SPRINGFIELD, IL – Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) announced four appointees to the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, a group created to help guide Illinois through the reopening process following stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Senators Christopher Belt (D-Centreville), Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) will represent Senate Democrats on the commission. 

“These senators bring a regional diversity and passion for serving their constituents to this commission,” Harmon said. “I know they will do an excellent job advocating for the people of Illinois so that we can safely move forward toward a new normal and a thriving economy.”

The General Assembly passed legislation to create the bipartisan, bicameral commission in May. It will advise Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration as the state moves to open while balancing public health measures.

Harmon also announced the following appointments:

  • Legislative Budget Oversight Commission: Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), Senator Bill Cunningham, Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville), Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) and Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago)
  • Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security: Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood)
Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement on the death of former Illinois State Senator Arthur Berman.

“Over the course of his public service, Art Berman was a leading voice for education funding reform in Illinois, always fighting for more resources for students and protecting access to vital services. He was also a genuinely delightful person. My condolences go out to his family.”

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement regarding the death of former Illinois State Senator and Will County Executive Larry Walsh.

“Whenever I think of Will County, I will forever think of Larry Walsh. Larry was a tireless advocate for his constituents and communities. Those who knew and worked with him are better for it. He never failed to make me smile or laugh or feel better about the world. We will miss him dearly. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.”


Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement.

“Like many of you, I’ve been reeling and angry after George Floyd’s murder. I’ve been driving through the communities I represent and seeing with my own eyes what’s happened. But I’ve struggled to find the right words, and the last thing the world needs right now is yet another person with a title explaining suffering he’s never experienced.

Several of my colleagues in the Illinois Senate’s Black Caucus, however, have encouraged me to speak up, not because I have some particularly great bit of wisdom to share, but rather because members of the Black Caucus do. It is my responsibility to use this position to amplify their voices and support their efforts.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx spoke recently of the ‘casual acceptance’ of so many things that are wrong. Her powerful words should cause us all to rethink what we have too easily accepted – not just the death of another unarmed black man at the hands of police, but the system that allowed it to happen.

The COVID-19 outbreak showed the world the uncomfortable realities revealed in the disproportionate and immoral number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths put upon minority communities. It has exposed the willingness of too many of us for far too long to look away from the suffering happening in other communities.

When you take the time to write it out, the injustice is embarrassingly inescapable. But times of crisis also provide us with an opportunity to examine what our society should be.

If we are angry over the murder of George Floyd and the system that allowed it to happen, we need to be just as angry over a system that would tolerate taking years off the life expectancy of a child just because she grows up on the West Side without access to quality nutrition or health care or all the other things many of us casually take for granted every day of our lives.

These things cannot be tolerated.

The unity that we experience in times of crisis must propel us to bring about meaningful fixes. I pledge my support to making those changes.

We know our economy has been broken by this pandemic. Mr. Floyd’s murder reminds us that there is more broken in our society.

In the days ahead, we have the chance to re-invest in Illinois. Not to rebuild a broken system. Not to restore a sense of comfort to some. Rather, this is an opportunity to re-imagine what Illinois can be for all of us.

As we move forward, I am committed to listening to ideas and building partnerships to make those changes and give a voice to those who feel their voices are not being heard.

We can, we must and we will be better.”

Category: News

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The Illinois Senate took the final legislative action needed to give voters the opportunity to keep or overhaul the state’s nearly 50 year old flat-tax tax system.

A constitutional amendment on the November ballot asks voters if they want to change the Illinois Constitution to a system of tax brackets where higher incomes pay a higher rate and middle class families and lower wage households pay a lower rate.

The Senate passed the final language that will appear both on the ballot and in a pamphlet sent to voters explaining what the amendment does and making the case for and against it. Supporters of the tax overhaul drafted the language regarding why it is a good idea. Republican lawmakers drafted the language opposing the change and in favor of keeping the status quo tax system.

Senate President Don Harmon sponsored the initial Fair Tax amendment and led Thursday’s legislative efforts to finalize the proposal, shrugging off recent calls from Republican critics that the option be taken away from voters.

"The Fair Tax promises tax relief to small businesses and middle-class families. I don't know why in the middle of a pandemic they would try to take that option away," Harmon said.

During Thursday’s debate, Harmon pointed out that 97 percent of Illinoisans would see lower taxes under the new tax system.

“And today, most importantly, the people who have been kicked in the teeth by this pandemic are the same people who will benefit the most from the Fair Tax. If you're earning $50,000 a year, if you've had your hours cut back, if you're worried about losing your job, you're the people who are going to get the most profound tax reduction from the Fair Tax,” Harmon said.

“Most people earning $250,000 or $500,000 a year aren't facing those same paralyzing fears. Their jobs may have been disrupted, but they likely have the resources to get by. And, they are almost certain to be making that kind of money going forward. The family getting by on $35,000 or $75,000 a year and worried about whether they're going to have the job, they're the ones who get the tax cut.”

Voters will decide whether to adopt the constitutional amendment in the November elections.

Category: News

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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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