• Senate Democrats believe artificial intelligence research at U of I will propel Illinois into the future

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  • President Harmon statement on vote to remove Douglas statue

    douglas statue 081920SPRINGFIELD – Senate President Don Harmon released the following statement after the board of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol voted to remove statues of Stephen Douglas and Pierre Menard from the Capitol grounds:

    “The decision to remove these statues and give Dr. King’s statue a rightful place on the Capitol grounds is certainly a step in the right direction. It is also the beginning of what I hope to be a longer conversation about how we can do better to accurately represent our state’s past. I thank members of our caucus for bringing these concerns to light.”

  • Harmon remembers Jim Thompson

    thompson 081520Statement from Illinois Senate President Don Harmon on the death of former Gov. James R. Thompson.
    “No one enjoyed being governor more than Jim Thompson. Our state lost a true giant, and he will be missed. My condolences go out to his family and friends.”

  • Harmon announces grant for Elmwood Park Library

    library 081220OAK PARK – Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) announced a grant of $12,500 to fund a mentoring program at Elmwood Park Library.

    “Libraries provide a wide array of services to our communities, including valuable programming for young adults,” Harmon said. “This grant will help students gain skills that will set them up for success.”

    The funding comes from Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White’s 2021 Project Next Generation grants to 28 public libraries statewide. PNG is a mentoring program created by Secretary White and administered through Illinois public libraries. Project mentors work with middle and high school students as the participants develop skills to use various technologies, achieve success through project-based learning and gain life skills such as effective communication, goal-setting and conflict resolution.

    “I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” said White.  “I established this innovative program when I first became Secretary of State to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library.”

    Projects were awarded grants from the Illinois State Library using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

    Grants are awarded to public libraries serving culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations. For more information, visit http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/png.html.

  • Harmon announces $1.7 million for infrastructure improvements at River Grove college

    triton college 081020SPRINGFIELD – Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) announced $1.7 million for new energy efficient windows at Triton College in River Grove.

    This investment is made possible by the historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan the Senate passed in 2019.

    “Our ability to continue to invest in our communities through the Rebuild Illinois plan is a bright spot in the midst of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” Harmon said. “It is critical that we invest in our educational institutions now so that they are able to serve Illinoisans for years to come as our state recovers.”

    The Rebuild Illinois capital plan passed with bipartisan supermajorities and will invest $45 billion in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers and state facilities over the next six years, creating and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the plan and revitalizing local economies across the state.

  • Senate President Don Harmon announces appointments to Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission

    harmon 03052020CM0660SPRINGFIELD, IL – Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) announced four appointees to the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, a group created to help guide Illinois through the reopening process following stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of coronavirus.

    Senators Christopher Belt (D-Centreville), Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) will represent Senate Democrats on the commission. 

  • Senate President Don Harmon statement on the death of Arthur Berman

    art berman 060820SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement on the death of former Illinois State Senator Arthur Berman.

    “Over the course of his public service, Art Berman was a leading voice for education funding reform in Illinois, always fighting for more resources for students and protecting access to vital services. He was also a genuinely delightful person. My condolences go out to his family.”

    The Chicago Democrat served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1967 to 1976 and then served in the Illinois Senate from 1977 until 2000.

  • Former Senate colleague Larry Walsh passes away

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    Members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus were saddened to learn of the passing of former colleague Larry Walsh, who died after several years with prostate cancer. He passed away Wednesday night at age 72.

    Walsh served as an Illinois state senator representing the 43rd District from April 1997 until January 2005, when he then became Will County executive. He spent nearly 50 years in public service at the local, county and state levels.


  • Harmon releases statement regarding racial injustice

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  • Vote by mail expansion clears Illinois Senate

    harmon floor 4 052220SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Senate approved an expanded vote-by-mail program that has garnered increased popularity across the state and country amid public health concerns over voting and elections during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Senate President Don Harmon voted for the expanded vote-by-mail program and issued the following statement:

    “This is an overdue step toward modern convenience and safety in our elections,” said Harmon. “It’s unfortunate it took a global pandemic to convince people of its value, but expanding vote by mail is a needed election reform that I hope voters will utilize.”

  • Fair Tax overhaul clears final Senate hurdle

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  • Harmon calls for cooperation heading into COVID-19 special Senate session

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  • Senate President: Senate Democrats committed to stabilizing economy in wake of pandemic

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  • Senate President Harmon: Senate session canceled for next week

    Senate President Don HarmonSPRINGFIELD — Illinois Senate President Don Harmon has canceled the Illinois Senate’s scheduled session days for next week. The 59-member Senate was scheduled to be at the Capitol on March 31 and April 1 and 2.

    Harmon informed Senate Democrats on a caucus conference call Wednesday, part of an ongoing effort to keep members and staff informed during the COVID-19 public health emergency. He said senators and staff continue to examine legislative and procedural priorities so that when the legislative session resumes, the Senate is prepared to act efficiently and effectively.

    “We are going to have to figure out what is critical and what is time-sensitive,” Harmon said.

  • Illinois Senate cancels session next week

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    SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Senate President Don Harmon canceled next week’s Senate session days as part of a public health effort to limit exposure and hopefully slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Senate was scheduled to be at the Capitol next Tuesday through Friday, March 24-27.

    Senate President Don Harmon’s statement:

    “The Senate will not be in session next week. We remain in contact with members regarding legislative and scheduling priorities so that when we return to the Capitol we can act quickly and efficiently.

    For now, we are taking it day by day and urging everyone to heed the advice of health care professionals by practicing social distancing, regularly washing hands and avoiding unneeded travel.”

  • Illinois Senate cancels next week’s session days in order to “do its part” to slow spread of virus

    harmon 031120SPRINGFIELD —Illinois Senate President Don Harmon today announced the cancellation of next week’s Senate session days as part of a public health initiative to limit exposure and hopefully slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

    Senate President Harmon’s statement:

    “When the state association for emergency doctors cancels its Capitol visit citing public health concerns, it should give us all reason to re-examine our schedules and priorities.

    Given the recommendations for social distancing as a safeguard to slow the spread of this virus, the Illinois Senate is going to do its part. The Friday, March 20 session day had already been cancelled. The Senate will also cancel the March 18 and 19 session days.

    We will constantly monitor the situation and make future decisions based on best practices and advice from the state’s public health and emergency preparedness professionals.”

  • Harmon praises Illinois’ $80 million investment in economic development

    harmon 031020Senate President Don Harmon praised the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s announcement that local governments, economic development organizations, non-profit organizations, and private companies will be able to compete for $80 million to improve local economies.

    “This is an investment in local communities throughout our great state,” said Illinois Senate President Don Harmon. “These projects will build a better Illinois. The bipartisan success we’ve seen with Gov. Pritzker shows what we can do when Illinois works together.”

  • Cunningham named president pro tempore of Illinois Senate

    Senator CunninghamSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham was named president pro tempore of the Illinois State Senate Tuesday by Senate President Don Harmon.

    “I’m honored to have the opportunity to continuing serving in the Illinois Senate as a part of President Harmon’s leadership team,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This is an exciting new role for me and I look forward to the new challenges it brings.”

    As Senate president pro tempore, Cunningham will serve as a trusted advisor to the Senate President and a senior member of his leadership team.

  • Senate President supports governor’s ethics push, renewed optimism

    Harmon 012920SPRINGFIELD —Illinois Senate President Don Harmon echoed Gov. JB Pritzker’s call for ethics reform in the wake of ongoing federal investigations.

    In his State of the State address Wednesday, Pritzker said he wanted Illinois to adopt a revolving door prohibition to prevent elected officials from retiring one day and then immediately lobbying their former colleagues.

    Harmon offered his support for the idea.

    “I’ve long been troubled by the appearance of someone serving as a member of the General Assembly on Friday and becoming a lobbyist on Monday. That’s a problem and one we should tackle,” Harmon said. “You shouldn’t be a lawmaker one day and a lobbyist the next.”

  • Harmon: It is an honor and a privilege to serve the General Assembly and the people of Illinois as the next Senate president

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