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  • transparencySPRINGFIELD – A day after Illinois’ bill backlog reached $16.7 billion, members of the state Senate rejected a system that allows government agencies to conceal unpaid invoices from the comptroller and taxpayers for months on end.

    The Illinois Senate on Wednesday voted to override the governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act, a commonsense measure that demands better accounting and reporting practices by state agencies so that officials can understand the true extent of the bill backlog at any given time.

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  • Murphy WINGS ATTROLLING MEADOWS – WINGS, a nonprofit organization based in the Northwest Suburbs with history dating to 1985, is one of the largest domestic violence service and housing providers in the State of Illinois.

    Acknowledging the vital work performed by WINGS, AT&T recently honored the organization with the “AT&T Investing in Illinois Award.”

    State Senator Laura Murphy (D – Des Plaines) nominated the organization for consideration for the award.

    “WINGS provides invaluable services to Illinois women and families during times of crisis,” Murphy said. “I am elated AT&T has honored the important work performed by WINGS every day.”

    In addition to the public recognition bestowed to WINGS, the organization also received a $2,000 contribution from AT&T to be used to assist with their career services program, providing assessment, vocational counseling and referrals to education and training. WINGS will work with women to create a plan to increase their incomes and forge a path to independent success.

    “AT&T is recognizing non-profit organizations that are improving lives in Illinois.  By supporting the work of these organizations, AT&T is investing to strengthen the communities we serve,” said Tricia Conway, AT&T External Affairs Manager. 

    The AT&T Investing in Illinois Awards provide resources and recognition to organizations and programs that are improving lives in their communities and the state by advancing education, economic growth, new technologies and other essential community services.

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  • murphy 050317SPRINGFIELD – Only about 18 percent of Illinois companies have women on their corporate boards, despite a recent study by the Credit Suisse Report that shows companies with women on their boards tend to be less risk-averse and have higher income growth.

    Today, State Senator Laura Murphy passed Senate Resolution 140 through the Illinois Senate, which encourages more equitable and diverse gender representation on corporate boards and urges corporations in Illinois to increase the number of women on their boards.

    "Women bring a diverse viewpoint to the workforce and promote higher corporate income growth. It’s past time for corporations to recognize this and ensure women are represented at the highest level in their companies,” Murphy said.

    Murphy is sponsoring the initiative on behalf of Women on Boards 2020, which aims to have company boards made up of at least 20 percent women by 2020.

  • murphy 042617SPRINGFIELD- In response to a Park Ridge developer who sued residents for speaking against his potential project, no longer will residents who voice their concerns at public meetings be subject to lawsuits thanks to legislation advanced by state Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

    “Everyone should be able to express their concerns in a public forum; it’s a fundamental right under the First Amendment,” Murphy said. “Unfortunately, state law is now unclear. This proposal protects the rights of citizens so they no longer will face retribution for standing up for their best interests at a public hearing.”

    Because of ambiguity under current law, about 20 residents were named as defendants when the developer filed suit to overturn the commission’s decision to reject the plan.

    Murphy’s legislation, Senate Bill 731, passed the Senate 57-0 and will head to the Illinois House for consideration. 

  • murphy 042618SPRINGFIELD — Lottery winners’ identities would not automatically be disclosed under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

    The Illinois Senate today approved Senate Bill 211 to allow Lottery winners of more than $250,000 to submit a written request that their identity be kept confidential.

    “Illinoisans should have a right to their privacy,” Murphy said. “The government should not force Lottery winners to disclose their identities just because they were lucky enough to win. Though this legislation affects a small portion of the population, I think the right to privacy is an important principle.”

    Currently, Lottery winners’ names, city of residence, date the prize is won and amount of winnings are matters of public record and are therefore subject to public disclosure laws. Under this amended legislation, winners’ identities would only be available through a FOIA request.

    Senate Bill 211 now advances to the House for further consideration.

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  • murphy proptaxSPRINGFIELD- Nearly $583 million in funding for local governments is being held hostage due to the failure to negotiate a state budget by the legislative leaders and governor. As a result, many local governments are being forced to consider significant cuts or find new ways to generate tax dollars, such as a property tax increase. These funds, already collected by the Motor Fuel Tax, have no impact on the total state budget.

    To keep communities from being forced to take these drastic measures, a House panel today voted to release the funding. Former Des Plaines alderman and newly appointed State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), supports the proposal.

    “Our communities should not be forced to raise property taxes or layoff police and firefighters because the leaders in Springfield cannot work together to solve the budget crisis they have created. As a former Des Plaines alderman, I know firsthand how important these funds are to our communities,” said Murphy.

    The legislation, House Bill 4305, also releases funding from special state funds to pay prizes for lottery winners and 9-1-1 operators. Similar to the Motor Fuel Tax, the funding has been collected through separate fees and taxes that do not impact the overall state budget.

    The proposal will now head to the full House for a vote.

  • murphy 041019SPRINGFIELD – A measure passed by the Illinois Senate would require sexual assault between students at school to be reported, thanks to Des Plaines Democrat State Senator Laura Murphy.

    Murphy’s measure would require school districts to submit annual reports of sexual assault incidents between students to the Illinois State Board of Education.

    “This is a step forward in cracking down on sexual assault,” Murphy said. “Young people are impressionable, and we need to monitor and exterminate this behavior now. Students have homework and tests to worry about; they shouldn’t fear going to school because they might be sexually assaulted.”

    In October of 2017, NBC news highlighted the rise in student against student sexual assault and the lack of state laws requiring schools to report these incidents. Thirty-eight states require school districts to report these cases. If this measure passes the House, it will make Illinois the 39th state.

    Senate Bill 1249 passed the Illinois State Senate and now moves to the House for consideration.

  • murphy 120518DES PLAINES – A local Jewel-Osco store will now offer ADA Paratransit tickets, thanks to the efforts of State Senator Laura Murphy (D – Des Plaines).

    Murphy was touched by the story of a constituent named Garland Armstrong, who lives in an apartment complex in Des Plaines specially designed for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Armstrong’s wife also has a disability and relies on Pace bus service to get around. She would often have to travel several miles out of his way in order to purchase ADA Paratransit tickets for the Pace bus service.

    “It broke my heart to hear Garland’s story,” Murphy said. “I knew right away that we needed to get to work to help make it easier for people with disabilities to get where they need to go.”

    Murphy’s office contacted Pace directly, and they agreed to partner with Jewel-Osco to add an additional location to purchase tickets within the district, so that Armstrong and any other person with a disability can purchase the tickets they need without having to out of their way.

    “I am thrilled that Pace and Jewel-Osco were able to expand this service after Garland’s passionate advocacy for the larger disabled community,” Murphy said.

    The new location is a Jewel-Osco store, located at 1500 S. Lee St. in Des Plaines. The ADA Paratransit tickets are sold in books of 10 for $32.50 and may be used on ADA Paratransit service throughout the Chicagoland area.

  • sexhar 041019SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced legislation today that would allow investigations of alleged sexual harassment in local government to fall under the authority of the Executive Inspector General.

    Sexual harassment allegations are extremely serious. When it was discovered that there was a loop hole and local elected officials were not protected under any current sexual harassment laws, it was concerning.

    Murphy’s measure gives the Executive Ethics Commission and the Executive Inspector General jurisdiction over sexual harassment allegations at the local government level and the authority to investigate these charges.

    “There have been multiple examples of sexual harassment at the local level,” Murphy said. “Letting the Executive Inspector General have the ability to investigate these allegations will help tremendously by allowing these investigations to be done properly.”

    Senate Bill 1223 passed the Illinois State Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

     

  • murphy 041118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy joined 35 Senate colleagues Wednesday in overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto of a bill that raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21 years.

    Senate Bill 2332 passed through both houses of the General Assembly in May, but was vetoed by the governor in August. The bill, popularly known as “Tobacco 21”, aims to help reduce the number of underage smokers and increase the overall health of people in Illinois by preventing anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 from purchasing or possessing tobacco problems.

    “Smoking is one of the worst habits for young people to pick up,” said Murphy, a Des Plaines Democrat. “The goal of this bill is to prevent and delay the onset of smoking.  Studies have proven that if you can delay cigarette smoking until 21, you are likely to prevent young people from ever starting. Elk Grove Village and Hoffman Estates, two municipalities within my district, have already passed similar local measures and have seen promising results. I’m proud to have helped override this veto to make this law consistent throughout the entire state.”

    The motion to override now moves over to the House of Representatives, where 71 votes in favor are required. Should it pass, the bill will become law and will be effective on January 1, 2019.

  • State Senator Laura Murphy and Superintendent Ken WallaceMAINE TOWNSHIP — Maine Township students today have more opportunities to explore career options in high school – and are more likely to have successful, fulfilling careers later in life – thanks to the work of Superintendent Ken Wallace.

    Wallace was honored Monday evening by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) for his extraordinary leadership with Maine Township High School District 207. He was recently recognized as the 2018 state and national champion of the year by the Association for Career and Technical Education for his efforts to improve, promote and develop career and technical education in the district.

  • MercerCountyFarmBureauSPRINGFIELD – Representatives from the Mercer County Farm Bureau toured portions of the Northwest Suburbs recently as part of the Illinois Farm Bureau’s “Adopt-A-Legislator Program.” State Senator Laura Murphy (D – Des Plaines) hosted the group.

    “In a state as large and diverse as Illinois, it is important to facilitate conversations with those from different backgrounds and different parts of the state,” Murphy said. “The recent visit by the Mercer County Farm Bureau gave the organization an insight into the strengths and challenges facing our part of the state.”

    The Illinois Farm Bureau’s Adopt-A-Legislator Program was developed in 2001 and designed to build long-term relationships between urban state legislators and farmers from across the state. The goal is to educate urban legislators on agricultural issues as well as Farm Bureau members on the needs of urban and suburban regions.

    “We were very excited to have the opportunity to get to know Senator Murphy and learn more about her district,” Kendra Bolen, Manager of the Mercer County Farm Bureau, said. “We can’t wait for her to visit Mercer County and learn more about rural Illinois.”

    Senator Murphy led the group across the district, meeting with Dino Vlahakis, owner of Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, Lisa Timbo, General Manager of the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, as well as stopping at the McDonald’s No. 1 Store Museum in Des Plaines and Woodfield Mall.

  • murphy 021617SPRINGFIELD – The office of State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is working to help contact eligible Park Ridge homeowners in efforts to help them soundproof their home.  Senator Murphy’s office was recently provided over 100 letters to 28th District constituents in Park Ridge from the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) offering sound proofing that went unanswered.

    The Residential Sound Insulation Program (RSIP) is a program instituted by the Federal Aviation Administration and the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission to help reduce aircraft noise coming into eligible homes by installing acoustical mitigation equipment at zero cost to the homeowners. Park Ridge homeowners are eligible under phase 17 of the Residential Sound Insulation Program.

    “The Residential Sound Insulation Program (RSIP) is a preventative and cost-effective way to mitigate noise pollution from the effects of O’Hare.  I implore all eligible residents to take advantage of this public service program,” Murphy said.

    Phase 17 closes very soon.  If you believe you have received a letter from the CDA outlining your eligibility for soundproofing, please contact the CDA program office at (773) 894-3626 no later than March 17 to begin the process of soundproofing your home. 

  • murphy 052318SPRINGFIELD —State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced a measure to help cancer patients have children – a prospect that can diminish greatly for some patients once treatment begins.

    “Cancer patients deserve a chance to have children,” Murphy said. “For some men and women, fertility preservation prior to radiation or surgery is their only way to have biological children.”

    House Bill 2617 requires insurers to cover standard fertility preservation services when a necessary medical procedure, such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, could cause infertility.

    The Affordable Care Act provides infertility coverage but does not include fertility preservation services. Additionally, employers with 25 or more full-time employees who provide pregnancy-related benefits are required to provide coverage for infertility treatment, though some restrictions apply.

    This measure attempts to address a patient’s desire to have children before they undergo a medical procedure that could render them infertile.

    “I can only imagine the pain that newly diagnosed patients experience when they find out the procedure that could save their life may also prevent them from bringing a new life into the world,” Murphy said.

    “Paying for fertility preservation out of pocket is burdensome and simply not possible for many patients. This legislation would remove that barrier.”