Murphy

  • 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 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.

  • Senator MurphySPRINGFIELD – Students would be allowed to self-administer prescribed medication while at school under legislation sponsored by Des Plaines Democrat State Senator Laura Murphy that passed the Senate today.

    Murphy’s measure would require schools to allow students with an action plan to self-administer prescribed medication with permission from their parent or guardian.

    “Allowing children to self-administer their medicine while at school allows them to focus on their school work and gives parents the reassurance that their child has their medication if a problem arises while they aren’t at home,” Murphy said. “No parent wants to worry that their child might not be safe at school simply because they don’t have access to their medication.”

    Senate Bill 1250 passed in the Senate and now moves to the House for consideration.

  • murphy 052318DES PLAINES – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is looking for answers and a long-term solution to what happened at the local mobile home park near Elk Grove.

    During the polar vortex, pipes froze and burst, leaving some residents of the mobile home park without clean water for almost two weeks now.

    “There is no reason that it should be taking this long to ensure that the residents have clean water,” Murphy said. “These residents need clean water to bathe, care for their pets and do daily household chores like laundry or washing dishes.”

    State Representative Marty Moylan, Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison and State Senator Laura Murphy’s offices took action immediately when they received news about this water crisis. 

    The Illinois Beverage Associations and Great Lakes Coca-Cola company donated 240 cases of water to the mobile home park last week, which was delivered by administrators from Elk Grove High School. Zeman Homes also provided water for residents to pick up at their on-site management office.

    “I want to applaud everyone involved who worked tirelessly to provide clean water to the residents,” Murphy said. “Seeing everyone come together, including the residents who took action when it was needed the most, is the reason why I love representing our district. We are a family and when someone is in need, we step up to help them.”

    There is currently action being taken to repair the busted water pipes, but some residents are still without clean water.

    Murphy wants to take the necessary steps to fix this problem and to ensure that this does not happen again. Her and her staff plan on meeting with residents of the park and working with the Manufactured Home Owners Association of Illinois to discuss legislation and the need for reform.

  • murphy 041718PARK RIDGE – State Senator Laura Murphy (D – Des Plaines) was at George Washington Elementary school in Park Ridge Tuesday to present the school with an official Senate recognition honoring the district for being named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

    “Ensuring the youth in our state receive a quality education is one of the most important tasks that my colleagues and I have as legislators,” Murphy said. “I am thrilled to be able to present this recognition to George Washington elementary for displaying an outstanding commitment to educating students, and I hope to be able to hand out more of these to other schools in the coming years.”

    The National Blue Ribbon Schools program was started in 1982 as a way to recognize public and private elementary, middle and high schools that either promote a high level of academic excellence among their students or exhibit signs of positive progress in closing achievement gaps between subgroups of students. George Washington Elementary was one of 349 schools named to the program in 2018 by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

    George Washington Elementary was the only public school in Murphy’s district to be named to the National Blue Ribbon School program in 2018. In total, 24 schools in Illinois received the honor this year, and over 100 Illinois schools have received it since 2013.

  • 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.

  • mercy hosp 112018State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the shooting at Mercy Hospital in Chicago yesterday:

    “I am deeply saddened to hear about the horrific shooting at Mercy Hospital in Bronzeville yesterday. I am praying for all those who were affected. To the families of the victims—I cannot even begin to fathom the pain you are experiencing, but please know that our community is here for you.

  • 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.

  • Sen. Laura MurphyDES PLAINES – State Senator Laura Murphy is urging area bus riders to attend a public hearing about cancellation of Saturday Pace bus service on a route that serves Des Plaines and Park Ridge.

    The 209 Busse Highway route provides service to the Harlem Avenue station of the CTA Blue Line. Pace is considering cancelling the service on Saturdays only because of budgetary restrictions.

    “Many of the residents of my district rely on this route on Saturdays, especially disabled residents who might not have any other means of transportation” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “If Pace is considering canceling it, then those who will be affected by the cancellation deserve to have their voices heard.”

  • Murphy072518At the urging of State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), the Senate Transportation Committee convened a subject matter hearing on Tuesday morning in Chicago to discuss potential irregularities in Tollway procurement.

    Illinois Deputy Chief Procurement Officer Jan Morrow, Tollway Director Liz Gorman and Tollway Chief of Procurement John Donato testified on procurement policies for engineering contracts and how proposals are reviewed.

    “This was a good start to the conversation,” Murphy said. “We discussed the nuts and bolts of how contracts are awarded, but I’d like to see more transparency in the process. When politically connected organizations are awarded contracts, it erodes public confidence.”

    The hearing was called following the award of a $6.6 million subcontract to Morreale Communications which was tacked onto an engineering contract. The CEO of Morreale is married to Republican State Representative Michael McAuliffe.

    Though the Tollway contended that Morreale Communications disclosed the potential conflict of interest, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) remarked that it is important to avoid the impression of a conflict of interest, which can be just as undermining.

    During the hearing, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) questioned some work Morreale was performing, such as writing speeches for the chairman of the Tollway, when the Tollway employs an 11-member communications staff. Donato testified that he believes Tollway communications staff’s budget is $1.6 million annually.

    The Tollway was also under fire for a $157 million contract with Omega and Associates, a company which employs the children of Tollway executives. The firm has also contributed to board members’ charities.

    “I’ll keep asking questions about these contracts and the award process,” Murphy said. “I believe the Tollway owes a transparent process and efficient use of funds to the public.”

  • 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.”

  • murphy 051018SPRINGFIELD — A measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to support local products made in Illinois advanced out of the Senate today.

    “Illinois businesses have produced many incredibly products that should be promoted,” Murphy said. “We need to make sure Illinoisans know about the services and products available to them right in their backyards.”

    House Bill 1023 extends the sunset of the Support Your Neighbor Commission within the Department of Central Management until Jan. 31, 2019. This commission works to increase the sale of Illinois and American-made products.

    The commission is composed of representatives from labor organizations, business groups and affected industries. It has 12 members and is housed within Central Management Services. Commissioners would do work pro bono.

    House Bill 1023 now moves to the governor’s desk.

    “I hope the governor will quickly sign this legislation so that the commission can get to work on promoting Illinois-made products,” Murphy said.

  • murphy buddy 050218SPRINGFIELD — Moved by the vicious dog attack of a 10-year-old Yorkie named Buddy, the Illinois Senate this week approved a plan to restrict the activities of dangerous dogs and their owners.

    “I have worked for over a year to get justice for Buddy, a constituent’s pet who was killed by a neighbor’s dogs,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “The issue of dangerous dogs killing other dogs is all too common.”

    Senate Bill 2386 creates a “reckless dog owner” definition. An individual would be defined as a reckless dog owner if their dog is deemed dangerous for killing another dog and is found running at large twice within 12 months of being deemed dangerous.

    If a person is found to be a reckless dog owner, all dogs on their property would be forfeited to a licensed shelter, rescue or sanctuary, where efforts would be made to re-home the dogs if they are believed to be adoptable. Additionally, a reckless dog owner would be prohibited from owning dogs for up to three years if found guilty.

    The legislation was prompted by the circumstances of Donna Darry of Hanover Park and her Yorkshire terrier, Buddy, who was killed by a neighbor’s dogs in 2017. The neighbor disregarded guidelines that the dogs needed to be muzzled while walking, and the dogs were found running at large within a week of killing Buddy.

    Buddy had been with Darry since he was 2 months old.

    “We, as dog owners, are morally obligated to protect, provide and train for our furry family member,” said Darry, who is a constituent of Murphy’s. “The Justice for Buddy Act is about awareness and consequences to reckless dog owners.”

    A dog is deemed dangerous if it bites a person without justification or is found running at large and behaving in a manner that a person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to a person or a companion animal.

    “Poor behavior in dogs is often a result of their training,” Murphy said. “Owners need to take responsibility for their dog’s actions, and we need to strengthen the system to prevent dangerous dogs from injuring other animals.”


    Photo credit: Donna Darry

  • 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 041718SPRINGFIELD —Employers may see lower workers’ compensation premiums under a measure backed by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) which passed the Senate today.

    “Despite a successful workers’ compensation reform package being implemented in 2011, insurance companies have immorally been pocketing savings rather than passing them on to employers,” Murphy said. “Today I pushed back on the status quo and supported a measure that would incentivize insurers to reduce premiums for business owners.”

    Senate Bill 2863 requires insurance companies to pre-file rates with the Department of Insurance. If an insurance company would like to change that rate, it must provide justification. The legislation also clarifies that for an injury to be covered by workers’ compensation there must be a fundamental connection between the injury and the employment.

    “We have a lot of work to do to reinvigorate the economic climate of Illinois,” Murphy said. “I hope that the governor will support this measure to help businesses across the state.”

    Additionally, Senate Bill 2863 implements electronic billing for claims and creates a penalty for an extended delay in authorizing medical treatment.

    Senate Bill 2863, which is identical to House Bill 2525, passed the Senate today and now advances to the House.

  • murphy 041118SPRINGFIELD — Today State Senator Laura Murphy pushed back against the Rauner administration by advancing a Medicaid managed care transparency measure he previously vetoed.

    “The governor made a mistake when he rejected this proposal and attempted to put a multibillion dollar industry before taxpayers and Medicaid recipients,” Murphy (D-Des Plaines) said. “I couldn’t stand for that. I will continue to fight for transparency in Medicaid managed care programs.”

    Senate Bill 2447 requires the auditor general to conduct a performance audit of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Medicaid managed care program by Jan. 1, 2019.

    The audit would probe whether DHFS has developed and applied standardized quality performance measures to Medicaid Managed Care Entities. It would also examine if the department has implemented measures to automatically assign Medicaid patients into managed care entities.

    Performance audits can only be conducted at the request of the General Assembly or the Audit Commission, Murphy noted.

    “The governor thought that this type of audit could be conducted as part of an existing investigation, but that’s not how it works,” she said. “I want to ensure the Medicaid managed care program operated by the Rauner administration is effectively using taxpayer dollars. This is one of the state’s largest contracts. It deserves a closer look.”

    This transparency measure was formerly Senate Bill 321, which Murphy proposed last year. The governor vetoed it Sept. 22, 2017.

  • murphy 041118SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the Equal Rights Amendment:

    “I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation and support equal rights for women. It is astonishing that in 2018 women are not expressly guaranteed equal rights at the federal level. Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would ensure men and women have equal protection under the law. ”

  • SenLauraMurphy

    DES PLAINES – Illinois Lottery winners could choose to remain anonymous under a privacy protection measure filed by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

    “Fortune and fame don’t always go hand in hand. We know of instances around the country of lottery winners being attacked, killed or financially exploited because their identities were publicized,” Murphy said.

    “If winners want to be identified, that’s one thing. But the government should not require people to expose themselves to great personal risk simply because they were lucky enough to hit the jackpot one day.”

    Under Murphy’s proposal, winners of more than $250,000 can submit a written request that their identity be kept confidential. Similar legislation to Senate Bill 211 has been filed in Georgia.

  • whm mainEvery March, Senate Democratic members take time to honor the contributions and achievements of women throughout our history.

    Women’s History Month dates back to 1987 when the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to designate the month of March as Women’s History Month. Since that time, every U.S. President has taken part in the tradition.