The following legislative update was issued by the office of State Sen. Don Harmon:
The General Assembly is back in Springfield. After a productive year in 2013, we again face major challenges in our state. A difficult budget and Fair Tax Amendment are both major issues we will likely vote on in the coming months. To hear my views on last year and the upcoming session, please click here.
I look forward to another year of representing our communities in Springfield, and please don’t hesitate to contact my office with any questions you may have over the coming months.
Senator Don Harmon
39th District – Illinois
Concealed Carry Legislation
Last year after a ruling by the 7th Circuit Court, the General Assembly passed a heavily criticized law allowing people to carry concealed handguns in public. While I did not support this measure, it is now law in Illinois. After many questions from business owners who want to keep guns out of their stores and restaurants, I proposed Senate Bill 2669.
The legislation would change the law, requiring businesses that wish to allow guns to post signs to avoid confusion. If there is no sign, then guns are not allowed. Read more here, or watch a video on this legislation here.
Illinois Poison Center
After years of federal and state budget cuts, the Illinois Poison Center is in imminent danger of closing its doors unless they can find more funding. The center, which handles nearly 82,000 cases of potential poisoning a year, announced it will close June 30 unless we find a solution.
In our cash-strapped state, this issue has been particularly difficult. However, I am proposing a possible solution. My plan would redirect a small portion of the fee currently charged by cell phone companies to pay for 911 services – 2 cents per user– to pay for poison control services. This money will not come out of 911 funding, but rather the administrative fee charged by cell phone companies. This innovative solution to a serious problem will allow us to continue poison control services, while not raising taxes or slashing other state services. Read more here, or watch a video on my thoughts here.
Charity of the Month
Many of us remember to donate to food pantries during the holidays, but tend to forget about them during the rest of the year. That is why, this month, I would like to highlight Feeding Illinois, a group that coordinates the efforts of food banks throughout the state to provide a food supply for needy families in Illinois. Every year, Feeding Illinois feeds over 1.4 million hungry people, including 605,000 children. To learn more about volunteering or donating to Feeding Illinois, please click here.