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Sen. Harmon’s statement about the death of Justice Thomas Fitzgerald

Former Illinois Supreme Court chief justice Thomas FitzgeraldSPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement about the death of former Illinois Supreme Court chief justice Thomas Fitzgerald.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Justice Fitzgerald. He was a gentleman and a lawyer’s lawyer – he spoke softly but clearly, and his voice will be missed. His contributions to the state and to Illinois’ legal community will not be forgotten.”
Fitzgerald was a Cook County prosecutor who rose through the ranks to become chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. He presided over the Illinois Senate’s impeachment trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2009.
Fitzgerald died Sunday at the age of 74.

Sen. Harmon to co-host health fair in Addison

Harmon Health Fair AddisonArea residents are invited to visit this Friday’s Addison Community Health Fair at the Addison Park District community center. The event is free and open to all ages.

State Sen. Don Harmon is co-hosting the event with state Rep. Kathleen Willis of Addison, the Addison Park District and other community partners.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6


Addison Park District community center
120 E. Oak St., Addison

Read more: Sen. Harmon to co-host health fair in Addison

New law allows Cook County drug field tests

New law allows Cook County drug field testsIn 2010, Cook County released more than 5,000 defendants accused of drug-related crimes after determining there was no probable cause for their arrests. Many had been sitting in Cook County jail for more than 25 days awaiting their probable cause hearing. Each day these men and women sat in jail cost county taxpayers $143 – or more than $3,000 for a 25-day stay. It cost them and their families even more from lost time at work and the anguish of having a loved one in jail. Many of these offenders came from low-income families that could not afford to post bail.

Why? Because law enforcement agencies in Cook County send recovered substances to the State Crime Lab to determine whether they are in fact drugs, which takes weeks. Police in every other county use a simple field drug test that costs little more than $1, which could have dramatically reduced the cost to Cook County and the suffering of these people and their families.

Read more: New law allows Cook County drug field tests

Senate votes to override Rauner veto of collective bargaining measure

Harmon speaks in the Senate3Concerned by the Rauner administration’s failure to reach a contract agreement with Illinois’ largest government-employee union, the Illinois Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would mandate arbitration and prohibit strikes and lockouts if an agreement can’t be reached.

“The state needs a contract with its employees,” said Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the measure’s sponsor. “Honestly, it doesn’t seem like the governor’s office is making much progress. Our last contract expired more than a month ago and the two sides still seem miles apart.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 1229, establishes a process in which the state and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) may be required to submit to binding interest arbitration if the two sides can’t reach an agreement. It also specifically prohibits strikes and lockouts once the arbitration process begins. A similar model is already successfully used for decades during contract negotiations for the state police and prison guards, as well as local police and firefighters.

Read more: Senate votes to override Rauner veto of collective bargaining measure

New law limits pawnshops

PawnshopSPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by state Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) will help keep communities and consumers safer by making it more difficult to sell items at pawnshops, if those items are missing serial numbers. The law also sets statewide minimum standards for how long pawnshops must hold onto items before they can sell or transfer them.

“A missing serial number – particularly on something dangerous like a gun or expensive like a phone or computer – is a real problem,” Harmon said. “I know most pawnshops don’t want to support criminal activity, but if you resell a major item that’s missing its serial number, you very well might be.”

The law explicitly prohibits pawnshops from accepting items where the serial number has been intentionally removed or altered. They will be able to accept items where a serial number has worn off because of normal use, but required to hold them for at least 15 days before sale.

Read more: New law limits pawnshops