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Morrison

  • Sen. Julie MorrisonSPRINGFIELD – Students with epilepsy will be better protected at school under a new law signed today by Gov. JB Pritzker and sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield).

    “Nationwide, 470,000 children are affected by epilepsy. As children spend a large part of their day in the classroom, it is imperative schools are prepared to handle the unique set of health care needs of these students,” Morrison said.

    Morrison’s new law – contained in House Bill 1475 – creates the Seizure Smart School Act, which would require the development of a plan for students with epilepsy that includes training for employees and care aides on how to handle students with the disorder.

  • Sen. Julie Morrison

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) is raising awareness that traumatic experiences during childhood, including physical abuse, sexual assault or emotional neglect, can affect the development of a child and have a lifetime effect on the physical and mental health of a person’s life.

    In response to the growing public health concern, Morrison recently passed a resolution declaring May 15 as Trauma-Informed Awareness Day to highlight the importance of prevention and effective responses to dealing with trauma. Morrison joined with Attorney General Raoul, fellow colleagues and health advocates at a press conference in Springfield today to further highlight the issue.

  • morrison 050319Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert was assisting in a traffic accident on the Tri-State Tollway in January when he was struck by a speeding motorist and killed. A five-year member of the State Police, Trooper Lambert was traveling home to Highland Park when the crash occurred.

    A ceremony this week at the newly finished Illinois State Police Memorial Park honored Trooper Lambert’s service to the people of Illinois.

    “Trooper Lambert’s selfless sacrifice toward ensuring the safety of Illinoisans is why we are all here today,” State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) said. “In the months and years ahead, let us never forget the thousands of Illinois State Police officers and others in law enforcement who get up every day in the service of their fellow Illinoisans.”

  • morrison 032719DEERFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) released the statement below following Crystal Lake Police’s announcement today that they are charging AJ Freund’s parents with murder after finding the 5-year-old’s body: 

    “It is horrific that we are once again discussing the death of a child following alleged abuse and neglect at the hands of his parents. It does not get any easier to hear these stories.

    “As with many other deaths, it seems the system designed to protect Illinois' children did not work in AJ Freund's case.

  • National Child Abuse Prevention Month Facebook ImageSPRINGFIELD – After years of working with advocates and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) has passed a proposal reforming the confusing set of state rules governing reporting child abuse in Illinois.

    “The first step in addressing potential child abuse is the reporting of that behavior,” Morrison said. “If abuse is not being reported – or if individuals don’t know the signs of abuse or who to even report to – the entire system is in jeopardy of not working, leaving abused children in dangerous situations.”

  • Sen. Julie MorrisonSPRINGFIELD – A proposal by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) making it easier for living organ or bone marrow donors to potentially save a life passed the Senate this week.

    “Last year, 3,402 Illinois residents were candidates for a kidney transplant. By the end of the year, however, only 798 people actually received a transplant. That represents less than a quarter of patients who are on the organ donation waiting list,” Morrison said.

    Morrison’s plan – contained in Senate Bill 68 – creates the Organ Donation Tax Credit, allowing private employers to take a credit against withholding taxes if the employer offers the ability of employees to take a paid leave of absence of at least 30 days to donate an organ or bone marrow.

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  • morrison 032719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, released the following statement this afternoon after news that Gov. Pritzker has nominated Marc D. Smith to lead the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS):

    “Today’s announcement by the governor begins what I hope will be a new chapter for an agency that has been marked by instability for years. DCFS has failed to live up to its primary role, which is first and foremost the safety of children. Audit findings and high-profile deaths of toddlers who had been visited by DCFS staff only highlight the systemic dysfunction at this agency.

  • morrison belt 032019SPRINGFIELD – A tax credit introduced by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) that would incentivize businesses which offer paid leave of absences to their employees for donating an organ or bone marrow passed the Senate Revenue Committee this afternoon.

    “Last year, 3,402 Illinois residents were candidates for a kidney transplant. By the end of the year, however, only 798 people actually received a transplant. That represents less than a quarter of patients who are on the organ donation waiting list,” Morrison said.

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  • dental 031419SPRINGFIELD – Dental patients with an autism spectrum disorder or developmental disability will have access to expanded dental insurance coverage for anesthesia under a proposal passed today by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield). 

    “Families will have options under this proposal to ensure that dental work is not distressing and is as pain free as possible,” Morrison said. “Unfamiliar environments can be an especially challenging experience for an individual with autism. We want to make sure that needed dental work is not left untreated, as additional health consequences can develop.”

    Senate Bill 111 would require health insurance companies to cover anesthetics provided with dental care to patients who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or who have a developmental disability. The proposal would require coverage until an individual reaches 26 years of age. Currently, the insurance mandate expires once an individual reaches age 19.

    Studies show individuals with autism spectrum disorder require health services more commonly than those without.

    Senate Bill 111 passed the Senate this afternoon and will now head to the House for further debate.

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  • dentist 030719SPRINGFIELD – A proposal by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) to expand dental insurance coverage for anesthesia provided to patients with an autism spectrum disorder or developmental disability advanced out of the Senate Insurance Committee this week.

    “Dental procedures can be especially traumatic for an individual with autism or a developmental disability,” Morrison said. “If needed dental procedures are left untreated, however, additional health consequences can develop. Families will have options under this plan to ensure dental work is not distressing and as pain free as possible.”

    Senate Bill 111 would require health insurance companies to cover anesthetics provided with dental care to patients who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or who have a developmental disability. The proposal would require coverage until an individual reaches 26 years of age. Currently, the insurance mandate expires once an individual reaches age 19.


    Studies show individuals with autism spectrum disorder require health services more commonly than those without. In addition, unfamiliar environments can be a challenging experience for an individual with autism.

    Senate Bill 111 passed the Senate Insurance Committee on Wednesday afternoon and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • 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 031518SPRINGFIELD - State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) issued the following statement this afternoon after news that the U.S. Justice Department is banning bump stocks. Bump stocks are attachments used to increase the rate of fire of semiautomatic weapons, allowing them to fire nearly as fast as a machine gun. The device was used in the deadly Las Vegas shooting in 2017 that killed 58 people at a country music concert.

    “Today’s decision by the Justice Department is long overdue. Bump stocks have no place in our streets or in our communities. These devices were created for one purpose – to inflict as much human carnage as possible.”

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    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) led the Senate today in overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto of a proposal to increase the age to legally buy tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

    “Raising the age has been proven to eliminate the availability of tobacco for teens that are 14, 15, 16 and 17 years old,” Morrison said. “Since most current smokers started when they were teens, it is vital we work to cut off that supply and prevent the development of a deadly, lifetime habit.”

    Morrison introduced Senate Bill 2332 in January and teamed with health care advocates and local Lake County students to increase support among lawmakers for the proposal. After passing the Senate in April, the measure passed the House in May but was vetoed by Gov. Rauner in August. 

    “With the rise of easily concealable and fruit and candy flavored tobacco products, Tobacco 21 is important now more than ever—protecting children, reducing smoking rates, saving lives, and reducing healthcare costs,” said Kathy Drea, vice president of advocacy for the American Lung Association.

    A key benefit to raising the age is documented decreases in the number of high schoolers who smoke. In Chicago, authorities recorded a drop from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease.

    Illinois would join six other states that have raised the age to purchase tobacco, including California, Oregon, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine. In Illinois, more than 20 municipalities have raised the age, including Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and downstate Peoria.

    Today’s override passed on a 36-19 vote and now heads to the Illinois House for consideration.

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    SPRINGFIELD – Family members and law enforcement officials concerned about disturbing or threatening behavior in an individual with access to a firearm now have the legal ability to act before tragedy occurs under legislation sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that was signed into law today.

    “In far too many of the mass shooting events that have taken place recently across our country, a family member identified threatening behavior in a loved one and didn’t know where to turn,” Morrison said. “In some cases, reports were made with law enforcement. But with no legal mechanism in place, there was no ability to step in before that individual caused tragedy.”

    Morrison’s new law, which passed under House Bill 2354, would create the Firearms Restraining Order Act, allowing a family member or law enforcement official to alert the court system when an individual with access to a firearm is displaying threatening or unsafe behavior that could lead to injury to themselves or to the general public.

    If a judge finds clear and convincing evidence that the respondent is a danger, the court can require firearms to be temporarily removed from the respondent’s possession.

    The new law will also protect individuals contemplating suicide. The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence estimates 80 percent of individuals considering suicide give some sign of their intentions, often to family members.

    “We cannot continue to sit idly by while Washington fails to act to protect our residents,” Morrison said. “This new law is part of a broader effort to ensure Illinois has comprehensive and reasonable gun safety laws on our books.”

    House Bill 2354 goes into effect on January 1, 2019.

  • Sucide awareness 1Every year, more than 1,000 Illinoisans die by suicide, representing nearly three deaths per day. Illinois teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 have the highest suicide attempt rate for any age group in the state.

    In an effort to bring increased attention to the serious public health concern, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) passed a resolution recently declaring June 13, 2018 Suicide Awareness Day in Illinois.

  • morrison 053018SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) passed an updated ‘Red Flag’ proposal out of the Senate today that would empower concerned family members or law enforcement officers to take action when a loved one with access to a firearm is exhibiting dangerous or threatening behavior.

    “In far too many mass shooting events, family members identified disturbing behavior in their loved ones and didn’t know where to turn,” Morrison said. “In some cases, when this behavior was reported, there was no legal mechanism to step in and prevent potential tragedy.”