• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Secretary of State Jesse White wants seat belts on new school buses - The State Journal-Register February 15, 2017
      The SouthernSecretary of State Jesse White wants seat belts on new school busesThe State Journal-RegisterLou Lang, D-Skokie, and Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, are the chief sponsors for two bills that would require new school buses to use three-point seat belts for passengers. Three-point seat belts, which go across the chest and waist of the passenger .. […]
    • Around the state 2-15-17 - MyWebTimes.com February 16, 2017
      Around the state 2-15-17MyWebTimes.comThe administration endorsed seat belts on school buses in 2015. Six other states have passed laws requiring them. Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie is sponsoring the measure. He says it's time to make sure children are just as safe on school buses as ...and more »
    • Emanuel's fund-raising effort doesn't impress - Nadig Newspapers February 17, 2017
      Chicago TribuneEmanuel's fund-raising effort doesn't impressNadig NewspapersScott Waguespack (32nd), who may run for mayor, had $60,374. The guy who will never run and who will stay in the Illinois House until Madigan quits is Lou Lang of Skokie, age 67, who had $1,256,339 on hand and who raised $545,476 last year. By 2030 ...Former Obama aide fine […]
    • Local Casino Project Could Have Springfield Support - WSIU January 26, 2017
      WSIULocal Casino Project Could Have Springfield SupportWSIUA leader in the Illinois House says while he won't talk about specifics, he supports an expansion of gaming in the state - which could include a project in southern Illinois. The so-called "Grand Bargain" in the Illinois Senate calls for additional ...
    • Rauner's pivot on Senate budget plan provides political breathing room - Chicago Tribune February 18, 2017
      Chicago TribuneRauner's pivot on Senate budget plan provides political breathing roomChicago TribuneLou Lang of Skokie, a top Madigan deputy, countered that Rauner latched onto the Senate effort because he has been "flailing around trying to come up with some magic formula." "But the only magic formula for a governor is to roll up his sle […]
    • Party raises $270000 for Planned Parenthood Illinois - Chicago Tribune February 14, 2017
      Party raises $270000 for Planned Parenthood IllinoisChicago TribuneLou Lang (D-Skokie), who advocated for face-to-face meetings with local elected officials whenever possible. PPIA's educational and electoral activities extend to grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and their work on behalf of women's— and ...
    • Lawmakers: To prepare for disasters, consider zombies - Jacksonville Journal-Courier February 11, 2017
      Jacksonville Journal-CourierLawmakers: To prepare for disasters, consider zombiesJacksonville Journal-CourierLou Lang, D-Skokie, said the proposal “awakened various zombies in the chamber.” Rep. Steven Andersson, R-Geneva, questioned which type of zombie should be used as a model for natural disaster preparedness, noting that the undead featured on the ...an […]
    • Packed house at Skokie town hall on mental health - Chicago Tribune February 14, 2017
      Chicago TribunePacked house at Skokie town hall on mental healthChicago TribuneLocal, regional and national legislators talked about the state of mental health care Friday Feb. 10, 2017 at a forum sponsored by Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center held at the Skokie Public Library. (Mike Isaacs / Pioneer Press).
    • Rauner calls for lawmakers to resolve Illinois budget crisis - Suburban Life Publications January 25, 2017
      Suburban Life PublicationsRauner calls for lawmakers to resolve Illinois budget crisisSuburban Life PublicationsRauner also said he's "deeply optimistic" about the future of Illinois despite the state's problems. House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang gave the Democrats' response to Rauner's address. Lang says Illinois should hal […]
    • States find new ways to troll Trump - POLITICO - Politico February 11, 2017
      PoliticoStates find new ways to troll Trump - POLITICOPoliticoLawmakers are getting creative in their attempts to mock, challenge and repudiate the president.and more »
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

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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 …