• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Illinois medical marijuana: $100 for patient card - Northwest Herald April 18, 2014
      Northwest HeraldIllinois medical marijuana: $100 for patient cardNorthwest Herald"I'm happy to see that they have changed the provision," said Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, who sponsored the medical cannabis legislation and sits on the committee that will vote on the rules. "I did ask them to remove it. I'm not the only person .. […]
    • Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws - MiamiHerald.com April 18, 2014
      Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics lawsMiamiHerald.comLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat and a House deputy majority leader, said he had not studied Homer's letter but also questioned whether the rules would have the desired effect. "Everything that happens in government and everything uttered and every request ...and more »
    • Proposed rules for compassionate use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act filed - The Bugle April 19, 2014
      Proposed rules for compassionate use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act filedThe BugleLou Lang (D-Skokie), who sponsored the legislation. “I am pleased with the direction we are going.” The following changes have been incorporated into the proposed rules filed today. Cultivation Centers. While the Act calls for one cultivation center in ...
    • Senate set to review Fine's bill on cyber bullying - Evanston Review April 18, 2014
      Senate set to review Fine's bill on cyber bullyingEvanston ReviewThe Illinois House of Representatives has passed legislation to help protect children from cyber bullying. Authored by Rep. Laura Fine, House Bill 4207 expands the definition of bullying to include cyber bullying that occurs outside of school and on ...and more »
    • Illinois drops plans to ban medical marijuana patients from owning guns - RT April 18, 2014
      Illinois drops plans to ban medical marijuana patients from owning gunsRT“I'm happy to see that they have changed the provision,” added State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie). “I did ask them to remove it. I'm not the only person who did.” Nevertheless, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance as far as the ...
    • Illinois medical marijuana rules drop gun language - Dekalb Daily Chronicle April 18, 2014
      Illinois medical marijuana rules drop gun languageDekalb Daily ChronicleBoth patients and caregivers would have been required to certify their understanding of the conflict between gun ownership and medical marijuana use. The wording stemmed from an interpretation of federal law. State Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, ...
    • Proposed Rules for Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot ... - eNews Park Forest April 18, 2014
      Proposed Rules for Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot ...eNews Park Forest“I applaud all four state agencies for their hard work in creating draft rules that form the basis for the best medical marijuana system in America,” said Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who sponsored the legislation. “I am pleased with the direction we are ...
    • 'Epidemic' of heroin addiction facing state, house committee hears - Chicago Daily Herald April 17, 2014
      'Epidemic' of heroin addiction facing state, house committee hearsChicago Daily HeraldDan Brady, David Harris, Lou Lang, Michelle Mussman and Mike McAuliffe -- attended the hearing, and said the testimony would be passed on to the rest of their committee. Advertisement. This was the second of four meetings being held around Illinois to ...
    • State medical marijuana rules drop gun language - Canton Daily Ledger April 18, 2014
      State medical marijuana rules drop gun languageCanton Daily LedgerLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, sponsored the medical cannabis legislation and sits on the committee that will vote on the rules. He said Thursday he has been told the provision “is out of the rules.” The news was greeted warmly by patient advocates.
    • Odds may finally favor a Chicago casino — if Madigan is dealing: Brown - Chicago Sun-Times April 17, 2014
      SFGateOdds may finally favor a Chicago casino — if Madigan is dealing: BrownChicago Sun-TimesLou Lang of Skokie backed off his longtime sponsorship of casino expansion legislation because of a potential conflict of interest. But some of those in attendance who specialize in reading Madigan tea leaves were sure they perceived the speaker's ...New Chicago […]
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

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).

Rep. Lou Lang Backs Bi-Partisan Push to Cut Lawmaker Salaries 10%, Eliminate Raises

(Springfield, IL) — March 31, 2011. Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is backing a bi-partisan effort by freshmen and veteran House lawmakers to permanently cut legislative salaries by 10% and abolish future cost-of-living raises.

Lang is sponsoring legislation, House Bill 2891, which was approved, 14-2, by the House State Government Administration Committee on March 2, 2011.

“In the current economic crisis, tens of thousands of Illinois workers have had their salaries frozen, cut or hours reduced  and have been forced to cut their household expenses while continuing to pay their taxes,” said Lang. “Lawmakers should lessen taxpayers’ burden by also cutting government expenses and share the same burden as regular workers by cutting our own salaries.”

“We should all be in this together.”

The bill’s chief sponsor is freshman lawmaker State Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg),

In addition to Lang and Mussman and House sponsors include State Reps.: Keith Farnham (D), Karen May (D), Richard Morthland (R), Dwight Kay (R), Adam Brown (R), Wayne Rosenthal (R), Fred Crespo (D), Jack Franks (D), Daniel Biss (D), Emily McAsey (D), Kenneth Dunkin (D), Michael Unes (R), Norine Hammond (R), Darlene Senger (R), Jason Barickman (R), Pam Roth (R), Thomas Morrison (R), Jil Tracy (R), Sandra Pihos (R) and Sara Feigenholtz (D)

The bill faces the full House for consideration.

The Southern Editorial Board Backs Lou Lang’s Bill to Add Slots at Illinois Horse-Race Tracks

(Skokie, IL) – The Southern newspaper editorial board yesterday ran an editorial endorsing House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang‘s legislation to add slot machines at Illinois horse-race tracks to boost the industry’s declining fortunes due to out of state track competitors which have slots.

Our View: Slot machines should be allowed at horse racing venues in Chicagoland to keep gambling revenue in Illinois and to revive a threatened horse racing industry.

Gambling generates significant revenue for the state of Illinois and host communities, but there are legitimate questions about the resulting financial and social costs of legal wagering – bankruptcies, foreclosures, broken families and ruined careers for problem gamblers.

Is it worth the cost? That’s a debatable point and, for that reason, this newspaper generally hasn’t championed plans for expanded gambling in Illinois. But there is a piece of legislation pending in Springfield that would both expand gambling opportunities, though not to a great extent, and is worth supporting.

House Bill 3107 would allow horse race tracks in the Chicago area to have slot machines. A similar bill failed last year, but the same sponsor, state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, is trying again. Lang believes the plan would create up to 1,500 jobs and rake in up to $400 million for the state.

Read the rest of editorial here …

Video: Who is Bill Brady?

(Chicago, IL) — October 13, 2010. After 17 years in the Illinois General Assembly and now the GOP nominee for governor, Illinois voters are asking: Who is State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington)?

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) helps to provide a few answers.

Chicago Sun-Times Backs Rep. Lou Lang’s Bill to Legalize Illinois Medical Marijuana

(Chicago, IL) – The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board on Tuesday rolled out its backing of legislation, House Bill 2514, sponsored by House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie), to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois.

We agree with those who say the pot should be used for medical purposes by people living in great physical pain.

But, of course, Illinois continues to prohibit the use of marijuana for medical purposes — even as 14 other states have seen the light.

Illinois Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is pushing a medical pot bill, one with strict limits, that deserves support across the political spectrum.

Read more …

Haine, Lang Announce Illinois State Police Reverse Opposition to Illinois Medical Marijuana Legislation

State Senator William Haine

(Springfield, IL) – May 5, 2010.  State Senator William Haine (D-Alton) and House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) yesterday announced the Illinois State Police are no longer opposed to medical marijuana use in Illinois.

Lang and Haine met with Captain Timothy Becker of the Illinois State Police earlier and Becker informed the lawmakers that the Illinois Department of State Police had changed its position on Senate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, from opposition to neutrality.

“I am extremely pleased by Illinois State Police’s decision, because it improves the probability of the bill’s approval,” said Lang.

“This legislation is intended to alleviate pain in people suffering debilitating medical conditions and the Illinois State Police recognize that,” he said.

Haine said he believed the Department changed its position after carefully reviewing the legislation and recognizing the safeguards will protect patients, caregivers and the public.

Haine also noted that in a number of states, police organizations have removed their objections after a period of observing their laws in operation.

“As a former State’s Attorney, I have the greatest respect for the police organizations of our State and local governments.  This change of position demonstrates what we have known all along, and that is that our State police organization is focused first and foremost on criminal activities as it relates to illegal substances,” Haine said.

“The State Police’s compassion for the seriously ill matches our own,” Lang said. “No one should be denied medicine that might improve their life’s quality.”

In addition to Haine, Senate sponsors include: Iris Martinez (D), Jeff Schoenberg (D), Donne Trotter (D), Kwame Raoul (D), Linda Holmes (D), and Ira Silverstein (D).

Other House sponsors include: Angelo  “Skip” Saviano (R), John Fritchey (D), Karen Yarbrough (D), Ken Dunkin (D), Greg Harris (D), Cynthia Soto (D), Robyn Gabel (D), and Camille Lilly (D).

Lou Lang Urges Pat Quinn to Sign Election of Governor-Lt. Governor on Same Ticket Bill

(Springfield, IL) — April 29, 2010. The Illinois Senate yesterday approved 56-0 legislation to require candidates for governor and lieutenant governor to run as a team during a primary election.

The measure, House Bill 5820, comes on the heels of the 2010 primary which witnessed the election of the disgraced Scott Lee Cohen in the Democratic primary and the inexperienced 27-year old Jason Plummer in the Republican primary.

The bill’s chief sponsor, House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) said, “This bill should once and for all end the election of odd-ball, dubious candidates by the established parties because the gubernatorial candidates will need to screen the background of their running mates.”

In addition to Lang, House sponsors included State Representatives: Art Turner (D), Paul Froehlich (D), Cynthia Soto (D), Karen Yarbrough (D),  Daniel Beiser (D) and  Barbara Flynn Currie (D).

Turner was a candidate for Lt. Governor and took second place behind Cohen.

The legislation now heads to Governor Pat Quinn.

“I strongly encourage the Governor to sign this bill,” said Lang.

Lou Lang Blasts Illinois House Republicans for Blocking Crime Victim Rights Measure

(Springfield, IL) — April 16, 2010. Despite Republican sponsorship of the legislative measure to enshrine Illinois crime victim rights into the Illinois Constitution, the bulk of Illinois House Republicans on Wednesday voted against a constitutional amendment, causing the plan to fail and drawing a harsh rebuke from the plan’s Democratic sponsor.

“The vote against this amendment was Republican politics at its most petty,” said House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) who has championed House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 19 for the last two years.

During the floor debate, Lang trained his fire on State Rep. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) who echoed GOP claims that Lang’s amendment was part of a Democratic plot to stuff the November ballot–which is limited to only 3 constitutional amendments–with Democratic-only amendments.

“You think that two years ago I decided to spend two years of my life working on this amendment just so you could vote no on it because you think there’s some conspiracy is really kind of insulting,” said Lang, according to Chicago Public Radio which covered the political fireworks.

“… Representative Lang, sir, two weeks ago we passed a bill that does exactly what you want to do,” retorted Rose.

Lang argued that a constitutional amendment ensures that enforcement is reinforcement.

“A constitutional amendment gives teeth to the victim rights protections,” said Lang. “Tragically, the Republicans placed grubby politics above crime victims.”

Lang intends to bring the measure back for another vote.

Rep. Lou Lang Pushes Illinois Medical Marijuana Bill; Chicago Reader Runs Front Page Story

(Chicago, IL) — April 9, 2010. House Deputy Majority Lou Lang‘s effort to bring Illinois medical marijuana legislation across the finish line this year drew front page attention from the Chicago Reader this week.

The Reader‘s Claire Thompson writes:

Now the bill, HB2514, has to pass the house, where it’s sponsored by Skokie Democrat Lou Lang. Lang, who also sponsored the first gay-rights bill to make it out of that chamber, has supported past proposals to permit the use of medical marijuana in Illinois—all of which have failed. But he didn’t sign on as a sponsor until last year, when the medical-marijuana lobby asked him to. Now, he says, “I’m locked at the hip with this bill.”

Lang says he’s talked about it with each of the other 117 representatives. “Ninety-two of them have looked me in the eye and said, ‘This is a great bill. I hope you pass it.’” he says. “But only 52 have said they’ll vote for it. They come up with all kinds of excuses. When you have elected officials who choose to vote against their own conscience for political reasons, that’s a recipe for bad politics.”

Read the rest of Thompson’s story on the Illinois medical marijuana bill saga here …

Rep. Lou Lang Brings Illinois Jobs Task Force to Decatur for Hearing

(Decatur, IL) — April 2, 2010. House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and chair of the House Jobs Task Force brought the panel to Decatur on Wednesday for a public hearing to generate local job creation and retention ideas.

Decatur Herald & Review reporter Chris Luvardi wrote:

Small-business owner Otto Klemm would like to see smaller government, less regulation and a tax cut.

Klemm is the owner of C&K Custom Signs, which he said is a three-person business dependent on the general economy in the Decatur market. During a state jobs task force meeting Wednesday, Klemm took issue with some of the things small businesses are forced to do by the government.

“We have to pay the unemployment tax,” Klemm said. “How am I going to lay myself off and still have a business? We should be exempt.”

Klemm was one of those whom state Reps. Bob Flider, D-Mount Zion, and Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, heard from during the meeting in the Decatur City Council chambers. Flider and Mitchell were joined by colleagues Lou Lang, D-Skokie, and Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana.

Lang, chairman of the bipartisan task force set up by House Speaker Michael Madigan, told those sharing their ideas to be specific. The task force was created because jobs are a major issue in the state, with the Decatur area January unemployment figure hitting 14.4 percent.

For the rest of Luvardi’s report, read it here …

Based on the Decatur hearing and others across the state, Lang expects to introduce a jobs package of legislation to the Illinois General Assembly this year.

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