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updated: 2/27/2014 6:27 AM

Senator's poison control center bill clears hurdle

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Associated Press

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. -- 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.

Harmon's office says the Chicago-based toxicology call center handles about 82,000 cases each year.

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