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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: Eliminate state restrictions on local government consolidation

morrison 022817SPRINGFIELD – A plan that would eliminate state restrictions on local government consolidation efforts passed the Illinois Senate today. State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) helped craft the proposal, which includes several initiatives aimed at making it easier for the consolidation of townships and the services they provide.

“For too long, the state of Illinois has stood in the way of common-sense efforts to bring more efficiencies to local government,” Morrison said. “Local governmental bodies and the residents they serve must have the ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of taxpayers.”

Senate Bill 3 expands the ability of townships to consolidate and create greater efficiencies for taxpayers. The plan allows adjacent townships to merge, allows townships to take over the duties of smaller township road districts, removes the current cap on township size and allows voters to approve for the dissolution of townships that are coterminous with a municipality.

The proposal would also allow all counties in Illinois to dissolve local governments that have governing boards appointed by the county. Currently, state law allows only DuPage, Lake and McHenry counties to consolidate local governmental bodies.

Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate this afternoon on a 43-14 vote.

Senate advances township consolidation proposal

morrison 020817SPRINGFIELD – Efforts to give greater flexibility and incentive to consolidate local governmental bodies advanced in the Illinois Senate today. State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield), a chief co-sponsor of the plan, helped craft the proposal, which includes several initiatives aimed at making it easier for the consolidation of townships and the services they provide.

“Local residents who rely on the services provided by their township would be empowered under this plan to make decisions that are in the best interest of their local communities,” Morrison said. “Outdated state requirements do nothing but stand in the way of making government efficient and able to respond to the needs of its citizens.”

Senate Bill 3 expands the ability of townships to consolidate and create greater efficiencies for taxpayers. The plan allows adjacent townships to merge, allows townships to take over the duties of smaller township road districts, removes the current cap on township size and allows voters to approve for the dissolution of townships that are coterminous with a municipality.

The proposal would also allow all counties in Illinois to dissolve local governments that have governing boards appointed by the county. Currently, state law allows only DuPage, Lake and McHenry Counties to consolidate local governmental bodies.

Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate this afternoon on a 36-14 vote.

Morrison: Families concerned about state’s commitment to individuals with disabilities

morrison 101716SPRINGFIELD – For families of individuals with disabilities in Illinois, the process of securing job training services, residential housing options or day programs can be an arduous process that can takes years. 

“My son has been waiting for services since 2008,” said Mike Baker, parent and State Advocacy Chair of Autism Speaks.

Baker testified today about the importance of providing services for individuals with disabilities at a Senate Human Services Committee hearing held at the Bilandic Building in downtown Chicago.

State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield), Vice-Chairwoman of the Human Services Committee, attended the hearing and expressed concern about the high number of individuals currently waiting for services.

“There are more than 18,000 individuals with disabilities waiting for services in Illinois,” Morrison said. “Families across the state are rightfully concerned with the high level of uncertainty about the ability of the state to provide services now and in the future.”

Today’s hearing took testimony about current state compliance with the Ligas Consent Decree, a 2011 court mandate that requires Illinois to provide community-based services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

While the decree has helped transition thousands of individuals from institutional settings to community-based centers, requirements contained in the mandate expire after June 15, 2017, causing concern among parents and advocacy groups. 

Another issue discussed at today’s hearing was a recent court decision that Illinois was out of compliance with the Ligas Decree due to the lack of payment increases to providers. Numerous providers have experienced high staff turnover rates and are not able to expand their services.

“Something’s wrong when caring for individuals with disabilities is valued less than flipping burgers or walking pets,” said caregiver Christine Rivera, who works in a suburban Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA).

Sen. Julie Morrison

morrison 150

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