IMG 1343 2RSPRINGFIELD – A new law signed by the governor today will make it even easier and more convenient for citizens to vote in the upcoming general election. The law expands opportunities to vote early and to vote by mail. It also creates a one-year pilot program that allows grace period voting on Election Day.

“Voting is a right and a vital part of our country’s social and political fabric,” said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), who sponsored the new law. “To encourage people to participate, we should be doing everything we can to make it easier to vote without weakening the integrity of the voting system.”

The new law is part of Senator Harmon’s continued efforts to bring Illinois’ voter registration laws into the 21st century by making it easier for citizens to register and to vote. Last year, he passed a law allowing Illinois citizens to register to vote online. That service is now available at https://ova.elections.il.gov/.

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Category: News

SolarEnergyRSPRINGFIELD – Under a new law that takes effect today, 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.

“Increasing our investment in clean energy creates jobs, protects the environment and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels,” said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the law’s sponsor. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen wind energy take off in Illinois. I hope that this investment starts a similar revolution in solar energy.”

According to information from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Illinois has the second greatest solar energy potential in the Midwest.

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Category: News

CTA Blue LineR

Statement from Senator Don Harmon (D - Oak Park) on the CTA Blue Line Modernization Plan:

Upon reading the article on CTA Blue Line station closures from today's Wednesday Journal, I contacted the CTA immediately, concerned that the future of the stations had been determined prematurely and without adequate community input.

I was heartened to learn that, in fact, the contrary is true.  The headline and story as printed this morning in the Wednesday Journal unfortunately are misleading.  Although the headline states that blue line entrances at East, Lombard and Circle “would be lost,”  the CTA clarified for me that, in fact, its own planners are against the idea of closing the second station entrances at those locations.  The CTA planners recognize that such steps reduce transit access.  While the idea of “compact”  design may be under discussion for other stops along the entire Blue Line that do NOT currently have two entrances, that idea is, at this point, not on the table for the stations mentioned.  I believe we need to explain this point more clearly to our constituents.

As you know, I have been following CTA blue line modernization plans very closely.  From the start, it has been my goal to work with the CTA, Oak Park, the City of Chicago and the surrounding communities, to expand and improve transit service and make much-needed improvements to the blue line stations.  Transit greatly benefits our community, helping us avoid traffic on the roadways, providing environmental benefits, and providing affordable transportation options for all households.  I remain vigilant and committed to improving transit facilities and ensuring continued access for Oak Park and other area riders.

Click here to add your name to Senator Harmon's petition in support of reliable and efficient public transit service in our communities.

To read more about the CTA Blue Line Modernization Plan, click here.

Category: News

Gives psychologists limited prescription authority

0402014cm0019RSPRINGFIELD – A law signed by the governor today will help address Illinois’ shortage of mental health professionals. The law, sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), gives psychologists – under the careful supervision of doctors – the ability to prescribe some mental health medication.

“People who suffer from mental illnesses need treatment,” Harmon said. “They can’t always wait weeks or travel great distances. We have to do something to make mental health care more accessible in rural communities and lower-income neighborhoods.”

The new law, originally 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.

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Category: News

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

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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