• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Medical marijuana rules get Illinois committee OK - MyFox Chicago July 16, 2014
      SFGateMedical marijuana rules get Illinois committee OKMyFox ChicagoYou have to have a bonafide relationship with a doctor,” Lang added. Medical cannabis program coordinator Bob Morgan says interested patients should start talking with their doctors about the program. The Illinois State Medical Society is helping its ...Illinois approves rules for medical ma […]
    • Genesee Valley Partnership honors graduates - The Daily News Online July 22, 2014
      Genesee Valley Partnership honors graduatesThe Daily News OnlineThrough the generosity of Ellen McEwen and Lou Lang, the Batavia Rod & Gun Club, and contributions from many sportsmen's clubs and organizations in Western New York, two Paul Levins Memorial Awards have been established. This year's Paul Levins ...
    • *** UPDATED x1 *** Israeli card played in treasurer's race - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) July 22, 2014
      *** UPDATED x1 *** Israeli card played in treasurer's raceThe Capitol Fax Blog (blog)Lou Lang and Sara Feigenholz on behalf of Treasurer Candidate Mike Frerichs, in response to a release yesterday from the Cross campaign that erroneously suggested Mike wants to end state investments in Israel. Here is the full audio clip from the radio ...
    • Quinn OKs cannabis use for kids with epilepsy - fox2now.com July 20, 2014
      ReutersQuinn OKs cannabis use for kids with epilepsyfox2now.comLou Lang of Skokie. The law adds seizures to the list of treatable conditions in Illinois' medical cannabis program. It allows children with seizures from epilepsy to consume oil from the marijuana plant with a parent's consent. Currently, only ...Quinn to OK cannabis use for kids with […]
    • Noah Baumbach, Denzel Washington, Tina Fey Films Among Toronto ... - Vulture July 22, 2014
      Calgary HeraldNoah Baumbach, Denzel Washington, Tina Fey Films Among Toronto ...VultureEvery year, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) foreshadows many of the big awards-season contenders. This year looks to be no exception, just looking at the first 59 films announced this morning. The lineup includes buzzed-about films such ...Toronto Film Festi […]
    • 'Fargo' Season 2 Story & Character Details Revealed - Screen Rant July 22, 2014
      Screen Rant'Fargo' Season 2 Story & Character Details RevealedScreen RantSet in 1979, Season 2 of Fargo will center around Molly's father Lou Solverson, who in Season 1 was the owner of Bemidji's seemingly only restaurant. In Season 2, Lou is thirty-three and freshly returned from the Vietnam war. Aside from this, executive ...and mor […]
    • Swedish Covenant Wants To Be First Illinois Hospital to Dispense Pot - NBC Chicago July 21, 2014
      NBC ChicagoSwedish Covenant Wants To Be First Illinois Hospital to Dispense PotNBC ChicagoLou Lang, D-Skokie, a sponsor of the medical marijuana legislation, said he's not opposed to the idea but doubts any changes would come this legislative session. “It's clear the federal government is trying to stay out of the way of legal medical ...and more » […]
    • Quinn OKs marijuana use for epilepsy - Canton Daily Ledger July 21, 2014
      Quinn OKs marijuana use for epilepsyCanton Daily LedgerLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, and passed the Legislature in the spring. The original medical marijuana law had allowed only Illinois residents 18 years and older to use the drug in a four-year pilot program. “This new law will help alleviate the ...
    • Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Help Ease Pain for Adults and Children ... - eNews Park Forest July 21, 2014
      Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Help Ease Pain for Adults and Children ...eNews Park ForestSenate Bill 2636, sponsored by State Senator Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) and State Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie), amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act to allow children under 18, with a parent's consent, to be treated with ...
    • In Brief - July 22, 2014 - FMQB July 22, 2014
      In Brief - July 22, 2014FMQBRoss will team with current co-hosts Deena Lang and Bill Adams. United Stations Radio Networks, Inc. (USRN) announces that the company has completed and launched a new mobile app supporting its nationally syndicated rock programs hardDrive and ...and more »
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

Illinois Legislative Maps Are Not Yet Drawn, Lou Lang Says

(Skokie, IL) — April 24, 2011. Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) today attempted to squelch claims that maps have already been drawn in the Illinois redistricting process, saying such claims are “untrue.”

Noting that the Illinois House is conducting 15 state-wide redistricting hearings–11 more than required by law–Lang said, “There are some people in our communities who are claiming the maps have already been drawn. That is untrue.”

Lang said lawmakers are seeking map input from local communities and soliciting actual maps from citizens and interest groups.

“At my last hearing in Aurora, a witness claim that he had drawn the ‘perfect map’,” said Lang. “I asked him for the map, which he had colored in by pencil, but refused to submit the because he said ‘it still needs work’”.

The legislature is expected to approve the 118 state house, 59 state senate and the 18 congressional maps by May 31.

As a result of the U.S. census, Illinois is losing one of its 19 existing congressional seats under the new map.

Rutherford, Topinka Divisions Stall Quinn Effort to Overcome Bills Backlog

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka can both agree on a plan to merge their offices, but short-term borrowing is a different thing.

Republicans opposed Gov. Pat Quinn‘s plan to borrow $8.75 billion to help the state pay off its debt of $9 billion to $10 billion. Quinn wants to borrow $2 billion in short-term loans to help pay the state’s backlog of bills.

Any short-term borrowing must win the OK from both financial offices.

Rutherford, a Republican, met privately with Quinn, a Democrat, and his budget office staff. Rutherford said he told the governor he doesn’t approve of a multi-billion dollar borrowing plan, which would require repayment with interest at the end of 14 years.

“I told him I don’t support the $8.7 billion borrowing plan; 14-year payment ballooned at the end,” Rutherford said. “I said ‘I don’t support any of that stuff, but I will work with you on short-term borrowing, which I can either sign-off on that or not.’”

States were provided with about $80 billion from the federal stimulus fund, which provides an enhanced Medicaid match rate to hospitals and nursing homes if states make payments within 30 days. Since March 31, Illinois’ match dropped from 59 percent to 57 percent early this month. By July 1, the match will drop to 50 percent.

“We do not want to leave over $200 million in federal match on the table,” Quinn’s spokeswoman Kelly Kraft said.

“We want to get this debt restructured, so we can take advantage of an extra $200 million that we could use for programs in our state. We want to get these bills paid. And the sooner we do that, the more match we get.”

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Lang, Durkin Push Illinois Investment Board to Conduct Independent Investigation of College Illinois! Investment Losses

(Springfield, IL) — April 18, 2011. A recent state audit revealed one of the state’s “low-risk” prepaid tuition programs is underfunded by 31 percent and wasted millions on “risky” investments last year. But state legislators say there is more to uncover.

House lawmakers this week unanimously adopted a resolution calling for an investigation into the investment practices of the state’s College Illinois. Families make payments to “lock in” present rates to pay for future tuition at Illinois colleges or universities, according to its website.

Approximately 55,000 students participate statewide.

State Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, is chief sponsor of House Resolution 174. He invested in a 15-year contract with the program for his 9-year-old daughter.

“I thought it was a good, safe investment,” Durkin said, “… to ensure that my daughter would have an affordable education available for her by the time she graduates from high school.”

The office of Illinois Auditor General William Holland released a report last week raising red flags about the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s investment losses and questionable business practices concerning College Illinois.

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Illinois House Advances Rep. Lou Lang’s Mental Health Parity Enforcement Plan

(Springfield, IL) – A legislative plan to put state enforcement power behind a new federal mental health parity law is advancing in the Illinois General Assembly.

The legislation, House Bill 1530, which the Illinois House approved, 79-32, on April 6, upgrades Illinois’ existing mental health insurance parity law to match federal requirements approved in July 2010 and to give the Illinois Department Insurance the power to enforce the federal standards.

“Federal enforcement is a more remote, lighter touch, relying on telephone calls and mail,” said House Deputy Majority Lou Lang (D-Skokie).

“By matching state law to the federal standards, the Illinois Insurance Department can enforce the federal standards more aggressively than the federal government could by virtue of state face-to-face enforcement activities.”

Lang noted that neither the federal nor state law mandate mental health insurance as defined benefit, but require mental health coverage if other health benefits are offered.

“The federal law does not require coverage for mental and emotional disorders, but does require parity if such coverage is offered for hospital or medical treatment,” said Lang.

In addition to bringing Illinois’s mental health law into compliance with federal standards, Lang’s bill also adds substance abuse treatment and autism care to the list of parity required health insurance benefits.

“Addiction health care and autism health care are vital parts of the broader field of behavioral health care,” said Lang. “And their inclusion as part of a insurance parity framework is critical.”

These provisions are applicable to any plan of a small employer (with 2-50 employees), according to Lang.

“Again, the law does not require coverage for mental, substance abuse or autism,” said Lang. “It only requires parity if other health care treatments are offered.”

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith has noted before an earlier House committee hearing that the independent U.S. Congressional Budget Office found that parity would only cause health insurance premiums to rise by 0.4 percent.

Moreover, research shows that patients that have completed substance use disorder treatment have been shown to reduce emergency room visits by 39%, hospital stays by 35% and total medical costs by 26%.

“House approval of this legislation is an important step toward bringing health insurance parity to addiction health care,” said Lang. “However, the Senate is another key legislative hurdle in the process.”

In addition to Lang, other House sponsors include State Reps: Robyn Gabel (D), William Davis (D), Naomi Jakobsson (D), Fred Crespo (D), Dave Winters (R), Al Riley (R), Sara Feigenholtz (D) Mary Flowers (D) Joe Lyons (D), Maria Antonia Berrios (D), Jack Franks (D), Keith Farnham (D), Linda Chapa LaVia (D), Camille Lilly (D), Cynthia Soto (D), Ann Williams (D), Elizabeth Hernandez (D), John D’Amico (D), Daniel Biss (D), Pat Verschoore (D), and Harry Osterman (D).

Illinois House Presses for Less Spending in Next Year’s Illinois Budget

(Springfield, IL) – As the Illinois House of Representatives and Gov. Pat Quinn duke it out in the state budget ring, the House is about $3 billion lighter compared to the governor’s spending fund.

From the House’s $33.2 billion fiscal year 2012 budget plan, lawmakers set aside $23.8 billion to fund state agencies and services.

Quinn has a $26.9 billion spending fund for state agencies and services. The governor said the state should not forget about the “fundamental things in life (such as) public safety, health care and education.” He has strongly criticized the House’s projected “radical severe” cuts in education funding.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago this week outlined the House budget proposal’s spending — for instance $12 billion for human services and $8.9 billion for education. The Quinn administration, meanwhile, would hand out $12.9 billion to human services and $9.5 billion to education.

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Channel 17 NBC TV in Decatur Features Illinois Medical Marijuana Legislation

(Springfield, IL) – April 4, 2011. Channel 17 WAND/NBC TV in Decatur, which also covers Springfield and Champaign, has produced a feature on House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang‘s legislation that permit the use of medical marijuana in Illinois for individuals who suffer from chronic pain and debilitating medical conditions, such as Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and cancer.

The Illinois House Human Services Committee has already approved the legislation, House Bill 30, by a 6-5 vote, to allow patients to posses 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana for a 14-day period in which the need has been certified, in many cases, by two, separate doctors.

“This legislation is intended to alleviate pain in people suffering debilitating medical conditions, such as cancer, and I know a majority of lawmakers recognize the underlying medical benefits of medical marijuana,” said Lang.

The bill now faces consideration by the full House.

Watch the broadcast here …

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