Senator's Poison Control Center Bill Clears Hurdle

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (AP) -- 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.

The Chicago-based toxicology call center handles approximately 82,000 cases each year, according to Harmon's office.

The center has seen a number of recent budget cuts. Harmon said 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.

Harmon's plan would direct a small portion of the fee charged by cellphone companies to pay for 911 services to pay for poison control.

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