HarmonTownHallPlease join Sen. Don Harmon and Rep. Kathleen Willis this week in Bensenville for a chance to ask questions and learn more about the latest developments in Springfield.

This town hall-style discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at Bensenville Village Hall, 12 S. Center St. It is free and open to the public.

The meeting will afford constituents an opportunity to learn more about the new and ongoing challenges facing state government and to discuss issues of local importance with state lawmakers.

For more information about the event, call Sen. Harmon's office at 708-848-2002 or Rep. Willis’ office at 708-562-6970.

For those who are unable to make it Thursday, there will be another chance to meet with Sen. Harmon and Rep. Camille Lilly during a town hall meeting Wednesday, Sept. 14 in Austin.

This event, which also is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St., Chicago.

What: Bensenville town hall meeting with Senator Harmon and Representative Willis
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8
Where: Bensenville Village Hall, 12 S. Center St.

What: Austin town hall meeting with Senator Harmon and Representative Lilly
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14
Where: Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St., Chicago

Category: News

GunDealerSenator Don Harmon is calling on the gun-rights advocates and Gov. Bruce Rauner to do more to help state lawmakers and local communities curb gun violence and protect the children of Illinois.

Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, is chairman of a Senate subcommittee on firearms, which heard testimony Tuesday about legislation that would restore local governments’ right to control the types of weapons and ammunition allowed in their communities. Local control over such matters was taken away in 2013 when the state passed its concealed carry law.

As with so many other proposals designed to target gun violence and the illegal gun trade, gun-rights advocates are opposed to the measure.

“Kids are dying, and these products are causing it,” Harmon said. “It’s a crisis. Find a way to help us protect everyone, including law-abiding gun owners.”

Read more ...

Category: News

School BreakfastBreakfast will be available to more Illinois schoolchildren under a measure sponsored by Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) that was signed into law Friday.

Senate Bill 2393 will require public elementary, middle and high schools with a student low-income rate of at least 70 percent to offer breakfast to students after the instructional day has begun.

Each school will be able to determine the Breakfast After the Bell model that suits its students, such as breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast and second-chance breakfast. Schools that participate in the program are able to capture federal money to pay for the cost of offering these meals.

"As thousands of Illinois schoolchildren head back to the classroom this fall, too many of them will do so without a good, nourishing start to their day at home,” Harmon said. “This new law will enable more schools to offer breakfast at school, which should boost students’ ability to learn, to stay awake and to pay attention in class. That will translate into better attendance, better grades and an overall better experience in school."

The law allows schools to be waived from the requirement if they can show that a breakfast after the bell program would be financially burdensome.

According to the latest Rise and Shine Illinois Breakfast Report in February, Illinois ranks 42nd in the nation for serving school breakfast. If Illinois school districts were to achieve 70 percent student participation in breakfast programs, an additional $42 million in federal dollars would be funneled into schools.

Child poverty in Illinois is at its highest level since 1999, and about one in five Illinois children live in homes where meals aren’t guaranteed. About 73 percent of teachers say they have students who regularly come to school hungry because there isn’t enough food at home.

Average daily participation in school breakfast programs has increased slightly every year since 2011. The latest figures show that on an average school day last year, nearly 400,000 low-income Illinois children participated in school breakfast.

But every day, more than 450,000 other children miss out on breakfast and go hungry early in the school day. More than 175,000 additional students would benefit from breakfast if Illinois schools implement breakfast after the bell programs under Harmon’s legislation.

Illinois schools that participate in breakfast programs are eligible for federal nutrition dollars. The National School Breakfast Program was established in 1966 under President Lyndon B. Johnson to provide free or low-cost breakfasts to schoolchildren.

Category: News

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

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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