Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), an advocate for expanding access to voting in Illinois, expressed disappointment Friday in the governor’s veto of bipartisan legislation that would have made Illinois the fifth state to enact automatic voter registration.

“Illinois has taken significant steps the past few years to make the franchise more accessible and more convenient for voters. Our efforts began with early voting and continued with online voter registration, vote-by-mail and same-day voter registration. I was pleased to be an ambassador for all of these measures,” Harmon said.

“Automatic registration is a natural and logical extension of our already successful efforts to modernize and simplify the voting process in Illinois. I am disappointed in the governor’s veto, and I will continue to be a champion for commonsense measures like automatic voter registration.”

Harmon was a sponsor of Senate Bill 250, which would have initiated an opt-out voter registration system instead of Illinois’ current opt-in system. Under the proposal, eligible voters would have been automatically registered to vote when they visited the Illinois secretary of state and other similar state agencies for services.

The system would have curbed redundant paperwork, streamlined a government function, helped the state to clean up its voter rolls and saved money for taxpayers.

The measure garnered bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature this spring. The Senate voted 42-16 for the legislation, and the House voted 86-30 for it.

Four states, including California, Oregon, West Virginia and Vermont, implemented automatic voter registration systems and have realized significant savings for local and state governments.

Category: News

OAK PARK – Senator Don Harmon is pleased to announce that state grants have been restored for park projects in the 39th District.

“I am thrilled that we are able to partner with the state to support these important projects in our local communities,” Harmon said. “We have been working for quite some time to get approval restored for these grants. Projects like these are vital to our local parks and to the people who enjoy them, and state support is immensely important.”

The project funding is provided through two grant programs administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources: the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program (OSLAD) and the Park and Recreational Facility Construction Grant program (PARC).

The grants were re-authorized because the stopgap budget approved in June included $50 million to fund them. Prior to that, they had been suspended because of the state budget stalemate.

Among the projects receiving OSLAD grants:

• Addison Park District, Phase 1 and 2: $359,100 and $400,00
• Franklin Park Park District, Chestnut Park: $296,000
• Oak Park Park District Center: $400,000

Receiving PARC grants were:

• Addison Park District, Community Park Recreation Center renovation: $1,812.526
• Chicago Park District, Austin Town Hall: $450,000

Category: News

Please join Sen. Don Harmon for a series of upcoming events in the district, including a property tax workshop and two opportunities to ask questions and learn more about the latest news out of Springfield.

Monday, Aug. 1
Oak Park Township property fitness and tax appeal forum
6:30 p.m. at Percy Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave., Oak Park
This free workshop will enable residents to learn more about the local property tax process and how to file an appeal. Residents also will be able to get information from a variety of offices, including Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough, Cook County Clerk David Orr, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown, Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, ComEd and real estate specialist Lutalo McGee.
For more information, call the Cook County board of review office at 312-603-5540.

Wednesday, Aug. 24
Town hall meeting
6:30 p.m. at Galewood Community Church, 1776 N. Narragansett Ave., Chicago
Please join me and Rep. Camille Lilly for an update about what’s happening in Springfield and to discuss issues of state and local importance. This meeting is free and open to the public.
For more information, call my office at 708-848-2002 or Rep. Lilly’s office at 773-473-7300.

Thursday, Sept. 8
Town hall meeting
6:30 p.m. at Bensenville Village Hall, 12 S. Center St., Bensenville
Please join me and Rep. Kathleen Willis for an update about what’s happening in Springfield and to discuss issues of state and local importance. This meeting is free and open to the public.
For more information, call my office at 708-848-2002 or Rep. Willis’ office at 708-562-6970.

Category: News

HarmonMay27Yoga instructors in Illinois will be able to practice freely without state regulation under legislation sponsored by Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) that was signed into law Friday.

Senate Bill 2743 garnered bipartisan support in the legislature as a pro-business measure that curbs government regulation where it’s unneeded.

“As we work to make Illinois a more business-friendly state, there’s simply no reason to impose unnecessary regulation on something like yoga instruction, which for most people is a personal pursuit or at most a small, independent business venture,” Harmon said.

The measure exempts yoga teacher training from state oversight as a trade, occupation, vocation or professional school. The legislation was prompted by news earlier this year that several yoga teacher training programs in Illinois were notified by the Illinois Board of Higher Education that they would be subject to state regulation as vocational schools and that they must obtain IBHE approval to operate in the state.

Representative Daniel Burke (D-Chicago) sponsored the measure in the Illinois House.

Category: News

HarmonMayBusinesses will find it easier operate in Illinois under legislation sponsored by Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) that was signed into law Thursday.

House Bill 4361 is a broad, comprehensive modernization of Illinois’ Limited Liability Company Act, which last was rewritten in 1994. The law had been updated in a piecemeal fashion since then, but it was due for a sweeping update.

The measure, which had bipartisan support in the legislature, is another effort to make Illinois a more business friendly state.

“This update to Illinois’ LLC Act not only modernizes some of our laws, it also eliminates unclear or contradictory rules that can be frustrating for companies to navigate,” Harmon said. “It makes our laws more consistent with those of other states and enables Illinois to be a more attractive and inviting place for businesses to set up shop.”

The legislation was the result of a six-year project by the Institute of Illinois Business Law to update the state’s LLC Act. The project was prompted by the 2006 publication of the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Joliet attorney Michael Hansen is past chairman of the Institute of Illinois Business Law, a group of about 40 corporate lawyers in Illinois who oversee the state’s business and corporate laws.

“Limited liability companies are now the favored business entity,” he said. “The changes to the Act will mean the formation in Illinois of more LLCs, while still providing necessary protections to the members of the LLC.”

Representatives Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) and Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) sponsored the measure in the Illinois House. Harmon sponsored it in the Senate.

Robin Heiss, who led the committee that drafted the IIBL's recommended updates to Illinois' LLC law, thanked Senator Harmon and other legislative sponsors for making the recommendations a reality.

”The institute believes that the bill will benefit the Illinois business community," Heiss said. "It will reduce confusion and eliminate arbitrary rules that are no longer effective. It should induce more Illinois businesses to form their entities under the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act.”

Category: News

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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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