HarmonIverson05172017Grace Iverson, a third-grader at Longfellow Elementary School in Oak Park, joined State Senator Don Harmon at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield last week as his page for the day.

Grace, daughter of Kevin and Amy Iverson of Oak Park, accompanied Harmon to committee hearings and to the floor of the Senate while it conducted business on Wednesday, May 17. She plays softball, takes dance classes, acts in musical theater and plays piano. She also enjoys reaching and playing with her friends.

Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, is president pro tempore of the Illinois Senate.

Category: News

Saying the governor needs time to reconsider his pledge to veto House Bill 40, legislation that protects women’s reproductive rights in Illinois, Senator Don Harmon Wednesday night slowed the bill’s trek to the governor’s desk.

“This measure is too important to immediately put it in the hands of a governor whose public opinions about women’s access to safe, affordable reproductive health care have been inconsistent at best,” said Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat and president pro tempore of the Illinois Senate.

Harmon is the chief co-sponsor of House Bill 40. Senator Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, is the lead sponsor. Gov. Bruce Rauner has threatened to veto the measure, even though he pledged to support it when he was a candidate for governor.

“Wednesday night, in consultation with Senator Steans and the advocates, I filed a motion to reconsider the Senate’s vote to pass House Bill 40, which means we will temporarily hold the bill in the Senate,” Harmon said. “This motion merely allows the Senate to protect the bill from Gov. Rauner’s threatened veto until he comes to his senses. It does not jeopardize the bill’s ability to become law.”

Earlier Wednesday, the Senate voted along party lines to approve the measure, which would protect women’s rights in Illinois in the event the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down or alter the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States. House Bill 40 also bars insurers from refusing to cover reproductive health care for women on Medicaid and state workers on the state’s health insurance plan.

Steans said she supports Harmon’s move to hold the bill and encourages Rauner to rethink his position.

“I want to give this legislation the best possible chance of becoming law. I know the governor has reservations and is feeling pressure from opponents to veto it,” she said. “But signing this bill into law is the right thing to do, and I urge Gov. Rauner to remain true to himself on this matter. Sen. Harmon’s motion generously gives the governor time to remember all the reasons why he originally supported it.”

Terry Cosgrove, president and CEO of Personal PAC, a reproductive rights advocacy group, said holding the legislation for now is preferable to an immediate veto, as promised by the governor.

“Illinois lawmakers sent a strong message of support for women’s reproductive rights by approving HB40. It would be careless to waste their votes by sending the bill to Gov. Rauner’s desk today only to watch him veto it,” Cosgrove said.

“In the meantime, I urge the men and women of Illinois to contact the governor to let him know why it’s important that he sign this bill into law and remind him that it will help to ensure generations of women have access to reproductive health care free of government interference.”

Category: News

HarmonWomensMarchSenator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement today regarding his vote in support of House Bill 40, legislation that would ensure women in Illinois continue to have access to important reproductive health care:

“It’s 2017. Women make up just over half of the population in Illinois, and 70 percent of them are in the labor force.

“But today, rather than paving the way to lift women out of poverty, close the gender wage gap, make child care more affordable or enable all parents to take time off to care for sick kids, the Illinois Senate had to debate whether it’s appropriate to reassure the women who live and work in our communities that they are legally entitled to access the medical care of their choosing without government interference.

“How 1960s of us.

“Voting for House Bill 40 was the right thing to do, and I urge Gov. Rauner to keep his campaign promise to do the right thing on behalf of the women of Illinois and sign it into law as soon as it lands on his desk.”

House Bill 40 passed in the Illinois Senate 33 to 22 on Wednesday. It previously was approved in the House and will be sent to the governor for consideration.

Category: News

HarmonPages05032017Oak Park siblings Audrey and Sam Benzkofer joined state Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) at the Capitol in Springfield as his pages for the day on Wednesday, May 3.

Audrey Benzkofer, 9, is a fourth-grader at Beye Elementary School. Sam Benzkofer, 14, is an eighth-grader at Percy Julian Middle School.

Audrey and Sam toured the Capitol, attended Senate committee hearings with Harmon and accompanied him on the Senate floor, where they met lawmakers and listened to debate about legislation.

Their parents are Stephan and Marjorie Benzkofer of Oak Park.

Category: News

Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement regarding the passage of automatic voter registration legislation in the Illinois Senate on Friday, May 5:

“Automatic voter registration is a concept whose time has come. It will save the state money, strengthen the integrity of the electoral system by cleaning up the voter rolls, and make life easier for the residents of Illinois. I urge the House to pass this legislation and Gov. Rauner to sign it into law.”

Senate Bill 1933 would establish an automatic voter registration system in Illinois by July 1, 2018.

Under the system, qualified voters would be automatically registered to vote when they visit the Illinois secretary of state and other state agencies for services. Voters would be able to opt out of the system if they wish. A series of checks would ensure no one is registered to vote that should not be.

Illinois currently has an opt-in voter registration system in which adults who are 18 or older must find, fill out and submit a voter registration form to an appropriate government agency. Voters frequently forget to update their voter registrations when they move, change marital status or go to college, causing confusion at the polls and inaccuracies on the state’s voter rolls.

Automatically registering voters when they do business with the state enables government to do away with redundant paperwork, streamline bureaucracy and be more cost effective for taxpayers.

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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