First elected in the fall of 2002, Senator Don Harmon has promoted a progressive agenda in the Illinois Senate, advocating for better opportunities for our children, greater access to affordable healthcare, improved government oversight and ethics reform, strengthened civil rights, substantive environmental protections, and economic opportunity for all.
Harmon has been a leader on sweeping government reform to end Illinois’ reputation for “pay-to-play” politics. His legislation prohibits state contractors from making a contribution to the office holders who gave them the contract. He also authored legislation placing limits on campaign contributions from corporations, labor unions and associations. The legislation also limits transfers of funds between political committees, including political parties. The campaign contribution legislation is just one of many reform-minded measures the Senate passed this year. Another reform bill Harmon sponsored makes considerable changes to the Freedom of Information Act and creates the Public Access Counselor within the office of the Attorney General to intercede violations.
He authored the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003 to prohibit discriminatory policies by State, county or local governments, and to preserve for Illinois citizens civil rights protections eroded by recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions. Also in 2003, Harmon co-sponsored legislation creating the Equal Pay Act to ensure women in Illinois receive equal pay for equal work. Additionally, he sponsored the “Right to Breastfeed” Act to protect nursing mothers from discrimination.
Senator Don Harmon is currently serving his third term in the Illinois Senate. In January of 2009, incoming Senate President John Cullerton appointed Harmon Assistant Majority Leader. Senator Harmon serves as Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, and on the Assignments, Environment, Executive, Executive Appointments, Redistricting, and Telecommunications and Technology Committees.
Senator Don Harmon and his family have deep roots in the 39th Legislative District. Harmon was born and raised in Oak Park. Harmon remains in the community, where he and his wife Teri are raising their three young children. He attended St. Giles Grade School, and is a member of the parish today.
With the help of family and scholarships, Harmon graduated from St. Ignatius High School on Chicago’s west side, and Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Harmon worked his way through the University of Chicago, where he received both a law degree and an MBA.
President Pro Tempore
Years served: 2003 - Present
Committee assignments: Assignments; Executive (Chairperson); Judiciary; Committee of the Whole; Subcommittee on Election Law (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Restorative Justice; Subcommittee on Civil Rights; Sub on Mental Health Issues (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Procurement (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): Kathleen Willis, Camille Y. Lilly