The Illinois Senate this week followed the House's lead and overrode the governor's amendatory veto of a heroin bill.
Supporters say heroin is an epidemic in the state, and the multi-pronged bill – among other things – provides for education, promotion of the antidote Narcan, and alternative sentences. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a portion funded by Medicaid, saying it went beyond what private insurance would cover, a contention the bill's supporters denied.
Click here for summary
State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) argued for the override, saying heroin is the sort of thing people want to pretend does not affect them – quarantining it, as he put it, in low-income, crime-ridden areas. “Until they seep into neighborhoods that we would never imagine them seeping into,” he said, “the heroin epidemic is one of those issues.”
The only No voter to speak during the debate was State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon). “Unfortunately,” he said, “you can't just throw money at issues like this and hope they are resolved.”
The problem is a personal one for McCarter, who voted to support the veto despite the fact one of his children died of a heroin overdose.
SB 1 has passed the Senate, 44-11, overriding the governor's veto.