Yesterday we welcomed guests at the Capitol for Illinois Muslim Action Day. Young people from across the state came to advocate for important issues for and beyond their community, and to learn about being involved in government policy. This annual event is organized by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Chicago (CIOGC). I was happy to meet Ahmad Raza from Addison, Illinois who is a junior at Islamic Foundation School.

Ahmad hold leadership positions in various clubs at his school and spends his free time working as a tutor at Kumon Learning Center and volunteering at DuPage PADS and Northern Illinois Food Bank. He plans to attend medical school to get a PhD in psychology and become a psychiatrist or psychologist.

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Category: News

04102019CM0427 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) advanced legislation today that would set a statewide standard for alcohol delivery from retailers.

Senate Bill 54 would allow grocery stores and other licensed retailers to alcohol to the homes of consumers if certain conditions, including age verification and training, are met.

“More and more people are ordering their groceries online,” Harmon said. “We want to keep up with this modern way of shopping and make sure that any retailers who want to provide this service to their customers are confident that they will be able to deliver anywhere in the state.”

Harmon said he is continuing to meet with working groups to finalize the legislation as it is considered in the House.

Senate Bill 54 passed the Senate without opposition and heads to the House.

Category: News

04092019CW0070 rSPRINGFIELD – Illinois is one step closer to amending its Constitution to allow for a fair tax after Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) passed a Constitutional amendment out of committee today.

The proposed Constitutional amendment would remove language requiring a flat tax and allow the General Assembly to set lower rates for those making less and higher rates for the wealthiest Illinoisans.

“Our current tax system is punitive to middle class and working families in Illinois because it imposes a greater burden on them than on the wealthiest in our state,” Harmon said. “With a fair tax, we are simply asking top earners to pay their fair share.”

Illinois is one of only nine states in the country to impose a flat tax. Harmon has worked to implement a fair tax for nearly 10 years, saying the state needs more flexibility in its tax structure.

“We have no nimbleness in our tax policy,” Harmon said. “A flat tax gives us little ability to respond appropriately to an economic downturn. Our current system is antiquated, and a majority of Illinoisans have indicated that they want to change it. We need to give them the opportunity to take this vote.”

The proposed amendment does not include specific tax rates, but Harmon said legislation to set rates will be introduced later this legislative session. Gov. JB Pritzker announced proposed rates earlier this year that would raise an estimated $3.4 billion in revenue by raising taxes on only the top 3 percent of earners in Illinois.

“The only other options we have to balance our budget are to raise taxes dramatically on everyone or make deep, draconian cuts to vital state services,” Harmon said. “A fair tax will not only help us fix our state’s finances but also give us long-term stability.”

If the amendment passes both the Senate and the House with a supermajority vote, it will be placed as a question on the November 2020 ballot.

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 passed the Senate Executive Committee 12-5 today and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Category: News

Dear friends,

With so many moving parts, it can be difficult to keep up with everything happening at the Capitol while the Senate is in Session. I hope this weekly newsletter will be helpful in updating you on what I’m doing in Springfield, from passing legislation to meeting with advocates and constituents.

This week, the Senate took up important legislation to decrease teen access to cigarettes, we continued to discuss a fair tax and I met with organizations promoting important health concerns. More details are below.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office at 217-782-8176 or email me.

Sincerely,

harmonsig

 

 

Senator Don Harmon
State Senator, 39th Senate District

Governor introduces fair tax plan

Last week, Gov. JB Pritzker unveiled his fair tax plan, which would give a tax break to anyone making under $250,000 a year.

This proposal is exactly the approach we need to restore fiscal stability to Illinois and help our middle class. Under this plan 97 percent of Illinoisans, the overwhelming majority, will get some form of tax relief, while we ensure we can continue to fund critical services and balance our state budget for years to come.

The governor’s proposed rates are as follows:

Fair tax rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week, the governor’s office released a calculator that you can use here to see how the proposed rates would impact you and your family.

Before any rates can be imposed, however, the Illinois Constitution must be amended to allow a fair tax.

I am the Senate sponsor of the resolution to allow us to ask you, the voters, to consider the constitutional amendment, and I will be working closely with the governor for the remainder of this Session to make sure it passes the General Assembly.

Senate passes Tobacco 21 legislation

Illinois is one step closer to joining a growing list of states that have raised the age to legally purchase tobacco to 21 under a plan sponsored by Rep. Camille Lilly and State Senator Julie Morrison that passed the Senate Thursday.

The proposal, contained in House Bill 345, would make Illinois the eighth state to pass Tobacco 21 legislation. More than 400 localities across the nation have already raised the age, including 34 jurisdictions in Illinois. Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and Peoria are a few of the cities in Illinois, both small and large, to raise the age.

A key benefit to raising the age is documented decreases in the number of high schoolers who smoke. In Chicago, authorities recorded a drop from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease.

The legislation will now head to the governor’s desk to await his signature.

March for Mental Health

03132019CM0882 rI joined Senator Michael Hastings, Senator Melinda Bush, Senator Cristina Castro and Senator Robert Peters on Wednesday to announce the March to Mental Health initiative, a package of bills to improve accessibility to mental health treatment.

My legislation, Senate Bill 1135, would reduce barriers licensed prescribing psychologists face in meeting the growing need for mental health treatment in Illinois. It would increase access to prescribing psychologists in medical facilities and through health services like telehealth.

Access to mental health treatment is a growing concern in Illinois and across the country. Almost 1 in 5 Americans have a mental health condition, but nearly 20 percent of them report having an unmet need for care.

 

 

 

World Kidney Day

I was happy to meet with Jackie Bishop, the incoming CEO of National Kidney Foundation of Illinois on World Kidney Day this Thursday. World Kidney Day is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of keeping your kidneys healthy.

Learn more about National Kidney Foundation here.

WorldKidneyDay

Category: E-Newsletters

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement this afternoon in response to Gov. Pritzker’s fair tax proposal that was released earlier today:  

“Updating our state’s antiquated tax structure is long overdue. A fair tax like that proposed by Gov. JB Pritzker today will protect working families while still giving us the resources we need to invest in our state. The majority of Illinoisans support a fair tax, and the governor’s proposal is a great first step toward that goal. I look forward to working with him to pass the legislation necessary to put the question on the ballot in 2020.”

Category: News

Contact Me

Email Senator Harmon

Springfield Office:
329 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(p) 217.782.8176
(f) 217.558.6013

Oak Park Office:
6941-B W. North Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(p) 708.848.2002
(f) 708.848.2022

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