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State Senator Harmon’s statement on the passing of Comptroller Topinka

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka passed away early this morning:

“Judy Barr Topinka was one of a kind. She was a staunch Republican, but she also believed fervently that party labels simply did not matter in getting the business of the people done.

“The people of Illinois loved JBT. She was a powerhouse in the western suburbs. Even in liberal bastions like Oak Park, she ran head and shoulders ahead of other Republican candidates. People knew Judy was Judy. Labels didn't matter to them either. They knew that she was a straight talker, a straight shooter, and would always put the interests of the people we represent before anything else.

“Judy appreciated the tremendous honor of public service, as well as the brutal nature of campaigns. Through it all, no one was quicker with an ‘Atta boy’ or a ‘Keep your chin up!’ She loved her job and she loved all of us who served with her, in one way or another.

“We will miss her greatly.  Judy Barr Topinka will never be replaced.”

Plan to make Election Day voter registration permanent passes General Assembly

120214CM0095RSPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers have passed a plan to make voting even easier in 2016. Modeled after a successful 2014 pilot program, it allows same day registration on Election Day and extended early voting.

“Making it easier to vote encourages people to participate in our democracy,” said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the measure’s sponsor. “I believe we should do everything we can to make voting easier. The more people who vote and participate in government, the better.”

Under Harmon’s plan, people will be able to register and vote on Election Day. In Illinois’ larger counties (with populations over 100,000), voters will be able to register at their local precincts. In smaller counties that lack the resources to handle in-precinct registration, same day registration will be available in the county clerk’s main office and certain large towns.

Read more: Plan to make Election Day voter registration permanent passes General Assembly

Harmon: Time to replace state's broken flat tax with a fairer tax system

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times on September 23:

The Sun-Times recently published an article that shed light on a major problem facing Illinois: we have one of the most unfair tax systems in the United States.

The article was about a study from WalletHub that ranks the fairness of tax systems. Illinois’ system ranks 47th in the nation — less fair than every other state in the Midwest.

A study published earlier this year by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy put Illinois in its “Terrible Ten” because our taxation system is so unfair.

Read more: Harmon: Time to replace state's broken flat tax with a fairer tax system

Harmon earns excellent rating from Citizen Action

Harmon 2014Citizen Action/Illinois, Illinois' largest public interest organization, has given State Senator Don Harmon an excellent rating for his voting record in the General Assembly over the past two years.

"Senator Harmon's voting record for the 98th General Assembly is, without a doubt, a testament to his commitment to working families, civil rights and consumer advocacy," said William McNary, Citizen Action/Illinois' co-director.

Citizen Action/Illinois has led campaigns for lower utility rates, fair taxes, affordable and quality health care, insurance and campaign finance reform, and stronger environmental and food safety protections. Harmon voted with Citizen Action 92 percent of the time in 2013 and 2014.

Read more: Harmon earns excellent rating from Citizen Action

Harmon named “Environmental Champion” by Illinois Environmental Council

IL Env. CouncilSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Environmental Council, a 39-year-old organization that serves as the voice of the environmental community in the state capital, has named State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) a “100% Environmental Champion” in 2014.

“Don Harmon is a leader for the environment in Springfield,” said IEC Executive Director Jen Walling.

Harmon voted in support of every piece of legislation supported by the council.

Read more: Harmon named “Environmental Champion” by Illinois Environmental Council