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July 31, 2002

Governor Ryan Signs Bill Creating the Lawyers' Assistance Program Act

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed House Bill 4078 authorizing the Illinois Supreme Court to make grants to non-profit organizations for treatment of lawyers needing alcohol, substance-abuse, or mental health counseling.

“Substance abuse affects all sectors of our society, and this bill creates an opportunity for lawyers to help other lawyers recover from addiction,” Governor Ryan said. “With this new source of support from peers, Illinois attorneys will have an opportunity to get the assistance they need to overcome their addictions.”

Funding for the Lawyers' Assistance Program Act is provided through the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission’s collection of an annual $7 fee from all licensed attorneys.

Governor Ryan commended Monsignor Ignatius D. McDermott and Judge Sheila Murphy, strong proponents of the legislation, for their involvement in substance abuse treatment and prevention. In 1975, Father McDermott founded Haymarket Center, a Chicago institution known for treatment of alcoholism and substance abuse.

House Bill 4078 was sponsored by Representatives Robert Ryan (D-Lansing), Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), Mike Boland (D-East Moline), Sidney Mathias (R-Buffalo Grove, Mary Kay O’Brien (D-Coal City), and Senator Peter Roskam (R-Glen Ellyn).


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