Wheatland Township Democrats - News & Issues

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Will County Heroin forum focuses on next steps in fight against drug’s use

She was among about 300 people at Will County HERO/HELPS heroin forum Friday at the Edward Hospital Athletic and Event Center in Romeoville. The annual forum brings together lawmakers, social service agencies, law enforcement officials and families to discuss the state's heroin problem and raise awareness.

State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, was on hand Friday to offer what's next in the fight against heroin. Lang is sponsoring the state's Heroin Crisis Act, which would expand drug court programs, create the nation's first drug take-back program for pharmacies, require doctors to take continuing education courses on drug addiction and expand insurance coverage of treatment programs. The proposal, which unanimously passed out of a House committee last month, also would make Narcan -- a heroin overdose antidote -- available to first responder agencies at no cost.

"This is a public health crisis," said Lang, who made sure the bill was the first one introduced this year.

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Just as the women’s marches and #MeToo helped define 2017, the surging numbers of female candidates have defined the midterm races now underway. Yet for all that, the November elections may not produce a similar surge in the number of women in Congress.

More than half the female candidates for House and Senate seats are challenging incumbents, who historically almost always win; there were far more wide-open races in 1992’s so-called Year of the Woman, which doubled the number of women in Congress. A large percentage of the women now running for open seats are in districts that favor the other party. And many female candidates are clustered in the same districts, meaning many will be eliminated in this spring and summer’s primaries.

Last Tuesday’s primary elections in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina help illustrate the steep path. Two women ran for Senate, both were long shots, and both lost. In House races, 27 women won — more than half. But 16 will challenge incumbents in November, 15 of them in districts firmly favoring their opponents.

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