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  • Senator Morrison on Child Advocacy Centers

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


  • Biss: Lawmakers should override governor’s veto of caregiver pay hike

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  • Caffeine powder ban set to become effective

    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 (VIDEO)

    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.

  • Hearing highlights failures, needed reforms at DCFS

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  • Hearing reveals progress, shortcomings in DCFS ability to provide data on children in care

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  • Lame-duck appointments ban becomes law

    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.

  • Link and Morrison continue push to fight opioid addiction

    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.”

  • Medical patients would see greater rights under Morrison plan

    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.

  • Morrison ethics package would increase lawmaker accountability

    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.

  • Morrison law closes public safety loophole, blocks mentally ill access to firearms

    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 leads Senate in expanding protections for domestic violence victims

    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.”

  • Morrison looks to spur budget conversation, solutions with new proposal

    morrison sb2190 presserSPRINGFIELD – At a time when the public increasingly wonders whether the governor and legislative leaders are meeting to try to resolve Illinois’ budget crisis, State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) held a press conference today to introduce a proposal she hopes will prod those leaders to the negotiating table.

    The measure, Senate Bill 2190, would require the governor and the four legislative leaders to meet publicly at least once per week to negotiate on the budget whenever the state enters a new fiscal year without a spending plan in place.

  • Morrison meets with new acting director of DCFS

    morrison 062717SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) met with new Acting Director of the Department of Children and Family Services Beverly Walker this afternoon during a hearing of the Senate Human Services Committee.

    “Today’s hearing gave members of the Senate the opportunity to learn about Director Walker’s background and her ideas for bringing lasting change to DCFS,” Morrison said. “As seen by today’s high level of interest from Senators on both sides of the aisle, the Senate is committed to working with Acting Director Walker to address the monumental challenges facing this troubled agency.”

  • Morrison passes plan increasing financial disclosure by politicians

    morrison050517SPRINGFIELD – A plan by State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) that would increase transparency and modernize financial disclosure forms filled out by politicians, judges and certain state employees passed the Senate this morning.

    “Our current financial disclosure process is antiquated and not built to properly disclose vital information that is the purpose behind this process,” Morrison said. “Taxpayers should be assured that their lawmakers are operating under the highest levels of ethics and transparency.”

    Morrison’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 1289, updates the Statement of Economic Interest form, a financial disclosure form meant to increase transparency among elected officials and state employees involved with bidding and state contracts. The form has undergone few changes since it was enacted in 1972.

    Senate Bill 1289 would increase financial disclosure of investment real estate, certain financial assets, additional income, debts and economic relationships with individuals or companies. The bill also requires disclosure of any immediate family members registered to lobby in Illinois.

    Senate Bill 1289 passed the Senate on Friday without opposition and now heads to the Illinois House for further debate.

  • Morrison passes plan to simplify property tax appeals

    PropertyTaxBillSPRINGFIELD – For many homeowners or commercial property owners who appeal their property tax assessments, the complexity of the overall process can be daunting. 

    State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) passed a plan out of the Senate today that would streamline the appeals process and lower the often excessive wait times faced by many who file appeals.

    “Rising property taxes continue to be one of the biggest concerns facing residents in my district,” Morrison said. “Instead of making appeals more burdensome and difficult to utilize, we must simplify the process and make it easy to navigate for homeowners.”

    Senate Bill 609 would allow homeowners to combine multiple-year appeals of their property assessments within the same assessment period. Currently, homeowners must appeal an assessment every year. With long wait times at the Property Tax Appeal Board, many homeowners are forced to file each subsequent year’s appeal separately after they win the initial appeal.

    Senate Bill 609 passed the Senate this afternoon without opposition and now heads to the Illinois House for further debate.

  • Morrison proposal acknowledges consolidation efforts by Village of Deerfield

    morrison deerfieldSPRINGFIELD – Efforts to consolidate emergency dispatch services in Illinois led to the passage of a state law last year requiring dispatch agencies serve at least 25,000 residents. The new law was meant to ensure all communities have access to responsive emergency services while providing efficiencies for taxpayers.

    For the Village of Deerfield, which already operated a consolidated emergency dispatch service with neighboring Bannockburn and Riverwoods before the state law, the minimum population requirement would require additional consolidation and cost to the community.

    State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) passed a proposal out of a Senate committee this week that would allow the Village of Deerfield more time to comply with the new state law.

    “The intent of the consolidation effort last year was to ensure agencies were providing responsive services in an efficient way,” Morrison said. “The Village of Deerfield was ahead of the curve when consolidating their 911 call center with Bannockburn and Riverwoods.”

    Currently, the consolidated emergency dispatch agency serving the three communities serves 23,619 residents. The population figures are based on 2010 census information, however, and don’t take into effect increases in construction and daytime population for the area.

    “Our service area includes a large number of major corporations that bring in an estimated 12,000 workers each day,” Deerfield Police Chief John Sliozis said. “We are not objecting to consolidation, as our history has proven.”

    Senate Bill 461 passed the Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Thursday and now heads to the Senate floor for further debate.


    Photo: Senator Morrison (middle) with Deerfield Police Chief John Sliozis (left) speaking in support of Senate Bill 461 in the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee

  • Morrison proposal would close public safety loophole

    morrison 040516Plan ensures mentally ill do not have access to firearms

    SPRINGFIELD – A proposal by State Senator Julie Morrison (D–Deerfield) to ensure individuals with mental illness do not have access to firearms passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

    “Unfortunately, we have seen what can happen when firearms get in the wrong hands,” Morrison said. “While Illinois is fortunate to have a strong mental health reporting system already in place, we must ensure information for every county is being reported.”

  • Morrison questions DHS leaders on abuse, neglect allegations in group homes

    morrison 101716SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield), vice-chairwoman of the Senate Human Services Committee, questioned leaders with the Department of Human Services (DHS) today over the recent Chicago Tribune investigative report highlighting improperly handled cases of abuse and neglect at group homes across the state.

    The series, titled ‘Suffering in Secret,’ found allegations of abuse cover-ups and a complete lack of transparency that left the public and family members of abused group home residents in the dark.

  • Morrison tours Wheeling manufacturing facilities

    Senator Julie Morrison tours Wieland Metals in WheelingSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) joined Wheeling Village President Patrick Horcher earlier this week in touring three Wheeling manufacturing facilities.

    “Manufacturing is a major industry in the area, with hundreds of local residents working in the field,” Morrison said. “As a state legislator, I believe it’s important to talk to local employers and make sure the state is doing everything possible to attract and retain good businesses like these.”