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Harmon: Tobacco 21 will reduce smoking among high schoolers

harmon 041118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation raising the age to legally buy tobacco products to 21:

“We took a step today that we know, based on evidence from other states and communities in our own states, will reduce the rates of smoking among high school students.

“The dangers of cigarettes have been well-known for decades, and teens are even more at risk with the increasing popularity of vaping products.

“This is legislation that could prevent teenagers and young adults from ever picking up a cigarette, which could literally save their lives.”

New Harmon law brings solar revenue to local communities

harmon 020718SPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) ensures local communities benefit from the tax revenue generated by Illinois’ solar industry.

“Solar energy is a rapidly growing industry in Illinois, and it’s good not only for the environment but also for the economy,” Harmon said. “It is my hope that the revenue generated from this industry can benefit local schools and communities and encourage the continued growth of solar power in our state.”

The legislation, which became law on Friday, sets a standard tax assessment value for commercial solar farms located anywhere besides Cook County. This creates certainty around the revenue that local governments will receive from the farms.

Under the legislation, solar farms could generate $250 to $300 million in tax revenue over a 25-year span, money that would go to funding schools, roads and other critical services.

Senate Bill 486 takes effect immediately.

Harmon: Governor fails to address daily gun violence

harmon 041118CHICAGO – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) released the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s announcement today that he plans to veto Harmon’s legislation regulating gun dealers:

“The governor took two steps forward today by signing bills that create firearm restraining orders and extend the waiting period to buy handguns to 72 hours. Unfortunately, he also took a giant step back by saying he will veto legislation regulating gun dealers.

Harmon measure providing alternatives to opioids moves to governor’s desk

harmon 053118SPRINGFIELD – Legislation providing access to medical alternatives to opioids as a means to combat the opioid crisis is headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.

Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) passed the Alternatives to Opioids Act out of the Senate in April and worked closely with the Department of Public Health and the House sponsor to address any concerns before bringing it for a final vote today.

The measure creates a pilot program allowing individuals over the age of 21 with any condition for which opioids might be prescribed to apply for temporary access to the state’s medical cannabis program.

“Opioid addiction takes the lives of thousands of Illinoisans every year,” Harmon said. “We should be open to any reasonable alternative treatment – and no one has ever died of a cannabis overdose.”

Under the program, patients will obtain a physician’s certification that they have a condition for which an opioid could be prescribed. They may then take that to a dispensary to receive medical cannabis for a fixed period of time.

To help clean up the backlog of applications for the full medical cannabis program at the Department of Public Health, the measure also allows anyone with a qualifying condition for the medical cannabis program to take physician certification to a dispensary to receive cannabis on a provisional basis while their application is processed.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control last year found that a patient can become addicted to opioids within a week or even a few days of use.

“It’s imperative that we give people the immediate option to pursue an alternative treatment to opioids,” Harmon said. “Opioid dependence can develop quickly and has devastating effects.”

Senate Bill 336 passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support and now awaits the governor’s signature. 

Senator Don Harmon

harmon-2014-150

President Pro Tempore
39th District
 
Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Assignments (Vice-Chairperson); Executive (Chairperson); Judiciary; Committee of the Whole.

Biography: Attorney; born 1966, in Oak Park; graduated St. Ignatius High School; B.A., Knox College; J.D. and M.B.A., University of Chicago; married (wife, Teresa), has three children: Don, Frances, and Margaret.

Associated Representative(s): Kathleen Willis, Camille Y. Lilly