• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Illinois lawmakers pass controversial abortion bill - WSIL TV April 25, 2017
      WSIL TVIllinois lawmakers pass controversial abortion billWSIL TVDemocratic Representative Lou Lang spoke out as well, saying, "We have a responsibility to protect all citizens of the state of Illinois. Not just the insured. Not just the rich, but all people of the state of Illinois. Women, in case you didn't know ...Hundreds Gather at the Statehou […]
    • Representative Lou Lang: I would consider services being taxed to clean up this mess we're in - WGN Radio March 14, 2017
      WGN RadioRepresentative Lou Lang: I would consider services being taxed to clean up this mess we're inWGN RadioIllinois Representative Lou Lang gives John his own opinion of the proposed service tax, and explains why $25 million is called upon in a new bill to protect religious community centers. Audio Player.The Yorick Project - Hackster.ioHackster.ioM […]
    • In suburbs, heroin and opioid epidemic moving 'faster than we can deal with it' - Suburban Life Publications April 21, 2017
      Suburban Life PublicationsIn suburbs, heroin and opioid epidemic moving 'faster than we can deal with it'Suburban Life PublicationsLou Lang, D-Skokie, sponsor of the landmark Heroin Crisis Act, said the legislation that became law in 2015 was only the “beginning of a long road.” Few were talking about fentanyl in the early stages of the legislation […]
    • Bill Pushes School Transparency - WLS April 8, 2017
      WLSBill Pushes School TransparencyWLS“Over the years, the legislature has approved school district debt limit exemptions that have not been backed by voters through referenda or have not disclosed critical financial information about bond debt issuances,” said State. Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie).
    • Follow that Bill - LaSalle News Tribune April 8, 2017
      Follow that BillLaSalle News TribuneS. 641 and H.R. 1569 — The American Innovation Act would provide for an annual funding increase of 5 percent at five key federal research agencies. S. 641 filed March 15, 2017, by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). H.R. 1569 filed March 16, 2017, by U.S ...
    • New performing arts center at Richards moves forward - Reporter Online April 20, 2017
      New performing arts center at Richards moves forwardReporter OnlineLou Lang (D-16th), would require three-point seat belts on school buses in Illinois. The bill passed the House Transportation Vehicles and Safety Committee and now moves to the full House of Representatives. “Hopefully it will get moving along, maybe ...
    • The Pulse of Springfield: Representatives Feigenholtz and Kifowit and Leader Lou Lang on Michael Madigan - WGN Radio January 12, 2017
      WGN RadioThe Pulse of Springfield: Representatives Feigenholtz and Kifowit and Leader Lou Lang on Michael MadiganWGN RadioPatti talked to Illinois State Representative Sara Feigenholtz about her nomination of Mike Madigan for his 17th term as Speaker of the House. Then, State Representative Stephanie Kifowit joined the conversation to reflect on the remarks […]
    • Illinois at center of revived Equal Rights Amendment fight - Chicago Sun-Times April 3, 2017
      Chicago Sun-TimesIllinois at center of revived Equal Rights Amendment fightChicago Sun-TimesLou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, to set a date to move the proposal forward. In 2014, the measure passed the Illinois Senate by 39 votes to 11, but was not put to a vote in the House, where there was not sufficient support. Even if the ERA does not ...
    • SALMAGUNDI: Governments evaluating drug laws - in both directions - MyWebTimes.com April 10, 2017
      MyWebTimes.comSALMAGUNDI: Governments evaluating drug laws - in both directionsMyWebTimes.comDrug laws might be changing in Illinois and nationwide, but perhaps in opposite directions.and more »
    • On state tour, Rauner reiterates his agenda as Democrats line up to unseat him - Chicago Tribune April 15, 2017
      Chicago TribuneOn state tour, Rauner reiterates his agenda as Democrats line up to unseat himChicago TribuneLou Lang countered that the "southern twang (Rauner) uses doesn't travel very far anymore. I think people are seeing through that." Lang, a top deputy to Rauner nemesis House Speaker Michael Madigan, suggested Rauner felt pressure becaus […]
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

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.”

Continue reading

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).

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.

Continue reading

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 …