Sen. Don Harmon asks IDOT, CTA to address Village questions, concerns

Oak Park – State Senator Don Harmon announced today that Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider will appear at an October 29 town hall meeting he is convening to discuss the planned Eisenhower Expressway / I-290 reconstruction project. A top CTA official also will participate.

The town hall, to be held at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School from 7:30-9:00 p.m., will provide the community an opportunity to hear directly from Schneider, appointed IDOT Secretary in October 2011 by Governor Pat Quinn. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions about the agency’s proposed alternatives for reconfiguring lanes along a stretch of the Eisenhower between Racine Avenue and Mannheim Road.

IDOT has said it will choose a final “preferred” alternative by late 2014, and then begin detailed engineering leading to construction within the next few years. The CTA is conducting its own study of potential improvements to the Blue Line along the same transportation corridor. IDOT held public meetings on the project Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 in Chicago and Forest Park, and is accepting formal public comments on the information presented at those meetings until November 7 at http://eisenhowerexpressway.com.

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20131005 Sugar Beet Harmon Susanne Fairfax Media-2753RIn honor of the new law designating the first Saturday of each month “Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day,” Senator Don Harmon met with local groups at the Oak Park Farmers’ Market.   

“This law should bring a new and well-deserved appreciation for all the wonderful food grown in Illinois and available in our community,” Harmon said.  “Buying local and shopping at farmers markets like this one can go a long way toward helping families make healthy choices, protecting the environment and supporting Illinois’ farming families. It gives us a chance each week to connect with friends and neighbors.”  

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, if every household in Illinois spent just $10 of their grocery bill each week on Illinois products, we would reinvest $47 million in the Illinois economy, resulting in a $2.4 billion investment over the course of a year.  People identify Illinois with corn and soybeans, but pumpkins, melons, horseradish and peaches are just a few of the specialty crops grown on farms in our state.   In 2010, these crops alone resulted in over $390 million in sales. 

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New law frees landowners from fear of lawsuits

OAK PARK – For years, Illinois landowners were able to let people onto their land, free of charge, to enjoy rivers, lakes, forest, cliffs, canyons and other natural wonders. A 2005 court decision changed all that. It said that you could be held legally responsible for anyone on your land. Prompted by the possibility of lawsuits, the owners of many popular outdoor areas closed up shop.

All that is set to change now, due to a new law that reverses the 2005 decision and frees landowners from fear of lawsuits. Natural sites throughout the state will reopen for climbers, kayakers, bird watchers, hikers and other outdoors enthusiasts.

“The sad fact is that both the state and federal government have been forced to cut back conservation spending,” said State Senator Don Harmon, the Oak Park Democrat who sponsored the law. “It’s more important than ever to allow generous landowners and non-profit groups to provide the public access to our state’s beautiful natural spaces.”

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052813br0228WOAK PARK – A new law sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) will ensure that victims of rape who choose to carry a child to term don’t have to share parental rights with the men who raped them.

“Rape is a terrible, traumatic experience. When a victim of rape conceives a child and is brave enough to carry the baby to term, she shouldn’t have to worry about the man who attacked her seeking parental rights,” Harmon said.

The new law, originally House Bill 3128, establishes that rapists and their families are not entitled to visitation, custody or inheritance rights. It also gives the mother the right to refuse child support.

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051613br0159rSPRINGFIELD – A new law co-sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) will crack down on pawnshops that break the law that regulates pawnshops.

“Given all the controversy we’ve seen over the new pawnshop on North Avenue in Austin, I want to make sure that neighborhood concerns are addressed by ensuring that pawnshops operate within the letter of law,” Harmon said. “We need to make sure that no pawnshops in Illinois take advantage of people or attract unwanted traffic.”

The law will increase the maximum civil penalty on pawnshop owners who break the law that regulates pawnshops from $1,000 per day to $10,000 per day. The new law is supported by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which oversees pawnshop licenses.

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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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