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  • Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) discusses the importance of Child Advocacy Centers for abused and neglected children at a press conference.

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  • caffeine powderPLAINFIELD— It will soon be illegal for toxic caffeine powder to be sold to anyone under age 18 in Illinois.

    The new law was sponsored by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) in response to the death of 18-year-old Logan Stiner of Ohio from a caffeine powder overdose.

    According to local reports, Stiner was found by his brother, collapsed on the floor of his home. The same day his brother found him, his mother discovered several bags of caffeine powder in their house. Sadly, Stiner, a popular student-athlete, was one week away from graduating from high school.

    The county coroner’s report said that Stiner suffered cardiac arrhythmia and a seizure as a result of ingesting toxic amounts of caffeine. One teaspoon of the powder is equal to drinking approximately 25 cups of coffee.

    In order to prevent a death like Stiner’s from occurring in Illinois, Bertino-Tarrant championed the new law making it illegal for toxic caffeine powder to be sold to anyone under age 18.

    “Logan Stiner’s death was a tragedy, and I wanted to be proactive about preventing minors in Illinois from being able to use a substance that, by simple mistake, could be deadly,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    Powdered caffeine is nearly 100 percent pure caffeine and difficult to measure with common kitchen tools.

    Senate Bill 9 is effective Jan. 1, 2016.

  • Celebrating Women's History Month

    Women have always worked, but have often gone unrecognized for their influences within American culture. this video, members recognized individuals who have successfully challenged the role of women in both the labor force and business. By honoring trailblazing women in labor and business, various women were highlighted by their efforts to diminish the inequalities women face in the workplace.

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  • morrison biz license webSPRINGFIELD – A law to prevent future governors from engaging in last-minute patronage takes effect today.

    State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) introduced the proposal after former Gov. Pat Quinn appointed a political operative to a $160,000-per-year state job at the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority a month after he lost his election last year.

    Her plan affects any director appointed to a governor-controlled board or commission after the governor loses an election. They will be limited to 60 days in the position, allowing the newly elected governor to find the best person for the position. Morrison’s legislation extends beyond the ISFA to include similar government organizations.

    “People are sick and tired of Illinois public officials abusing their positions,” Morrison said. “We shouldn’t need this law, but Gov. Quinn made it clear that we do. Fortunately, now this loophole is closed forever.”

    The Illinois Sports Finance Authority – a government entity – owns U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox, and provided the majority of the financing for the renovation of the Bears’ Soldier Field. It receives subsidies from the state and the city of Chicago, income from the White Sox rental agreement, and revenue from a 2 percent tax on all hotel rentals in Chicago.

    The legislation was originally House Bill 4078.

  • LinkMO100516Waukegan - Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) and Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) applauded Walgreens who unveiled new medication disposal kiosks at three Lake County Walgreens locations.

    Link and Morrison believe that providing safe opportunities to dispose of old and unused medication will only help the state in fighting the opioid addiction crisis. In 2014, Senator Link pushed legislation through the General Assembly that would allow police departments to safely collect unused and old medications.

    “Fighting drug addiction needs to be a top priority in Illinois. By providing places that residents can safely deposit their unused medications, we can eliminate opportunities for drug abuse by others,” Link said. “This proactive step by Walgreens will help to create a safer Illinois and continue the fight against prescription drug abuse.”

  • morrison ethics 030116SPRINGFIELD – For many patients suffering from chronic medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, mental illness or chronic pain, finding the right medication for treatment of serious symptoms can be difficult. For patients who do find a medication that works for them, staying on that medication is vital.

    State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) passed a plan out of the Senate yesterday afternoon that would give more flexibility to patients who are benefiting from a certain drug but are required by their insurance companies to take a less-costly medication.

    “Patients who have been prescribed a certain medication by their doctor should not have to jump through hoops with an insurance bureaucrat to get their medicine,” State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) said. “This proposal is the culmination of a yearlong negotiation process that I am proud to say is an agreement between the insurance industry and patient advocates.”

    Morrison’s plan, contained in House Bill 3549, expands what is known as step-therapy exceptions. Step-therapy is the process by which a patient tries other medications first before “stepping up” to drugs that are costlier. While the process can save insurance companies money, for many patients who have already tried generic drugs or who are stable on their current prescriptions, the issue can be a serious health concern.

    “Expanding the ability of patients to advocate for the use of prescription medications which would be best for their unique medical circumstance is an important tool in the health care delivery process for patients and doctors alike,” said Patrick Stone, Associate Director of State Government Relations at the National Psoriasis Foundation.

    House Bill 3549 passed the Senate without opposition and now heads to the Illinois House for a concurrence vote.

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  • morrison 041718SPRINGFIELD - Municipalities across Illinois would once again have the ability of regulating military-style assault weapons under a plan advanced today by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield).

    “At a time of continued inaction in Washington, it is imperative we give local communities who want to regulate assault weapons the legal ability to do so,” Morrison said. “This is a commonsense proposal that empowers local communities to make the decision about assault weapons that is in their best interests.”

  • morrison 050918SPRINGFIELD – Home nurses and members of law enforcement would be able to safely dispose of unused liquid medication under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that advanced Tuesday in the Senate Public Health Committee.

    “A key component in our fight against the opioid crisis is limiting access to highly addictive painkillers and other drugs,” Morrison said. “While we have seen success in combating doctor shopping and the over-prescribing of opioids, we must also ensure leftover painkillers – especially in home health situations – are disposed of and not readily available for potential abuse.”

    Morrison’s proposal, which is contained in House Bill 1338, would expand the ability of nurses and law enforcement to properly dispose of leftover medications.

    Currently, hospice and other home nurses are legally allowed to dispose of solid medications left over when a patient no longer needs them or is deceased. Liquid medications – including pain medicine often used in end-of-life care – are not currently allowed to be disposed of by nurses.

    Opioid abuse continues to affect counties across Illinois and the nation. In 2016, more than 1,800 individuals died in Illinois from an opioid overdose. Between 2013 and 2015, emergency personnel administered more than 7,500 doses of naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.

    House Bill 1338 passed the Senate Public Health Committee this afternoon without opposition and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • morrison 022118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) expressed bewilderment today at news that the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has not published child abuse and neglect numbers in Illinois since July.

    “It is completely mindboggling that DCFS would arbitrarily stop reporting data on child abuse in Illinois,” Morrison said. “I am publicly calling on DCFS to immediately begin releasing this data without delay.”

  • morrison ethics 030116SPRINGFIELD – Two proposals that would increase the level of accountability among Illinois lawmakers were recently introduced by State Senator Julie Morrison (D - Deerfield).

    Senate Bill 3107 would require state legislators to publicly disclose potential conflicts of interest before casting a vote on any legislation. While some lawmakers currently make conflict of interest disclosures public, the practice is not required under state law.

    “The public has a right to know when lawmakers have a conflict of interest,” Morrison said.

  • bumpstockSPRINGFIELD – In the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this week, State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) announced today she is filing legislation to ban “trigger modification devices” such as “bump stocks,” which are attachments to semiautomatic rifles that drastically increase the number of bullets fired from a weapon.

    “Bump stocks serve no purpose but to inflict maximum carnage on a target and have no place in our communities,” Morrison said. “The federal loophole allowing bump stocks is essentially giving the green light for individuals to purchase and unfortunately use weapons that act just like a fully automatic weapon – which has been banned in this country since 1986.”

  • State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) joins with her colleagues and health advocates at a press conference in Springfield this afternoon in support of Tobacco 21. The measure passed the Senate Public Health Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) joined her colleagues and health advocates at a press conference in the Capitol this afternoon to announce a renewed effort to combat teen smoking by raising the age to legally purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

    Today’s press conference comes after a recent study by the American Lung Association that highlights Illinois’ failure to do enough to cut down on tobacco and e-cigarette use.

    “Illinois has a real opportunity to make a major impact to bring down smoking rates among teenagers,” Morrison said. “Tobacco 21 will reduce access in our young populations, bring down overall smoking rates over time and save the state millions in health care costs.”

    Morrison sponsored an identical proposal last year that was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner despite passing on a bipartisan vote in both the Senate and the House.

    Meanwhile, municipalities and local governments across the state have stepped up and enacted their own Tobacco 21 laws. Suburban Arlington Heights became the latest municipality to institute Tobacco 21 on Jan. 7. Thirty-four Illinois communities and six states have already raised the age to purchase tobacco to 21.

    “With the rise of easily concealable and fruit and candy flavored tobacco products, Tobacco 21 is important now more than ever,” said Kathy Drea, vice president of advocacy for the American Lung Association.

    Morrison’s proposal, contained in Senate Bill 21, was introduced on Jan. 9 and passed the Senate Public Health Committee this afternoon on a 8-4 vote. The measure now heads to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • morrison 052916SPRINGFIELD – Tragic events around the country continue to highlight what happens when firearms get in the wrong hands.

    In an effort to reduce access to firearms by individuals suffering from mental illness, State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) introduced a plan earlier this year that was signed today by the governor.

    “We are suffering from an epidemic of gun violence in this country,” Morrison said. “Every day, we hear of more death and suffering because individuals who shouldn’t have easy access to guns have no problem obtaining firearms.”

  • morrison 052916SPRINGFIELD – A plan that would make it easier for domestic violence victims to file temporary orders of protection passed the Senate this afternoon.

    “Survivors of domestic violence or abuse often have a very difficult time coming forward and reporting their abuse,” State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) said. “In instances where there is an immediate threat to the safety of an individual, filing a temporary order of protection is vitally important.”