03122018CM0532 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) passed a measure out of committee today that would create safe zones from immigration enforcement in Illinois.

The legislation prohibits state and local law enforcement from carrying out federal immigration efforts at locations including state-funded schools, state-funded medical treatment and health care facilities, public libraries, facilities operated by the Secretary of State, and state courts.

These safe zones were in the original version of the Trust Act that passed the Senate but were amended in the House and not in the final version signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner last year.

“Immigrants in Illinois are hardworking people who contribute to our communities,” Harmon said. “They have built their homes here. They are raising their families here. They should be treated like human beings, not taken away like criminals when they drop their children off at school.”

According to a 2014 study by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, roughly 68 percent of undocumented immigrants participate in the labor force in Illinois, a higher rate than that of the general public (66 percent).

Harmon’s measure also prohibit applications for state benefits from asking for information related to citizenship or immigration status unless otherwise required by law.

Senate Bill 35 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 8-4 today and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News

03132018CM0160 rCHICAGO –State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act:

“The governor must be much more concerned about his immediate political prospects than we thought, because he decided to be a lap dog for the NRA today rather than listen to the people he represents.

“Eighty-five percent of Illinoisans support licensing gun dealers. Governor Rauner has decided to be the governor of the nine percent who don’t.

“Tomorrow, students across the country will stand up and beg elected officials to do their job and protect schools from gun violence. By issuing this veto on the eve of those demonstrations, the governor is telling them that he has no intention to live up to that responsibility."

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act passed the Senate last April and passed the House in February with bipartisan support.

Category: News

IMG 0439 rCHICAGO –State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) today joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, fellow legislators, gun violence prevention advocates and victims of gun violence in calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

The measure would allow Illinois to license gun dealers, holding corrupt dealers accountable and cracking down on straw purchases. According to a 2014 report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, almost 20 percent of all guns recovered from crimes scenes in Chicago from 2009-2013 came from three of the state’s 2,400 dealers.

At a press conference this morning, Harmon said the measure is not only good policy, but also has broad public support.

“If the public policy doesn’t convince the governor, I hope that perhaps the politics will,” Harmon said. “Eighty-five percent of Illinoisans want this bill signed. He should sign it today. We’ll even give him the pen.”

Senate Bill 1657 passed the Senate last April and the House last month with bipartisan support. Rauner has yet to indicate whether he intends to sign it into law.

State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who cosponsored the measure, joined Harmon at today’s press conference and shared the impact gun violence has had on his life.

“I joined this journey because I experienced gun violence directly outside my home,” Raoul said. “This is personal. I struggle with why this is being politicized into a difficult decision. This is a simple decision about accountability.”

CPD Superintendent Johnson called the measure “commonsense legislation” and said he was proud to lend his voice to the group calling on the governor to sign it into law.

“As a Chicago police officer, I’ve seen guns tear apart families and cut lives far too short for 30 years. Last month, I had the difficult task of delivering the tragic news to Commander Paul Bauer’s family after he was murdered by a repeat offender.” Johnson said. “This bill won’t bring back our loved ones or Commander Bauer, but it’s the least we can do to show their families that we remember them and are fighting for their memories and legacies.”

Emanuel suggested that Rauner, with his reluctance to make a commitment on the legislation, is putting politics ahead of the people of Illinois.

“The governor may be thinking of the primary election, but we are thinking of the primary responsibility he has to keep us safe,” Emanuel said. “Here in Illinois, we license car shops. We license liquor shops. We license barber shops. We now have a chance, if the governor would sign the bill, to license gun shops. All eyes are on the governor.”

Senate Bill 1657 was delivered to the governor’s desk on March 1. If he does not sign or veto it in 60 days, it automatically becomes law.

Category: News

022818 KS 1126 rSPRINGFIELD – Fifteen years after State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) first introduced similar legislation, the Illinois House voted 64-52 yesterday to pass his measure requiring gun dealers to be licensed by the state.

“When I first introduced the gun dealer licensing bill, I thought we’d be having this celebration a lot sooner,” Harmon said. “After all the work we’ve done with advocacy groups over the years, I’m thrilled that we’ve finally been able to advance this commonsense gun law to try to take some illegal guns off our streets.”

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act would allow Illinois to license gun dealers and encourage better business practices while holding corrupt dealers accountable as authorities try to get a handle on the violence epidemic prevalent in Chicago neighborhoods and across the state.

Today’s vote coincided with a rally hosted by the gun reform advocacy group Moms Demand Action that drew 500 supporters to the steps of the Illinois Capitol.

“We come together today to say, ‘Enough!’” said Lauren Quinn, leader of the Central Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We demand more than thoughts and prayers from our lawmakers. We are here today to tell them that we need action.”

Harmon’s district includes portions of the West Side of Chicago, an area that has been plagued with gun violence for years. As of Monday, 349 people have been shot in Chicago this year.

“There’s no one law that’s going to solve all our problems, but other states that have adopted similar licensing requirements have seen a 65 percent reduction in guns used in crimes,” Harmon said. “I can only hope we reach that number, but I know this bill will at least keep some guns off the street and some young people alive.”

Senate Bill 1657 now moves to the governor’s desk.


Category: News

02072018CM0547 rSPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) released the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address today:

“The governor failed basic budget math today. Forcing another government to pay your bills does not cut government spending or reduce the burden on taxpayers. It just shifts the blame to somebody else. Avoiding blame seems to be the governor’s specialty.”

“We’ve talked about responsibly shifting new teacher pension costs to school districts, but in a way that won’t hit property taxpayers. No one who is serious about governing would ever suggest the rapid and crippling ‘cost-shift’ the governor proposed today.”

“Secondly, you can’t brag about giving schools an additional $350 million while at the same time forcing $490 million in new costs on them. That’s not an increase – it’s a $140 million decrease.”

“The governor may tout the education funding reform bill as an accomplishment of his, but his proposed budget breaks the deal we made to increase funding for schools.”

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-B W. North Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(p) 708.848.2002

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