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Feb   2014

Senator Don Harmon News:

Illinois Poison Center rescue plan passes Senate committee


“Swift, informed action can be the difference between life and death when a child swallows a potential poison. We can’t let the Illinois Poison Center close its doors.”
-State Senator Don Harmon
 
Illinois Poison Center rescue plan passes Senate committee
 
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon’s plan to keep the Illinois Poison Center open passed its first test today when it moved out of an important Senate committee. The center has been the victim of years of repeated budget cuts, and officials expect it to close its doors for good at the end of June if Illinois government can’t find more funds.
 
“Swift, informed action can be the difference between life and death when a child swallows a potential poison,” said Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat. “We can’t let the Illinois Poison Center close its doors.”
 
The Illinois Poison Center handles nearly 82,000 cases of potential poisoning each year.
 
One state that closed its poison control center – Louisiana – quickly reversed its decision. The southern state found that possible deaths and added emergency room costs far outweighed the expense of keeping the poison control center open.
 
Harmon realizes that finding additional funds within the state budget is unlikely.
 
Instead, his plan directs a small portion of the fee charged by cell phone companies to pay for 911 services – 2 cents per user – to pay for poison control services. This money will not come out of 911 funding, but rather the administrative fee charged by cell phone companies.
 
“We are honored that Senator Harmon remains a committed champion in protecting the Illinois Poison Center and the health of his constituents and those throughout the state,” said IPC Medical Director Dr. Michael Wahl. “This important legislation will help to ensure that the IPC remains operational to help protect and save lives in Illinois.”
 
The legislation is Senate Bill 2674. It now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.