• 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 […]
    • Medical pot shops are coming! Take a chill pill, folks. - Chicago Tribune (blog) July 31, 2014
      Medical pot shops are coming! Take a chill pill, folks.Chicago Tribune (blog)Lou Lang, D-Skokie, chief House sponsor of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. “But remember, this bill passed very narrowly (61-57), so I had to make a lot of compromises.” Lang said his colleagues expressed concern to him ...and more »
    • Rauner group files appeal in term limits case - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) July 30, 2014
      Rauner group files appeal in term limits caseThe Capitol Fax Blog (blog)A1: $5 ,500.00 in 4 contribs to Citizens for Lou Lang. elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclo… by Trib IL CampaignCash via twitter July 30 at 8:02 AM. A1: $1 ,002.91 in 1 contrib to Health Care Council of IL PAC. elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclo… by Trib IL ...
    • Lou Lumenick - New York Post July 30, 2014
      Lou LumenickNew York PostCult director Joseph Losey directed this Americanized version of the Fritz Lang classic, starring David Wayne, which has had some revival screenings recently. 'Death of a Salesman' (1951). Fredric March stars in this long-unavailable adaptation of ...
    • Live Music: Saturday, Aug. 2 - The Providence Journal July 30, 2014
      The Providence JournalLive Music: Saturday, Aug. 2The Providence JournalMary Lou Neville, jazz and pop, Elizabeth of Portofino, 897 Post Rd., Warwick. 461-8920. 6:30-9:30 pm. Newport Jazz Festival, Fort ... The Smokin' Toads, rock, Skyline Lounge, Lang's Bowlarama, 225 Niantic Ave., Cranston. 944-0500, langsbowlarama.com.and more »
    • Morton Grove teen's family plans to file wrongful death lawsuit - Morton Grove Champion July 29, 2014
      Morton Grove teen's family plans to file wrongful death lawsuitMorton Grove ChampionLou Lang and others have appealed to the Carbondale police department to release information on what happened to her son Pravin Varughese, who attended SIU, but that the department has responded the same way it has since February, saying the case ...and more »
    • Thousands of Chicagoans rally for Israel - Jewish United Fund July 28, 2014
      Jewish United FundThousands of Chicagoans rally for IsraelJewish United FundLou Lang, Alderman Debra Silverstein, Canadian Consul Scott McCook,Pastor Chris Harris and Elder Jeffrey Hodges. Those who could not attend offered comments from afar, such as AFSCME Executive Director Henry Bayer. “No nation can tolerate wanton ...and more »
    • Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS ... - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) July 29, 2014
      Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS ...The Capitol Fax Blog (blog)Update: Heroin Task Force hearing at Wrightwood-Ashburn Library on Chicago's South Side today drew intense interest, testimony. #twill. by State Rep. Lou Lang via twitter July 29 at 2:53 PM. Great day to be door knocking for my friend @RepCarolS […]
    • Confidential email shows lawmakers' disdain for Quinn - nwitimes.com July 28, 2014
      Confidential email shows lawmakers' disdain for Quinnnwitimes.comLou Lang, D-Skokie, for example, told Brushkin the governor's office better not go around him when it comes to negotiating a gambling expansion program. "The Gov's office had better not think they can negotiate a compromise without me at the table ...and more »
    • Question of the day - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) July 29, 2014
      Question of the dayThe Capitol Fax Blog (blog)Lou Lang via twitter July 29 at 2:53 PM. Great day to be door knocking for my friend @RepCarolSente - keep up the great work! by Maria A. Berrios via twitter July 29 at 2:19 PM. #Illinois Smart Grid Ed Fund announced new grants for community partners ...and more »
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

Citizen Action Illinois Backs Rep. Lou Lang for Reelection

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

(Chicago) – A top Illinois public interest advocacy group today endorsed Democratic State Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie in his bid reelection.

Lang earned a “Good” cumulative rating on ’ Legislative Scorecard for his overall record in the Illinois General Assembly and an endorsement from Illinois/Citizen Action’s State PAC, the Progressive Action Project.

The ratings are based on key votes for public interest issues in the General Assembly.

“Representative Lang has a proven record of voting for critical healthcare and consumer provisions as well as working diligently to protect the working families of Illinois,” said William McNary, co-director, Citizen Action/Illinois.

“Now more than ever we need fierce advocates like Representative Lang to fight for Illinoisans because working families, consumers, taxpayers and those who value justice and equality are under constant attack in statehouses around the nation.”

“I am honored by the endorsement from Citizen Action/Illinois,” said Lang.

Citizen Action/Illinois is a key player in the fight for social and economic justice at the state and national levels.

Lang faces GOP Vincent Romano challenger on November 6.

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.

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.

Continue reading

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).

Tea Party Tantrums, Door-to-Door Campaigning Will Firmly Keep Illinois House under Democratic Control

(Skokie, IL) — September 24, 2010. Illinois Republicans are crowing that an electoral “wave” is going to sweep State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Owego) into the Speaker’s chair in the Illinois House of Representatives–and it will be crow which the GOP will be eating on November 3, 2010.

Both national and local trends will keep House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) in his post when the legislature reconvenes in January, 2011.

The negative national political headwinds have been blowing across the prairie state for months as the national economy continues to sputter and as the extremist Illinois Tea Party and national tea party movements have engaged in racially-tinged fear-mongering, outright distortions of facts, and character assassination of Democratic officials, scaring democratic and independent voters alike in the U.S. and in Illinois.

But the winds are shifting.

Nationally, the recent victories of odd-ball, fringe Tea Party candidates, like GOP U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell in Delaware who has practiced witchcraft or Republican Governor nominee Carl Paladino in New York who has suggested that welfare recipients should be housed in prisons, has finally shaken up the U.S. electorate, pushing Democrats ahead in two new national polls, thanks to gains among democratic and independent voters.

Since O’Donnell and Paladino’s win, Gallup shows Democrats have erased a six-point GOP lead in the generic congressional ballot and now lead by one-point.

Gallup’s generic ballot for Congress for the week of Sept. 13-19 shows a 46% Democratic and 45% Republican split in registered voters’ preferences for the midterm congressional elections. It is the second week out of the last three in which the two parties have been virtually tied.

Gallup’s tracking shows a shift from a 49% to 43% Republican advantage in August to a 46% to 45% GOP advantage so far in September. Both of these estimates are based on very large samples, with more than 7,000 interviews conducted in August and more than 5,600 so far in September.

In addition to Gallup, Zogby also reveals that Democrats have vaulted seven-points in the last week and now hold a one-point edge.

Democrats have taken a one percentage point lead over Republicans on which party’s candidate voters intend to choose in the Congressional election; and President Barack Obama‘s approval rating has increased to 49%.

These results from a Zogby Interactive poll conducted from Sept. 17-20 are the first since mid-May that found the Democrats ahead in the Congressional generic ballot question. In an interactive poll conducted from Sept. 10-14, Republicans held a 47%-41% lead.

On the Congressional generic ballot, support for Democrats from party members goes from 78% to 86%; and from independents, the change for Democrats increases from 33% to 35%.

Finally, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on September 19 also has the Democrats up by one-point, 46%-45%, on the generic congressional ballot.

Locally, the Illinois Republican Party’s embrace of the Tea Party Pallooza Right Nation 2010 in Hoffman Estates on September 19, featuring Fox-TV demagogue Glenn Beck, and endorsed by House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady and attended by GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady, is already causing blow-black among local democrats, independents and moderate Republican voters here in the suburbs.

As the Niles Township Democratic Committeeman, I have been fielding dozens of telephones calls in recent days from dispirited democrats and disappointed independents who have been shaken by the virulent anger, intolerance and now the cheap co-opting of religious faith by Tea Party fire-brands in their own back-yards.

Even before the Right Nation 2010 event, Illinois House Democratic polling has been showing that though some downstate candidacies have been experiencing some turbulence, most Illinois House incumbents have been strengthening their position since summer, relying on extensive door-to-door contact with their local voters.

The national economic gloom has yet to lift and it remains the most potent threat to Democrats. However, the nominations of unqualified, unhinged Tea Party-backed candidates, who are revealing to voters that they have neither the slightest agenda nor a serious clue how to restore economic growth and employment, is now breaking the GOP momentum approximately 40 days before election day.

A stalling GOP momentum and hard-working Democratic legislative candidates reaching out to voters door-to-door will help Speaker Madigan (D-Chicago) hold on to majority in the Illinois legislature.

In January, we will have full plate of hot, steaming crow on which the Republicans can munch.

Lang Helps Make Illinois Government Information Easier to Get, Confident Quinn Would Sign Law

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois state government bureaucracy would need to make government information more accessible to taxpayers under legislation the Illinois House approved Wednesday.

House legislators voted 116-0 to reform the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), requires state agencies to respond to requests for documents more quickly. It also assigns responsibility to Illinois Attorney General for ruling on and mediating disputes between citizens and bureaucrats, giving the Attorney General power to impose civil penalties on bureaucrats who deliberately ignore the law.

“In an effort to clean up in the wake of Rod Blagojevich, it’s important that we take this step to let people know we’re as serious about reform as we told them we would be,” said Lang, a Deputy House Majority Leader.

The legislation now moves to the state Senate. If approved by the Senate, Lang is confident Governor Pat Quinn will sign the measure.

“As a champion of Freedom of Information Act reform, I am confident Governor Quinn would sign this bill into law if it reaches his desk,” said Lang.

The General Assembly is schduled to adjourn on May 31.

Quinn’s 1st 100 Days – Lang, Murphy Comment on Fox-TV

Quinn’s 1st 100 Days-“He Started Off on a Good Foot…”

“I think he started off on a good foot and then he took the extraordinary step of proposing a huge tax increase, huge pension changes all of which met significant resistance,” said State Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

Illinois College Scholarship for Students with “B” or Better Grades Pushed at University of Illinois

(Champaign, IL) — If middle-class students earn “B” or better grade averages, should their hard-work make

State Rep. Lou Lang and University of Illinois students at their April 15th town hall meeting.

State Rep. Lou Lang and University of Illinois students at their April 15th town hall meeting.

the eligible for a state of Illinois scholarship? I do.

On April 15, I had the opportunity to attend a town hall meeting with students at the University of Illinois to discuss my legislation, House Bill 79, that would provide a scholarship to full-time Illinois college students at public or private Illinois schools who earn a “B” grade average or better among other qualifications.

Unsurprisingly, the students agree. And undoubtedly there parents agree too. At the U of I, 4 year in-state tuition and fees total $39,528.

Working class students and families need some help to cover costs like these. And if a student earns a “B” or better, he or she deserves it.

The legislation’s other sponsors include State Representatives: Mike Boland, Linda Chapa LaVia, Luis Arroyo, Elizabeth Hernandez, Edward Acevedo and Susana Mendoza.

It’s an idea whose time has come.

Lou Lang

TV Ad Campaign Boosts Illinois Medical Marijuana Bill

With a Senate floor vote on medical marijuana legislation expected by the end of the month, supporters are airing a pair of TV commercials in which Illinois patients tell their stories.

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton)

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton)

The spots, introduced at a Springfield press conference today, have begun airing in Chicago, Peoria, Decatur, Springfield, and Champaign.

The ads feature Lucie Macfarlane of Joliet and Lisa Lange Van Camp of Lindenhurst both of whom are suffering from debilitating illnesses.

This legislation, Senate Bill 1381, sponsored by former three-term state’s attorney State Senators Bill Haine (D-Alton), Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), and Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) would allow seriously ill patients with certain debilitating conditions to use medical marijuana upon the recommendation of their physicians. The Senate Public Health Committee passed SB 1381 with a 6-2 vote.

The House Human Services Committee approved a companion bill — House Bill 2514 — on March 4. The House sponsors include, myself, Lou Lang, Angelo Saviano (R-Elmwood Park), Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood), Cythnthia Soto (D-Chicago), Deborah Mell (D-Chicago), and Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Chicago).

Both bills are now poised for a full vote on the floor of their respective chambers, but they do not yet have enough committed “yes” votes to be sent to the governor for approval. The House has never voted on a modern medical marijuana bill before, and a similar bill was narrowly defeated in the Senate two years ago.

Illinois could very well become the 14th state to enact an effective medical marijuana law. But Illinois residents need to speak up and contact their local legislators. More than 68% of Illinois voters support this legislation, according to a recent poll. Lawmakers need to hear their actual voices.

As chief sponsor of the House bill, I intend to continue to lobby my fellow lawmakers vigorously. Senator Haine will continue to push his fellow senators. But these legislators must also hear from their constituents for the final act of persuasion.

Privately, a majority of lawmakers say they favor the bill. Publicly, a majority will vote against the bill unless they hear from their constituents.

Lou Lang

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