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House Easily Overrides Governor On Heroin

Rep. Lou Lang
Brian Mackey
Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, sponsored the anti-heroin legislation in the Illinois House of Representatives.

The Illinois House has overruled Governor Bruce Rauner over how to address heroin addiction in the state.

Lawmakers spent more than a year working on a big anti-heroin initiative. It passed with both Democratic and Republican support, but Rauner vetoed a provision to expand treatment for low-income addicts.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin was among the bipartisan group of lawmakers who voted to overrule the governor's changes.

Durkin says heroin is a growing problem across Illinois, "and watching another kid, left and right, dying — overdosing over heroin — sickens me. It brings tears to many of our eyes. And we have to do everything within our power to stop this and reverse this before it gets even more pervasive."

Rauner said the expanded treatment would have cost too much. His veto was overridden on a vote of 105 to 5, but the measure still has to get through the Senate.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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