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Morrison calls for comprehensive ethics package

Senator MorrisonSPRINGFIELD – Following a wave of corruption and indictments among state officials, Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) is calling on lawmakers to pass a comprehensive ethics package, including restrictions on revolving door lobbying, updates to the statement of economic interest forms and new provisions regarding conflict of interest.

“People should not be allowed to be a lawmaker one day and a lobbyist the next,” Morrison said. “Stopping lawmakers from auditioning for jobs with special interests while still in office will help end the glaring corruption taking place in Springfield.”

Since joining the Illinois Senate in 2013, Morrison has introduced bills each session to block the lawmaker-to-lobbyist revolving door. Those measures would prohibit lawmakers who resign from their post from taking jobs as Illinois lobbyists for a certain amount of time after they retire. However, they never made it through the legislature.

“I have tried to pass comprehensive revolving door policies for years, but it wasn’t seen as a high priority by all members of the General Assembly, despite the corruption happening around them,” Morrison said. “I am pleased Gov. JB Pritzker called on legislators to pass a revolving door provision during his State of the State address Wednesday.”

Morrison is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 2463, which prohibits statewide elective officials, members of the General Assembly and administrative heads of state agencies from lobbying within two years of termination of service.

“A majority of states already have an anti-revolving door policy, and it’s time for Illinois to get with the times,” Morrison said. “There must be a fine line between who is a government official and who works for a special interest group.”

Illinois is just one of 13 states that does not have a revolving door policy.

During the legislative session, Morrison is lead sponsor of two other ethics-related bills – Senate Bill 2506 and Senate Bill 1827.

Senate Bill 1827 would create changes to the statement of economic interest form that must be completed by a number of state employees, candidates running for office and public officials to ensure they do not have financial ties to subjects they are working on.

Additionally, SB 2506 requires members of the General Assembly to disclose if they have conflicts of interest on measures they are taking official action on – which includes voting for a bill.

Senator Morrison files EpiPen for all bill

EpiPenSPRINGFIELD – The price of EpiPens has greatly increased over the years, causing people with certain allergies to forgo purchasing the life-saving medication. State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) strives to offset the burdensome cost by requiring insurers to cover medically necessary epinephrine injectors.

“With increases in food allergies and other serious allergic conditions, people are relying on EpiPens more than ever,” Morrison said. “Nobody with a serious allergy should go without an epinephrine injector simply because they cannot afford one.”
Senate Bill 2457 – sponsored by Morrison – requires insurers to cover medically necessary EpiPens for all people – regardless of their age.

Senator Morrison commends Medline Industries

morrison 012120SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) commends Medline Industries for taking steps to decrease ethylene oxide emissions from its Waukegan plant.

“Ethylene oxide causes cancer,” Morrison said. “We took action last year to ensure the emission of this harmful substance is no longer the cause of numerous deaths across the north suburbs.”

Medline Industries temporarily closed its Waukegan-based medical device sterilization operation to install nearly $10 million in upgrades to make the plant compliant with state laws regulating ethylene oxide, the company announced Tuesday.

Two measures co-sponsored by Sen. Morrison, both which passed in 2019, prohibit the renewal of any permits for facilities that violate federal or state standards for ethylene oxide emissions. The other puts emission limits on non-sterilization facilities that emit ethylene oxide and requires them to obtain a permit from the IEPA. That permit must include a site-specific cap on the business’ ethylene oxide emissions.

Medline said Tuesday that it has been working “around the clock” to finish the upgrade to install the emissions abatement equipment, but must close down for a few weeks to complete the final stages of testing. Late last year, Vantage Specialty Chemicals Facility in Gurnee also completed improvements necessary to bring the plant up to the state’s guidelines.

“Facilities that use the cancer-causing chemicals should be held to the highest standards,” Morrison said. “They cannot put money over people. Medline has done the right thing by temporarily shutting down its plant in order to better protect the people of Illinois.”

The improvements from both companies come a year after a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found higher levels of ethylene oxide in the blood of people who live near the plants. Ethylene oxide was placed on a national list of carcinogens in 1985. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an assessment linking ethylene oxide to breast and blood cancer. The EPA, World Health Organization and the National Toxicology Program all declared the gas cancer-causing.

Morrison responds to sexual assault cover-up

morrison 032719SPRINGFIELD – In response to a disturbing report that a former lobbyist attempted to cover-up sexual assault to leverage a friend’s upcoming disciplinary hearing, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) released the following statement:

“These actions by government officials are disheartening and cannot continue to happen. The facts of the WBEZ investigation once again prove the serious issue of sexual harassment and assault in Illinois politics. When public officials do wrong, they should not be shielded from authoritative action.”

Senator Morrison’s statement comes after a WBEZ article showed officials within former-Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration sent an email in 2012 referencing someone keeping “the rape in Champaign” quiet.

Sen. Julie Morrison

morrison 150

29th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Environment and Conservation; Human Services (Chairperson); Public Health (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Local Government.

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 Representatives:
Jonathan Carroll
Bob Morgan