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Senate designates “Suicide Awareness Day,” brings attention to public health problem

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 passes updated ‘Red Flag’ proposal, creates Firearms Restraining Order Act

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.”

Morrison passes tax credit proposal allowing for continued SALT deductions

morrison 052418SPRINGFIELD – The $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions included in President Trump’s federal tax overhaul threatens states like Illinois. Illinois relies more on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction than other states. 

State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) passed a proposal out of the Senate this afternoon that would allow Illinois taxpayers to donate up to 90 percent of their state income or property taxes to again itemize one’s federal income tax above the $10,000 cap.

Morrison advances proposal to help combat opioid crisis

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.

Sen. Julie Morrison

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29th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Environment and Conservation; Human Services (Vice-Chairperson); Education; Committee of the Whole; Commerce and Economic Development; Transportation.

Biography: Born in Beardstown; received a bachelor's degree from Knox College; served as supervisor of West Deerfield Township, married to husband Joe with three grown children.

Associated Representative(s): Elaine Nekritz, Scott Drury