Gives psychologists limited prescription authority

052014 js 0095RSPRINGFIELD – 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 giving psychologists – under the careful supervision of doctors – the ability to prescribe some mental health medication.

“We need to do a better job of treating mental illnesses the same way we do physical maladies,” Harmon said. “When someone needs help, they can’t always wait weeks or travel great distances. Mental health care shortages can cost lives and cause needless suffering.”

Harmon’s legislation, Senate Bill 2187, allows psychologists who are willing to undertake additional rigorous training to prescribe certain medications commonly used to treat mental illness, such as Prozac.

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0402014cm0022RSPRINGFIELD – After months of working to find a reliable funding source for the embattled Illinois Poison Center, State Senator Don Harmon has found a plan that he is confident will work. It has already passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and awaits the governor’s consideration.

After his original plan – “The 2 Cent Solution” – hit a roadblock in the Illinois House, Harmon began working with the plan’s House sponsor, Representative Camille Lilly (D-Oak Park), to evaluate other alternatives that would allow the Poison Center to stay open and provide vital services to Illinois parents, medical professionals and others.

“Keeping the Illinois Poison Center open is vitally important,” Harmon said. “It saves lives and provides peace of mind to parents when their children swallow things they shouldn’t.”

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042914CM0614RUpdate: This legislation (SB 2674) passed the Senate 43-13-1. It now goes to the Illinois House.

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) unveiled a compromise plan to provide funding for the endangered Illinois Poison Center that also addresses some of the concerns of local 9-1-1 systems in the Senate State Government Committee today.

Earlier this year, Harmon introduced the “2 Cent Solution” – a plan to reallocate 2 cents from existing cell phone fees to the cash-strapped center that answers questions about potential poisoning from the general public and medical professionals. This money comes from an underused fund intended to help cell phone providers improve 9-1-1 service. However, some 9-1-1 systems objected and Harmon has been negotiating ever since.

“The Illinois Poison Center is vitally important,” Harmon said. “A call to the poison center can provide panicking parents with piece of mind and prevent costly, unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Even other medical experts call the Poison Center for advice. We can’t let the Poison Center close.”

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042914CM0118csRSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement on the Fair Tax amendment:

“The Fair Tax has gained significant momentum in the last year, and I’m committed to continuing to work to get this passed in the fall veto session later this year.

“Our caucus remains committed to this issue as we believe that the Fair Tax is the best way to provide tax relief to the middle class while protecting our priorities.

“This is something I’m committed to, something that we knew would be hard this year. We have exceeded expectations and will continue to work on this issue until the Fair Tax is passed.”

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Contact Me

Email President Harmon

Springfield Office:
327 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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