Senator Harmon

June 25, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

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,
Don Harmon
Senator Don Harmon
39th District – Illinois

 

Voting rights

 

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.

 

Fair Tax

 

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.

 

Upcoming events

 

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.

 

 

District Office

6933 W. North Avenue • Oak Park, Illinois 60302

708-848-2002 (Phone) • 708-848-2022 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

329 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8176 (Phone) • 217-558-5013 (Fax)

 

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Category: E-Newsletters

State SealStarting today, Illinois citizens can register to vote online. All they need to do is visit https://ova.elections.il.gov/, and follow the website's instructions. They'll also need their Illinois driver's licenses or state-issued IDs, the last four digits of their social security numbers and their current addresses.

"Our democracy is strongest when as many people as possible get involved and participate," said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), who passed the law enabling online registration. "People can do everything else online – shop, pay bills, book flights and hotel rooms – they expect to be able to register to vote, too."

Read more ...

Category: News

PoisonYesterday, the governor signed legislation that guarantees the Illinois Poison Center will receive the stable funding source it needs to stay open through at least 2018.

"This is a good day for the Poison Center and the parents, medical professionals and others who rely on its services," said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), who negotiated the agreement for guaranteed funding.

Earlier this year, the Poison Center announced that it would be forced to close its doors on June 30 if the state could not find a stable funding source to replace declining state contributions.

Read more ...

Category: News

Solar panels on house roofIf legislation that passed the General Assembly is signed into law, the state of Illinois will invest $30 million in solar energy next year. This investment will likely create hundreds of new jobs, generate 15 megawatts of solar energy and reduce pollution.

"Illinois has the second greatest solar energy potential in all the Midwest," said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the measure's sponsor, citing information from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "We've seen wind power take off in the last few years. This investment could kick start a similar revolution in solar energy."

Read more ...

Category: News

Gives psychologists limited prescription authority

052014 js 0095RSPRINGFIELD – Illinois faces a shortage of primary care physicians, particularly in the field of mental health. State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) is taking on this problem by giving psychologists – under the careful supervision of doctors – the ability to prescribe some mental health medication.

“We need to do a better job of treating mental illnesses the same way we do physical maladies,” Harmon said. “When someone needs help, they can’t always wait weeks or travel great distances. Mental health care shortages can cost lives and cause needless suffering.”

Harmon’s legislation, Senate Bill 2187, allows psychologists who are willing to undertake additional rigorous training to prescribe certain medications commonly used to treat mental illness, such as Prozac.

Read more ...

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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