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Illinois Poison Center budget secure through 2018

PoisonSPRINGFIELD – Yesterday, the governor signed legislation that guarantees the Illinois Poison Center will receive the stable funding source it needs to stay open through at least 2018.

“This is a good day for the Poison Center and the parents, medical professionals and others who rely on its services,” said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), who negotiated the agreement for guaranteed funding.

Earlier this year, the Poison Center announced that it would be forced to close its doors on June 30 if the state could not find a stable funding source to replace declining state contributions.

Harmon plan to address mental health care shortage passes General Assembly

Gives psychologists limited prescription authority

052014 js 0095RSPRINGFIELD – Illinois faces a shortage of primary care physicians, particularly in the field of mental health. State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) is taking on this problem by giving psychologists – under the careful supervision of doctors – the ability to prescribe some mental health medication.

“We need to do a better job of treating mental illnesses the same way we do physical maladies,” Harmon said. “When someone needs help, they can’t always wait weeks or travel great distances. Mental health care shortages can cost lives and cause needless suffering.”

Harmon’s legislation, Senate Bill 2187, allows psychologists who are willing to undertake additional rigorous training to prescribe certain medications commonly used to treat mental illness, such as Prozac.

Harmon brokers deal to protect Poison Center Funding

0402014cm0022RSPRINGFIELD – After months of working to find a reliable funding source for the embattled Illinois Poison Center, State Senator Don Harmon has found a plan that he is confident will work. It has already passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and awaits the governor’s consideration.

After his original plan – “The 2 Cent Solution” – hit a roadblock in the Illinois House, Harmon began working with the plan’s House sponsor, Representative Camille Lilly (D-Oak Park), to evaluate other alternatives that would allow the Poison Center to stay open and provide vital services to Illinois parents, medical professionals and others.

“Keeping the Illinois Poison Center open is vitally important,” Harmon said. “It saves lives and provides peace of mind to parents when their children swallow things they shouldn’t.”

Senator Don Harmon

harmon-2014-150

Assistant Majority Leader
39th District
 
Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Assignments (Vice-Chairperson); Energy and Public Utilities; Executive (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary; Labor; Revenue; Subcommittee on Election Law (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Const. Amendments (Sub-Chairperson).

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):
Camille Y. Lilly
Kathleen Willis