State Rep. Jason Barickman, R-Champaign, left, spoke with students at Pontiac Township High School about the upcoming Illinois Senate Environmental Committee meeting this week on House Bill 2056, which PTHS students worked to have passed earlier this year. With Barickman are students Joshua Faust and Lanora McCune, who worked on the legislation and will be working on the Senate passage.
By Sheila Shelton
Pontiac Daily Leader
Posted May 10, 2011 @ 09:50 AM
Pontiac, Ill. —
State Rep. Jason Barickman, R-Champaign, met with some students at Pontiac Township High School Monday morning to discuss the help they provided in getting a bill passed recently in the Illinois House.
It was House Bill 2056 that expands the Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program (P2D2) in Illinois.
Some of the same students who testified earlier this year before the House Environmental Committee will be returning this Wednesday to testify before the Senate Environmental Committee that is now considering the House Bill.
“I appreciate what you students have done. You came to Springfield and brought this issue to us,” Barickman told the students. “You guys have brought this to the forefront. Thanks for all you have done and are continuing to do. You guys are well on your way to becoming active, caring citizens.”
“You guys have reached out to your legislators,” said PTHS ecology and science teacher Paul Ritter. “There are people that will never understand what all you have done to make a change in the world.”
House Bill 2056 which passed the House by a 110-0 vote April 7 after its introduction in February was co-sponsored by Barickman. This bill would assess a $20 fee on those convicted of drug-related offenses, which would be used to fund disposal of prescription drugs.
P2D2 provides for safe disposal of antibiotics, antidepressants, birth control pills, seizure medications, pain killers, tranquilizers and cholesterol lowering medications.
P2D2 was originally a program developed by Ritter and his PTHS students to be used in Livingston County. It has since then been utilized and adopted by schools all over Illinois and in various states throughout the United States. The program has won national acclaim and awards as means of ensuring preventing medications from ever getting back into the drinking water supply. There are several locations around the area where disposals of prescription drugs no longer needed can be made.
Student Josh Faust said that students are now working on starting the P2D2 program in Hawaii by contacting police officers and health departments to get the ball rolling.
“You students have participated in the largest grass roots program in our lifetimes,” said Ritter. “You guys are changing your world and standing up for the things you believe in. We once heard in December 2007 this couldn’t be done and now look at what you have done.”
“You will see this go through the Senate committee and then it pass to the full Senate and goes on to the governor for his signature,” said Barickman.