Senator Harmon

May, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

As we head into what’s expected to be the final month of the spring legislative session, I’d like to provide you with a short update on where things stand in Springfield. Read on to learn a bit more about what I’ve been working on, the big issues in Springfield and also news from the 39th Senate District.

 

I encourage you to visit my recently revamped website, www.DonHarmon.org, to like my page on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter.

 

I also want to know what you think. Please take a short survey to weigh in on some of the most important issues facing the state by clicking here.

 

 

Sincerely,
Don Harmon
Senator Don Harmon
39th District – Illinois

 

In Springfield...

 

SenatorHarmonWe’re in the middle of working on the state budget, addressing pension reform and going about the normal yearly business of state government.

 

We’ve already acted on some other top issues. We’ve expanded Medicaid to give more working families access to health care (paid for by the federal government), voted in the Senate to extend the right to marry to all loving couples (a measure awaiting House action) and beaten back a Republican attack on voting rights.

 

Another initiative I’m working on is a plan to help ensure that young people who have been sentenced to life without parole get a chance to turn their lives around. Former Judge Abner Mikva and DEA administrator Peter Bensinger wrote an op-ed about my legislation. You can read it here.

 

I’m also working on a gun-safety measure to make it more difficult for people with criminal records and mental illnesses to bypass background checks. Watch a video where I discuss my views on firearm regulation here.

 

Finally, I have worked with my colleagues across the aisle to create a DuPage County Caucus in the Senate. DuPage County is Illinois’ second-largest county. Like Cook County, it has unique issues that need unique legislative solutions and is now represented by a diverse bipartisan group of legislators.

 

The big issues...

 

SenatorHarmonOnce again, the biggest issue facing Illinois is the budget. Illinois government simply does not bring in enough money to meet all of our obligations. I know that we will be looking at a wide array of cuts again this year, and I will do whatever I can to protect important priorities like education.

 

Another issue closely related to the budget is Illinois’ pension debt. The state simply does not have enough money on hand to pay current and future retirees all that they are owed. Each year, we have to spend more and more of the state budget on pensions just to avoid falling behind. The issue is extremely complicated, so read this op-ed I wrote if you want to learn a little bit more about my position on the issue.

 

In the district...

 

Senator Harmon reads to childrenOur area has been hit hard by the recent flooding. If you have been affected and need help, want to volunteer for relief efforts or are just looking for a list of road closings, I encourage you to visit my website. I’ve put together a helpful list of resources. You can also contact my district office if you have any further questions or concerns. I have been in touch with all of the mayors and village presidents in my district to see if I could be of any assistance securing state aid. I will continue to work closely with them until the situation is completely resolved.

 

Earlier this year, I read to children at the Holmes School in Oak Park. Because early childhood education has always been one of my top priorities, I always appreciate the chance to see interact with students and see the effects of our policy decisions first-hand.

 

Finally, because I’ll be stuck in Springfield for much of the next several weeks, I’m planning to hold a telephone town hall on May 14 at 6:30 pm. We’ll be reaching out to people throughout the district, but if you want to be sure you’re included, click here to sign up.

 

 

District Office

6933 W. North Avenue • Oak Park, Illinois 60304

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

Eileen head shotOAK PARK, IL – Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) announced today he has appointed federal and state policy professional Eileen Hattan Lynch to serve as his new district director.  Lynch, an Oak Park resident, comes to the position with 15 years of policy experience working as a U.S. Senate staffer, senior policy adviser for the state of Illinois and issues and advocacy coordinator for the League of Women Voters of Illinois.

Lynch, 44, has lived in Oak Park for 12 years. She and her husband, Dan, are the parents of four children. One attends Brooks Middle School, two attend Lincoln Elementary School and the fourth is pre-school age.

“I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to fill this position with somebody who not only has deep experience in legislative policy and constituent service, but who also is so invested in our community,” said Sen. Harmon. “I know that Eileen will be a valuable resource not only to the district office but also to constituents in the 39th District.”

Read more ...

Category: News

041013br0299rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) is working with Representative Camille Lilly (D-Chicago) to improve the openness and transparency of Illinois state government by ensuring that Illinois residents know more about the services their state government offers.

They are sponsoring legislation that will create “Department Ambassadors” within the Department of Human Services. These ambassadors will work directly with the public to help ensure that everyone knows about the services the department offers and to connect people with the appropriate offices to apply for relevant programs.

“Too often, people don’t even know what their government does for them,” Harmon said. “Creating Department Ambassadors is a way to push government services to the people and communities who need them.”

Read more ...

Category: News

Passes plan to let trained psychologists prescribe meds
 
021313br0027rSPRINGFIELD – 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 trying to give psychologists – under the supervision of doctors – the ability to prescribe medication.
 
“Recent events like the tragedy in Newtown have demonstrated how important it is to make sure people have access to mental health care,” Harmon said. “There simply aren’t enough psychiatrists to meet demand, so we need to find a way to fill the gap.”
 
Harmon’s legislation, Senate Bill 2187, allows psychologists who are willing to undertake additional training similar to nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to prescribe medication under the supervision of licensed medical doctors.

Read more ...

Category: News

People across Cook and DuPage County have been dealing with the effects of the recent flooding. While many of our communities have already started to clean up and return to normal, much of the region is still under water or are about to see more flooding.

I would like to take this opportunity to pass along some helpful information and resources.

Resources

Below are links for up-to-date information on the ongoing flooding issues:

IEMA

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is one of the best resources for weather and flood updates. Click here for IEMA's site and contact information or call 217-782-0922

National Weather Service/NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association provides up-to-date information on flooding and forecasting for future floods.

The American Red Cross

Below is the hotline for the Red Cross, they can provide additional emergency support and disaster relief resources.

1-800-Red-Cross (1-800-733-2767)

For power outages or electrical issues, contact ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1.

For advice about filing an insurance claim, visit floodsmart.gov.

For additional flood updates and safety information, visit Illinois.gov/ready.

If you’d like to help with the flood relief efforts, visit Illinois.gov/ready for volunteer information.

Likewise, please contact my office if you have additional concerns or issues

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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