June 25, 2014
The spring session of the General Assembly is over, and I’m pleased to update you on some of the good work we accomplished in the Capitol this spring, as well as some of the challenges that still lay ahead.
Sincerely,Senator Don Harmon39th District – Illinois
This year, I continued my efforts to make it easier for Illinois citizens to exercise their right to vote by passing legislation that extends grace period voting to Election Day, expands early voting and makes it easier to vote by mail. Combined with online voter registration, which is now available, this law should make voting easier and more convenient than ever this year. Read more.
Saving the Illinois Poison Center
One of my major goals this year was to find a stable, reliable source of revenue to sustain the Illinois Poison Center. The center serves a vital purpose, answering more than 90,000 calls from panicking parents, health professionals and others each year, but it was in danger of closing its doors due to insufficient governmental support. I’m happy to report that we succeeded, and the center will have a stable budget through at least 2018. Read more.
Investing in solar energy
I also managed to pass a plan that will direct the state to invest $30 million in solar energy next year. We have the second greatest solar energy potential in the Midwest, so we need to invest more in this clean, safe source of energy. The money comes from an existing renewable energy fund that has built up a large surplus. Read more.
Confronting Illinois’ mental health service shortage
Since last year, I’ve been trying to address a growing problem facing Illinois: We don’t have enough psychiatrists to meet the mental health needs of all Illinois residents. The problem is particularly bad in lower-income urban neighborhoods and rural areas. To help fill in this gap, I passed a plan – carefully negotiated with the doctors of the Illinois State Medical Society – that will allow specially trained and supervised psychologists to prescribe medication under certain circumstances. Read more.
As many of you may know, I sponsored a Fair Tax plan to cut taxes for 94 percent of Illinois families while still providing critical services such as education, health care and services for seniors and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, the plan did not pass the General Assembly this year. However, I remain committed to improving Illinois’ tax code for all of our families and will continue to work with my colleagues to advance this critically important issue.
This summer, I’m planning to host a series of property tax assessment appeal forums, a mortgage relief and foreclosure prevention workshop, and several town hall meetings.
I will host the first property tax assessment appeal forum in conjunction with other West Side legislators on July 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Malcolm X College (1900 W. Van Buren St.) in Chicago. I will be hosting similar forums in Oak Park and Proviso townships.
For a complete list of events and more detailed information, click here.
As always, feel free to contact my constituent services office in Oak Park and my Capitol office in Springfield with any questions, concerns or ideas. Also, don’t forget to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates.
6933 W. North Avenue • Oak Park, Illinois 60302
708-848-2002 (Phone) • 708-848-2022 (Fax)
329 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-8176 (Phone) • 217-558-5013 (Fax)