Being an avid supporter of toxicology centers, I can hardly object to Sen. Don Harmon’s latest in a flurry of legislative initiatives geared also, if tangentially, to keep him in the public eye in this election season.
A state senator’s effort to keep the Illinois Poison Center open has cleared a key hurdle.
Oak Park Democrat Don Harmon’s legislation passed from a state government committee Wednesday and now heads to the full chamber for consideration.
Harmon’s office says the Chicago-based toxicology call center handles about 82,000 cases each year.
The center has [suffered] a number of recent budget cuts. Harmon says it could close for good at the end of June without more funding.
Lawmakers face a tight budget year due in part to the expiration of the state’s income tax increase next January. [italics added]
Harmon’s plan would direct a small portion of the fee charged by cellphone companies . . . for 911 services to pay for poison control.
This initiative also serves to call attention to the expiration of an income-tax increase, for which his solution is a constitutional amendment he is now promoting that would provide a progressive income tax to replace the current flat tax (one rate for all incomes).
This latter he continues to designate a “fair tax,” seeking to steal thunder from “fair tax” legislation — introduced in 1999 and reintroduced every session since then — that abolishes the IRS and substitutes a national consumption tax. He likes to fool around with terminologies, as in his “two percent” Illinois income tax increase, from 3% to 5%, which demonstrates shocking innumeracy, and the less egregious because arguably justifiable “marriage equality” for same-sex marriage.