solar farms could generate $250 million to $300 million in tax revenue over a 25-year span, money that would go to funding schools, roads and other critical services.

Senate Bill 486 takes effect immediately.

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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