AbnerMikvaSenator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement today regarding the death of Abner Mikva, a former congressman, federal judge, presidential adviser, lawyer, mentor and public servant from Chicago:

“For a man with perhaps the most impressive resume in politics, Abner Mikva was the kindest, most gracious and generous politician I’ve ever met.

“When I took his seminar on legislative process at the University of Chicago Law School, even at the end of his storied career, Ab’s enthusiasm for government and politics was contagious. He loved the process and he loved engaging young people in it.

“When I confessed my quiet interest in running for office, he said, “Do it. Don’t wait!” He was a great mentor and a wise counsel.

“Even in the last few months, he was pushing us hard to move forward on juvenile justice reform — all with a heart set on good policy and a keen appreciation for the evolving politics. He was a gentle giant and he will be missed by all he touched.”

Mikva died Monday in Chicago. He was 90.

Category: News

Harmon06302016Dear friends,

I am pleased to report that there was a significant breakthrough in the Illinois budget stalemate today.

Members of the Illinois General Assembly approved a budget that will ensure Illinois schools open on time in the fall and remain open the entire school year. The budget also will provide long-overdue money to struggling human service providers and protect jobs throughout the state.

The package is the result of negotiations among the Senate, the House and Gov. Bruce Rauner. All sides made concessions, and none achieved everything they had sought in a balanced budget.

The governor has indicated he intends to sign the legislation, and I urge him to do so as soon as possible.

Among the funding contained in the package:

Read more ...

Category: News

HarmonSquareSPRINGFIELD — School districts from Oak Park to Addison stand to receive more than $15 million in additional funding under a bipartisan budget proposal to be voted on when senators return to Springfield this week.

The education funding bill is part of a broader series of measures to keep the state running as the current budget year winds down. State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) noted that the measure clearly establishes education funding as a top priority for the state.

“This is the clean education bill that the governor wanted.” Harmon said. “We have listened to his feedback regarding earlier proposals. I hope the governor will sign this bill into law as soon as possible so that our schools open on schedule and teacher and administrators have time to plan for the year ahead.”

Under the proposal, $760 million in additional money is provided so that every school in the state receives state foundation level funding. As it stands, that means several school districts in the 39th District will receive more than $1 million in additional funding for the upcoming school year, and every school in the district will receive more this year than they did last year.

“This is a great step forward. With increased support and certainty from the state, every single student, no matter the ZIP code, will have a better chance of receiving a quality education,” Harmon said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

The Illinois Senate returns to Springfield on Wednesday.

Category: News

WeAreOrlandoDear friends,

I cannot stop thinking today about the dozens of men and women, mostly young people with a lifetime ahead of them, who were gunned down this past weekend in a vicious and hate-fueled massacre at an Orlando nightclub.

I stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community as it searches for answers and compassion in the aftermath of such horror. Like so many parents across the country, I will struggle – yet again – to find the words to explain this kind of violence and hatred to my children.

We will mourn and pray together as a nation that this senseless violence does not happen again. We will offer support and love to the people of Orlando.

But we also must take action. We must do more to prevent guns from ending up in the hands of people who seek to kill others.

We must continue to pressure lawmakers, including those here in Illinois, to put sensible gun-safety laws on the books, even in the face of condemnation by those who go to great lengths to quell national and statewide conversations on this matter.

And we must do more to enforce the laws that already exist, while ensuring that we provide funding for the types of services, screenings and education that will help to create a safer Illinois.

As we now deal with the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil, my hope is that we can find a way to talk to each other, not past each other, so that we may work toward putting an end to the shooting massacres and gun violence that have become all too common in this nation.

I invite the community to join me and other government and faith leaders for a solidarity and prayer vigil for the Orlando shooting victims. The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at Scoville Park, 800 Lake St., Oak Park.

Please feel free to contact me at 708-848-2002 with any comments or suggestions about what more we can do to come together and to demand change.

Category: News

Senator Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto another appropriations bill from the Legislature:

“Gov. Rauner’s stubborn refusal to propose a balanced budget – a duty outlined in the Illinois Constitution – has left Illinois to drift like a ship with no captain.

“In the absence of actual leadership from the governor’s office, the General Assembly for months now has been forced to act unilaterally as we try to propose budget bills that the governor might sign to help residents who have been left to suffer without the state’s assistance. It’s a frustrating exercise.

“Given Gov. Rauner’s baffling choices about what he will sign and what he will veto, it has become exceedingly difficult to predict how he will react to legislation we send him on behalf of the people we represent, including those who rely on human service providers and college tuition assistance.

“At this point, all I can say is that I hope that Gov. Rauner will sign Senate Bill 2038, a clean human services stopgap that was sent to his desk with overwhelming bipartisan support. These service providers have gone nearly a year without payment from the state.

“Unfortunately for the people of Illinois, what our captain will choose to do is anyone’s guess.”

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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