051513br0225rSPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) won Senate approval of legislation that 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 violated them.

“When a woman is raped, becomes pregnant and chooses to carry the child to term, she shouldn’t have to worry about her rapist or his family pushing for parental rights,” Harmon said.

The proposal, 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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041113 dh 0098rSPRINGFIELD – As parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy looked on, Illinois Senator Don Harmon used his position as chair of the Senate Executive Committee to help a measure that would limit the number of bullets in a gun magazine make it to the Senate floor.

“Our hearts go out to the victims of this tragedy," Harmon said. "And this legislation is one step we can take to avoid such tragedies in the future. Every time a gunman stops to reload, it gives his victims a chance to get away and gives law enforcement a chance to disarm him.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 1002, limits the sale of gun ammunition feeding devices to units that can hold 10 bullets or less. While it does not prohibit owning a large ammunition magazine, it does increase the criminal penalties for using a high capacity magazine while committing a violent crime. The Sandy Hook murderer used large capacity magazines to commit his crime.

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050113br0503rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) voted in support of the union-backed pension reform measure that passed the Illinois Senate today.

“We need real pension reform, pension reform that can survive a court challenge and actually become law,” Harmon said. “If we don’t find a solution to this problem now, we’re going to keep seeing cuts to education, human services and public safety.”

Though he has voted for other potential solutions to the problem, Harmon and other supporters of the legislation believe this plan is the most likely to survive a court challenge. The state’s major public employee unions have promised not to put their financial resources behind any lawsuit targeting the plan, which greatly increase its chances of being declared constitutional.

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050213br0372rSPRINGFIELD – If legislation sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon becomes law, it will be even easier for college students to vote. The Oak Park Democrat’s plan, which cleared a key Senate committee earlier today, requires public universities and community colleges to send all students an email telling them where and how to register to vote.

“We should try to get young people involved in democracy at an early age,” Harmon said. “The easier we make it for them to register to vote, the more likely they are to stay involved in the process.”

Harmon is also trying to convince his colleagues that Illinois should move to accept online voter registration. The states that have already adopted online registration have significantly cut costs, registered more voters and seen no increase in voter fraud. Because his legislation to allow online registration did not advance from committee earlier this year, Harmon is now encouraging supporters to sign an online petition available on his website, www.DonHarmon.org.

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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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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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