Lou Lang

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Lou Lang
Lou Lang.jpg
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 16th district
In office
1987–2019
Preceded byAlan J. Greiman
Succeeded byYehiel Kalish
Personal details
Born (1949-11-26) November 26, 1949 (age 69)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Teri
ResidenceSkokie, Illinois
Alma materUniversity of Illinois (B.S.)
DePaul University (J.D.)
ProfessionAttorney

Louis I. Lang (born November 26, 1949) is an American politician, lobbyist and former Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 16th District from 1987 until 2019.

Personal life and education[edit]

Lou graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in 1971 with High Honors where he obtained a B.A. in Political Science, before earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree with Honors from Depaul University, College of Law in 1974. Born in Chicago in 1949, Lang has been a Skokie resident since the age of five, and is a Niles North High School alumnus. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Turning Point's Advisory Council, Asian American Caucus, among many other organizations.[1][2] Lang is currently Of Council to Del Galdo Law Group, LLC. He is the father of five children, and a grandfather to three grandchildren.

Political career[edit]

Lang served as Niles Township Government's attorney for ten years, before being appointed to the Illinois House in 1987 by the Niles Township Democratic Organization to fill the vacancy of Representative Alan Greiman.[3] Lang has since been reelected to the 16th House District in every election. His district includes Skokie, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, and portions of neighboring Chicago. Lang serves as committeeman for Niles Township Democratic Organization, Executive Vice Chairman for the Cook County Democratic Party, and as Secretary of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

In 1993, Lang advanced to House Democratic Floor Leader, a post he held until 1997 when he assumed the position of Assistant Majority Leader, and in 2009 Lang became Deputy Majority Leader. Lang also served in several other leadership roles, including the Legislative Ethics Committee, and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). Lang resigned from the aforementioned leadership posts on May 31st, 2018 amid harassment allegations.[4] On September 5, 2018 after a thorough investigation, Illinois' Inspector General absolved Lang of all allegations.[5] He continued to serve as State Representative, and after receiving a partnership offer from prominent lobbying firm Advantage Government Strategies, Lang submitted his resignation as State Representative effective January 7, 2019. Lang remains Committeeman of the Niles Township Democratic Organization, and Executive Vice Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party.[6]

After leaving the Illinois House, Lang started working for a lobbying firm.[7]

Legislation[edit]

Gambling[edit]

Lang was a strong advocate for legalized gambling. In 2009, he sponsored the Video Gaming Act which legalized the use of video gambling machines in Illinois. A 2019 ProPublica investigation found that Illinois gambling regulators were underfunded and understaffed, and the gambling failed to meet projected revenues for the state's public coffers.[7]

Infrastructure[edit]

In 2009, Lang passed HB38 which was a long sought-after, 6 year, $32 billion construction program that focused on fixing schools, roads, and bridges in Illinois.[8] The program was expected to create 439,000 new jobs by 2015, and would be subsidized through newly legalized gaming machines in bars.[9] Although trouble in implementation occurred following the passage of the bill, after various delays, the program was executed.

Social[edit]

Lang has supported increases in minimum wage, opposed efforts to weaken worker compensation laws, and won a 7% property tax assessment cap for Cook County homeowners.[10] In 2009 Lang co-sponsored Illinois' marriage equality law, and in 2017 he co-sponsored HB40, legislation protecting women's reproductive rights.[11][12] On May 30th, 2018, Illinois succeeded in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. After twenty-five years of unsuccessful attempts at ratification, Lang, House Chief Sponsor of the ERA, was celebrated as Illinois became the 37th state to ratify.[13][14][15]

Healthcare[edit]

Lang has championed several major bills dealing with mental health and healthcare reform. Lang was Chief Sponsor of HB1, a bill legalizing Medical Cannabis in Illinois.[16] The bill became law in 2013 after it passed both chambers and was signed by then Governor Pat Quinn.[17] As the national opioid crisis increasingly worsened, in 2015, Lang Chief Sponsored the Heroin Crisis Act, a bill used as a national model for battling the Heroin epidemic.[18][19] In 2017, Lang was the Chief Sponsor of HR378, a resolution elevating awareness for maternal mental health.[20] Lang has also passed several bills dealing with mental health parity, and during the 100th General Assembly, Lang both authored and Chief Sponsored SB1707, dubbed the strongest mental health parity law in the nation.[21][22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Turning Point's Advisory Council | Turning Point: Outpatient mental health center". www.tpoint.org. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  2. ^ "Asian American Caucus – Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago". www.advancingjustice-chicago.org. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  3. ^ Parsons, Christi (1995-05-26). "MOTOR-MOUTH DOES ALL THE DEMOCRATS' STALLING". Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ "She says Lang 'harassed' her — he dismisses her as disgruntled pot profiteer". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  5. ^ Press, Associated. "Ex-Illinois House leader Lang cleared of sexual harassment". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  6. ^ Miller, Rich (January 7, 2019). "Rep. Lang steps down to become lobbyist". Capitol Fax. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Grotto, Jason; Kambhampati, Sandhya (2019-01-16). "Illinois Bet on Video Gambling — and Lost". ProPublica. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  8. ^ "DLCC Secretary". Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  9. ^ mike.riopell@lee.net, Mike Riopell |. "Video gambling in bars moves closer to reality". pantagraph.com. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  10. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for SB2112". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  11. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for SB0010". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  12. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB0040". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  13. ^ Otwell, Rachel. "After 46 Years, Illinois Ratifies ERA". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  14. ^ "Illinois at center of revived Equal Rights Amendment fight". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  15. ^ "The Equal Rights Amendment's surprise comeback, explained". Vox. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  16. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB0001". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  17. ^ Contributor, Posted by David Ormsby, Community. "Rep. Lou Lang Hails New Medical Marijuana Law". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  18. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB0001". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  19. ^ Lafferty, Susan DeMar. "Illinois' Heroin Crisis Act a model for other states". Daily Southtown. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  20. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HR0378". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  21. ^ Driscoll, Jaclyn. "Illinois Lawmakers Address Mental Health Parity Laws". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  22. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for SB1707". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  23. ^ "Big Win for Illinois Families: IL House Passes Strongest Mental Health Parity Law in the Nation". The Kennedy Forum Illinois. 2018-05-31. Retrieved 2018-06-06.

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