Dear Friend,

I hope you and your loved ones are staying well. Many families are struggling with remote learning, altered routines and disrupted traditions.

But we’ll get through this tough time together. If you, your household or your business is in need of assistance, I encourage you to explore the resources I’ve included below to see if you might benefit.

You can also contact my office with questions and concerns by calling 708-848-2002 or visiting My staff and I are ready to help.

Please keep yourself safe and healthy, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Senator Don Harmon

Senate President | 39th District

Helping small businesses reopen safely

The Illinois Department of Labor has launched Back to Business Illinois, a free service to connect small businesses with consultants who will help them create a customized plan that promotes a safe, healthy and productive environment for workers and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is completely voluntary and non-punitive—it’s designed to empower Illinois small businesses to continue operating safely. For more information on the Back to Business Illinois program, visit the official website:

Supporting struggling tenants and homeowners

Several utility companies have voluntarily extended the moratorium on disconnections until March 1, 2021 for eligible low-income residential customers, and those who self-report to utilities that they are experiencing financial or COVID-19 hardship. Additionally, the state-issued moratorium on evictions has been extended, and if you applied for the Emergency Rental Assistance program, you will receive an update on your application status before Nov. 10, when full disbursement of funds is expected.

Providing flexibility to Illinois motorists

The Illinois Secretary of State has implemented new policies to allow drivers to stay safe and avoid long lines and crowds at the DMV. Drivers age 75 years and older automatically have their driver’s licenses extended by one year; the new expiration date is their birthday in 2021. All other licenses and IDs have been extended to Feb. 1, 2021. Vehicle registrations will expire Nov. 1 and can be renewed online, along with duplicate license and ID requests, plate replacement, and more at

Advocating for survivors of sexual assault

The Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Services has launched CheckPoint, a secure online tracking system that allows sexual assault survivors to monitor the progress of evidence taken in their cases at every step of the way, from collection to the State’s Attorney’s office. Any survivor who seeks a forensic medical exam at a health care facility that has implemented the CheckPoint system (about 86% of facilities offering sexual assault treatment plans) is now able to track the progress of their evidence. The CheckPoint system is available here.

Preparing unemployed Illinoisans for in-demand jobs

The State of Illinois has partnered with Coursera to offer virtual career training to unemployed workers. Using an Illinois workNet account, job seekers can register for free courses in high-demand fields like information technology from top institutions—such as the University of Illinois—to learn new skills, earn certificates and make themselves more attractive to employers. More than 3,000 residents have enrolled, and over 430 classes have been completed since June. Register here by Oct. 31.

Category: E-Newsletters

Dear friends,

If you’re decluttering your home before colder weather keeps us inside, let us help you safely dispose of personal paperwork.

I’m hosting a shredding event with Rep. Kathleen Willis in Northlake on Saturday, October 10, from 9 a.m. to noon at 112 N. Wolf Rd.

Bring documents that contain your personally identifiable information to be safely shredded, such as old bank statements, medical records, tax returns, bills, receipts and credit card applications. Participants will be limited to two boxes per person.

Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness will be partnering with us to provide free face masks while supplies last.

This event is free and open to the public. All safety and social distancing measures will be observed.

More information is on the flyer below. I hope to see you there!



Don Harmon

Senate President, 39th District


10 10 20ShredDay

Category: E-Newsletters

Dear friend,

As we move further into Phase 4, more businesses are reopening and Illinoisans are beginning to go back to work. But the road to recovery is long—many families are still facing economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Thankfully, support is available for businesses, community organizations and individuals struggling to make ends meet during this time. I’ve included resources below that I hope you’ll find useful. Feel free to forward the information to friends, loved ones and neighbors who may be able to benefit.

If you have any questions and concerns, please contact my office at (708) 848-2002 or click here to email me.

To keep our state moving in the right direction, I encourage you to continue washing your hands, wearing a mask and maintaining a safe social distance. It’s up to all of us to contain the spread of COVID-19. Together, we can save lives.



Don Harmon
Senate President, 39th District

Keeping small businesses afloat

The deadline for the federal Paycheck Protection Program has been extended to Aug. 8. Through the PPP, the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering up to $10 million in loans to eligible businesses to cover payroll costs, rent, utilities or interest on mortgages. Loans are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and if used as intended, the loans don’t have to be repaid. Find participating lenders here. If your business needs assistance with the application process, contact the local Small Business Development Center, located at 1140 N. Lamon, Chicago, IL, 60651 or online here.

Preparing Illinoisans for high-demand jobs

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is investing $4.7 million in 25 partner organizations to expand the Illinois Apprenticeship Program and train more residents for high-demand, well-paying jobs. Apprenticeship opportunities span a wide range of industries, including new programs in IT and medical assistance. Through the expansion, apprenticeship intermediaries will begin to operate for the first time in DeKalb, Sterling, Rock Island, Moline, Rockford, and Springfield. These investments will also provide existing programs in underserved communities with additional capacity. DCEO partners currently offer programming in East St. Louis, Southern Cook County and Southern Illinois. Residents and employers interested in joining the Illinois Apprenticeship Program can visit to learn more.

Protecting yourself against scams

Scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic by posing as contact tracers. Illinois State Police issued a warning on their Instagram page that included a screenshot of the most recent text scam circulating throughout the state. The message appears to be from a contact tracer and invites recipients to click on a link for more information—if you receive a text like this, do not click on the link. If you believe you are a victim or the target of a coronavirus scam, you should contact local police immediately.

Helping students continue their education at City Colleges of Chicago

Students who have had difficulty returning to City Colleges of Chicago due to unpaid debt may have an opportunity to return under the new Fresh Start program. Students who have dropped out and failed to pay may be able to have half of their outstanding debts waived, as long as they meet certain academic requirements. Most qualifying students are Black and Latinx and live in the neighborhoods hardest hit during the pandemic. To participate, students must enroll in at least one fall course by Aug. 20. Start the process here.

Testing locations


The State of Illinois operates community-based testing sites in all regions of the state. These sites are open to all, regardless of symptoms, and provide free tests. For a list of these locations and to find any other testing sites in your area, visit Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be tested. A full list of symptoms can be found here.

Category: E-Newsletters

Dear friends,

This year’s spring session was unlike any other. Our work helped people in need, offered stability in a time of crisis and bought the state time to get to a better tomorrow – a tomorrow in which we hope medical science has found a way to fight back against this virus and in which Washington recognizes its unique ability to help state and local economies recover. 

Many questions remain unanswered and will in the days and months to come, but I am proud to say that the Senate took decisive action to pass a budget, provide relief for local governments and ensure Illinoisans can vote in November without compromising their safety.

You can read more about these measures below.

As we approach summer, I urge you to stay safe and reach out to my office at (708) 848-2002 or here with any questions or concerns.



Senate President Don Harmon

Senate passes budget during abbreviated special session

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and focusing on preserving vital services, the Illinois Senate passed a budget that prioritizes public health and safety and vital services.

In order to protect people’s health, the budget provides additional funding to both state and local health departments. It also expands programs that help seniors and people with disabilities remain in their homes.

Responding to the economic harm caused by COVID-19, the budget provides additional funding to address the overwhelming number of new unemployment claims.

To provide struggling families and businesses with additional assistance, the budget directs federal CARES Act funds to help revitalize small businesses, provide mortgage and rent assistance, and create additional resources for immigrants struggling with COVID-19. These programs are structured to ensure that both Chicagoland and downstate communities benefit, and they set aside funds for underserved communities.

Also preserving and bolstering vital services, the budget holds the line on P-12 and higher education funding, public safety and more. It even provides additional funding to help fix problems at the state’s troubled Department of Children and Family Services, which has faced additional problems due to the pandemic.


Vote by mail expansion clears Illinois Senate

The Illinois Senate approved an expanded vote-by-mail program that has garnered increased popularity across the state and country amid public health concerns over voting and elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Senate Bill 1863:

  • Any person who has voted in the past two years (2018 General Election, 2019 Consolidated Election or 2020 Primary Election) would receive an application for a ballot in their mailbox.
  • Any person who registered to vote after the 2020 Primary Election would receive an application.
  • General Election Day, November 3, 2020, would be a state holiday.

Read more here.

Category: E-Newsletters

Dear friends,

To continue our progress in containing the spread of COVID-19, Gov. JB Pritzker announced he will extend and modify the Stay at Home Order through the end of May.

This modification is an effort to give Illinoisans more flexibility while maintaining social distancing—under the new Stay at Home Order, you may be able to spend more time outside, reopen your business or even return to work. 

Here are some changes you can expect to see beginning May 1:

Face coverings will be required in public indoor spaces.

Beginning May 1, individuals over the age of 2 will be required to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces where they can’t maintain six feet of social distance, including grocery stores. The modified order will also include occupancy limits for essential businesses.

You’ll have more options for outdoor activities.

State parks will begin a phased reopening in May, and fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website. Golf will also be permitted, as long as golfers respect strict safety guidelines and social distancing measures.

Some businesses will reopen.

The governor's order clarifies that greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries are essential businesses. So too are animal grooming services. Non-essential retail stores may reopen to fulfill curbside pickup and delivery orders. However, these businesses must follow social distancing guidelines and require customers and employees to wear face coverings.

If you return to work, you’ll be safer.

Manufacturers will be required to provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six feet of social distancing. The order will also require manufacturers to adopt new practices to protect customers and employees, including staggering shifts and operating only essential lines. 

The order will also include guidelines to help navigate other unexpected effects of the outbreak: Schools with dormitories will be given direction on allowing students to pick up belongings, and surgical centers and hospitals that meet strict safety criteria may be able to resume certain elective surgeries. Find more details on the modified Stay at Home Order here.

Staying home isn’t easy, but it’s the best tool we have to fight COVID-19. According to data from top academic institutions and researchers in Illinois, the Stay at Home Order has saved thousands of Illinoisans, if not more—without these restrictions in place, we may have seen up to 20 times as many deaths as we are currently experiencing.

But the fight isn’t over: The data also suggests the state would see a second wave of the virus if social distancing requirements were lifted now, which could claim tens of thousands more lives.

So for the health and safety of our friends, families, neighbors and front line workers, we must continue our efforts to contain the spread of this virus. We know many people are eager to return to their jobs, social lives and daily routines—we’re hoping that this modified order will help ease some of that restlessness. 

If I can answer any questions or provide assistance to you during this difficult time, please don’t hesitate to reach out by calling 708-848-2002.

Together, we can finish the job and put a stop to COVID-19.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home.



Senate President Don Harmon

Category: E-Newsletters

Contact Me

Email President Harmon

Springfield Office:
309-G Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(p) 217.782.8176

Oak Park Office:
6941 W. North Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(p) 708.848.2002

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