• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • No Pot Campaigning - Reason October 1, 2016
      No Pot CampaigningReasonIt has been legal to run a medical marijuana business in Illinois since the start of 2014. But it has also been illegal for businesses in the industry to donate to a political campaign in the state, or for candidates to accept such a donation, either ...
    • Medical marijuana legal fight rages over expanding qualifying ... - Chicago Tribune October 1, 2016
      Chicago TribuneMedical marijuana legal fight rages over expanding qualifying ...Chicago TribuneA new law expanded Illinois' medical marijuana program, but may prevent adding more qualifying conditions. Now a court fight is raging to add new conditions.and more »
    • IL-Uncontested - Chicago Daily Herald September 26, 2016
      IL-UncontestedChicago Daily HeraldState House - District 7. Chris Welch (i), Dem. State House - District 8. La Shawn Ford (i), Dem. State House - District 9. Arthur Turner (i), Dem. State House - District 13. Greg Harris (i), Dem. State House - District 16. Lou Lang (i), Dem. State ...
    • Pravin Varughese's family to file lawsuit against Gaege Bethune, City of Carbondale, for a total of $2 million - The American Bazaar September 27, 2016
      Pravin Varughese's family to file lawsuit against Gaege Bethune, City of Carbondale, for a total of $2 millionThe American BazaarLou Lang and others have appealed to the Carbondale police department to release information on what happened to her son, but have been stonewalled. “It's been a long time to wait,” said Lovely Varughese, to the Morton Gr […]
    • Dems, GOP Pour Big Money Into 20th State House Race - Journal & Topics Newspapers Online September 21, 2016
      Journal & Topics Newspapers OnlineDems, GOP Pour Big Money Into 20th State House RaceJournal & Topics Newspapers OnlineState Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-20th) released his second television campaign ad earlier this month in what is quickly becoming one of the most contested, and most well-financed state races in Chicago and the Northwest suburbs. McAul […]
    • DNC diary: Rep. Lou Lang on - Reboot Illinois July 28, 2016
      Reboot IllinoisDNC diary: Rep. Lou Lang onReboot IllinoisBernie Sanders. While the revelations have led to the ouster of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and protests from Sanders' supporters, Illinois convention delegate and state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, believes the Democratic Party's support for ...
    • IL-Winners - Chicago Daily Herald September 26, 2016
      IL-WinnersChicago Daily HeraldGreg Harris (i), Dem. State House - District 14. Kelly Cassidy (i), Dem. State House - District 15. John D'Amico (i), Dem. State House - District 16. Lou Lang (i), Dem. State House - District 17. Laura Fine (i), Dem. State House - District 18. Robyn ...
    • Pain pill industry gives $5.15 million to Illinois politicians - Belleville News-Democrat September 18, 2016
      Belleville News-DemocratPain pill industry gives $5.15 million to Illinois politiciansBelleville News-DemocratLou Lang, a Democrat from Chicago and a major force behind bills fighting opioid and heroin addiction, also advised against seeing donations as a quid pro quo exchange between interest groups and politicians. “Some of the people and groups that make  […]
    • To compromise or not to compromise? | WGN Radio - 720 AM - WGN Radio May 29, 2016
      WGN RadioTo compromise or not to compromise? | WGN Radio - 720 AMWGN RadioPhoto: WGN's Rick Pearson along with State Rep. Lou Lang inside the statehouse studio in Springfield. (WGN Radio). ×. To compromise or not to ...and more »
    • House Democrats propose graduated income tax plan - Chicago Sun-Times April 16, 2016
      Chicago Sun-TimesHouse Democrats propose graduated income tax planChicago Sun-TimesLou Lang, D-Skokie, filed Friday — which will only work if Illinois voters approve a constitutional amendment to reform the tax code — most married taxpayers would pay 3.5 percent for income of $200,000 or less; 3.75 percent on income between $200 ...Madigan, Illinois Dems Pus […]
  • 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 …