Sen. Don Harmon: Local communities have waited long enough for their money

harmon 120715OAK PARK — State Sen. Don Harmon issued the following statement regarding Monday’s Senate vote to release $3.1 billion in local money that has been held up by the budget impasse in Springfield.

“Mayors and village leaders representing the communities in my district can no longer afford to wait for the release of money that the state collects but rightfully belongs to local communities – especially motor fuel tax dollars that are used to buy road salt and pay for snow removal,” Harmon said. “This money never should have been held up by the state in the first place.”

The legislation – Senate Bill 2039 – now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature.

Critical funding for winter road maintenance, domestic violence shelter programs and local shares of video gaming and motor fuel tax revenue are part of the package. Also included are:

•    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes.
•    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues.
•    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities.
•    $45 million to the Department of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Math and Science Academy.
•    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt.
•    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research.
•    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections.
•    $165 million for home heating bill assistance.
•    $77 million for 911-related costs.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline.

Notably, however, a host of other programs and services remain in limbo because of the state budget stalemate. Public universities and community colleges are struggling to operate without budgets, and no money has been appropriated for student scholarships and grants.

In addition, human services programs are in jeopardy, including help for rape victims, the homeless, autistic children, at-risk youth, the poor and people in need of health care and mental health treatment.

“The fiscal year is nearly half over. It’s time to finish the important and long-overdue work of putting together a state budget so that we can offer universities, students and the state’s most vulnerable residents some peace of mind,” Harmon said.

Sen. President Harmon

Senate President Don Harmon

President of the Senate
39th District
Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Executive; Judiciary; Subcommittee on Election Law (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Const. Amendments (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Business Entities (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