Morrison

  • Morrison calls on DCFS to abide by Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act

    Sen. Julie Morrison

    DEERFIELD – During a Senate Human Services Committee Monday, Chairman Julie Morrison called on the Department of Children and Family Services for greater transparency relating to child deaths and injuries that happen under the agency’s watch.  

    “Every member of the General Assembly should receive the Death or Serious Life-Threatening Injury Report each month so we can all be aware of these tragedies,” Morrison (D-Lake Forest) said. “We need to know about those children, their cause of death and the circumstances.”

  • Morrison thanks AG Raoul for his support of California’s ban on large-capacity magazines

    ammo 091120DEERFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) issued the following statement in response to Attorney General Kwame Y. Raoul’s decision to join 18 attorneys general in supporting California’s ban on large-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

    “There is absolutely no reason an everyday person needs to have possession of large-capacity magazines. The heartbreaking devastation caused by gun violence across the country cannot be overstated and must be put to an end. California’s ban is a great first step toward protecting public safety, and the rest of the country needs to follow suit.

    “I thank Attorney General Raoul for his compassion and dedication toward defending this common sense measure to keep communities safe.”

  • Morrison outlines suicide prevention resources in Lake County

    therapy 091020DEERFIELD – In 2020 alone, 55 lives have been lost to suicide in Lake County. On this World Suicide Prevention Day, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) wants to remind people they matter and help is always available.

    “During a time of increased stress and social isolation stemming from the public health crisis, more people are feeling helpless and out of control,” Morrison said. “Help is out there for everyone. There are a number of resources in Lake County to help people understand their feelings, offer support and point them in the right direction.”

    The Lake County Health Department offers a free Crisis Care Program. The confidential hotline, available at 847-377-8088, can help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or substance abuse. Counselors are also available in person at 3002 Grand Lake Ave. in Waukegan. Anyone who needs help can call or walk in, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Help is extended to every resident of Lake County – no matter their age. Kids who are struggling are encouraged to download the “Lake County Help” app to their smartphone, which they can use to text anonymously with a licensed clinician.

    Additionally, any Lake County resident who needs assistance finding mental health or substance abuse treatment, as well as food, shelter, rent or utility assistance can call 211 or text their zip code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help.

    “We must continue to check on our friends and family – even if we can’t physically be with them,” Morrison said. “Learning the warning signs of suicide and lending a helping hand can save a life. Suicide is preventable.”

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also offers a number of resources to help people in crisis or those worried about a friend or family member. The lifeline offers 24/7 confidential support at 1-800-273-8255. Morrison also encourages everyone to learn the risk factors and warning signs of suicide so they can help their loved ones. For more information, click here.

  • Morrison: We need a statewide ban of flavored vaping products

    flavoredvape 090920DEERFIELD –In response to the Chicago City Council’s move to ban flavored vaping products across the city, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is calling on lawmakers to follow suit.

    Morrison released the following statement Wednesday:

    “In every form, tobacco products are dangerous to human health and can lead to serious, life-long health consequences. Children are being enticed by the creation of sugary flavors, which threatens the progress we have made over the last several decades to reduce tobacco usage among young people.

    “I applaud the Chicago City Council for its decision to ban these products. I urge my colleagues in the General Assembly to take note and to prioritize the passage of a statewide ban during the upcoming legislative session.”

    Morrison has been a steadfast supporter of banning flavored tobacco products intentionally being targeted to children with candy-like names. Last fall she filed a measure that would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

    The measure was put on hold to prioritize needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but Morrison plans to reintroduce it during the spring legislative session.

  • Morrison launches small business tour series

    morrison 021820DEERFIELD –To continue to support small businesses struggling to recover from the COVID-19 public health crisis, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is inviting small businesses throughout the 29th District to participate in her upcoming small business tour series.

    “Small businesses are the backbone of our community and have truly shaped our area into the great place it is today,” Morrison said. “This tour will highlight the businesses that are adapting to these unprecedented times while offering great products and services to residents in the northern suburbs.”

    Morrison said she hopes to tour a variety of retail, service and manufacturing businesses.

    To request a visit from Senator Morrison, businesses can fill out the form found at SenatorJulieMorrison.com/SmallBusinessTour. Once the application is received, a member of Morrison’s team will respond with additional details.

    People with questions can visit SenatorJulieMorrison.com or call 847-945-5200.

  • Morrison: Fill out the census today

    census 082820DEERFIELD –As the deadline to complete the census nears, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is urging people to fill out their 2020 census immediately.

    “The census has never been easier to finish, and you can do it without having to meet a census taker in person,” Morrison said. “The answers provided will help support our community.”

    The census is safe, secure and confidential. It takes less than 10 minutes, and can easily be done from the comfort of one’s home online, by phone or mail.

    The census determines congressional representation, helps determine how federal funds flow into states and provides information that will impact communities for the next decade.

    Morrison is urging everyone to take the time to fill it out. Some areas in Cook and Lake Counties are reporting low response rates. Without a 100% response rate, schools, roads, hospitals and other critical community services could be impacted.

    Currently, only 75.7% of all Lake County residents have completed the Census. Additionally, just 62.8% of Waukegan residents and 54.1% of North Chicago residents have filled out the form this year.

    “Please take time today to help shape the future. Every response matters,” Morrison said.

    Residents can complete the census for their household at https://my2020census.gov.

  • Morrison, Carroll blood drive to feature COVID-19 antibody testing

    blood cells 090420PROSPECT HEIGHTS –To help address the widespread blood shortage that continues during this time of abundant need, State Senator Julie Morrison and State Representative Jonathon Carroll will host a blood drive Sept. 15.

    “Blood donations have been critically low during a time when they are needed more than ever,” Morrison (D-Lake Forest) said. “If you are able, I encourage you to donate – it could save a life.”

    The blood drive, in partnership with Versiti, will be held Sept. 15 from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Prospect Heights fire protection building, located at 10 E. Camp McDonald Road. All successful blood donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Researchers said blood containing these antibodies can treat people with severe COVID-19 by boosting their ability to fight the virus.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 17.2 million units of blood are used in transfusions every year for accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs, surgery patients and more. In March, the CDC issued a statement encouraging healthy people to donate blood at blood centers that adhere to public health and safety guidelines.

    Prospect Heights Blood Drive 9“Now more than ever we need to be good neighbors to each other,” Carroll  (D-Northbrook) said. “This is an excellent opportunity for all of us to do our part and make sure we have a good supply of blood.”

    To schedule a blood donation, people can click here. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins can be seen if slots are open.

    To ensure the safety of all staff and donors, masks will be required. The group also encourages donors to eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water before donating.

  • Morrison: We need to treat e-cigarettes the same way we do regular cigarettes

    ecigs 082720DEERFIELD —In response to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studythat found half of Illinois high school students reported using an electronic tobacco product last year, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) released the following statement:

    “Vaping and e-cigarette-related deaths and illnesses have become a nationwide outbreak that no user is immune to — no matter how young they are.

     

  • Morrison congratulates small businesses receiving financial assistance

    hairdresser 081820DEERFIELD — As small businesses continue to face financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is pleased more than 50 businesses throughout her district have received nearly $900,000 in combined assistance through the Business Interruption Grant Program.

    “The small business community and its hardworking owners hold a special place in my heart, and I’m happy they will receive much-deserved assistance,” Morrison said. “Between being shut down for weeks and the extra cost that comes with keeping employees and customers safe and healthy, these business owners need as much help as we can possibly provide them.”

    A total of 53 business in the district Morrison represents received a combined $870,000. Each business received between $10,000 and $20,000 to be used to help with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as personal protective equipment, training and new technology.

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a total of $46 million to 2,655 small businesses in the first round of BIG funding. The BIG program offers grants to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that have suffered pandemic-related losses, with a focus on businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state.

    The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is availablehere.

  • Morrison announces local schools will receive grants to support future educators

    young teacher3 072420DEERFIELD —As the state continues to experience a teacher shortage, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) applauds the Illinois State Board of Education for allocating funds to nine area high schools to help encourage students to become future educators.

    “Teachers serve as not only educators to students, but also as mentors,” Morrison said. “The grants will make investments in our bright, young talents, who will shape the future for years to come.”

    The Northwest Education Council for Student Success was awarded $249,000 through the Education Career Pathways Grants. The money will be distributed to nine schools within the northwest suburbs to prepare students for careers in education by developing Career and Technical Education programs. 

    CTE programs help students develop technical and employability skills while strengthening their core academic abilities to enable them to pursue higher education opportunities and succeed in the workforce. Students in CTE programs also have the opportunity to earn dual credit or credentials and certifications from partner institutions prior to high school graduation.

    The programs will place a special focus on recruiting underrepresented students into education careers to help meet the high demand for teachers of color across Illinois.

    “More diverse classroom settings will teach some students the importance of diversity, while allowing other students to relate to their teachers on a deeper level,” Morrison said. “Investing in the students of today is an investment in the students of tomorrow.” 

    The following schools were awarded a grant: 

    • Barrington District 220
    • Wheeling High School
    • Elk Grove High School
    • Rolling Meadows High School
    • Buffalo Grove High School
    • Conant High School
    • Schaumberg High School
    • Palatine High School
    • Hoffman Estates High School
  • Morrison announces job creation for underserved youth

    park worker 072120DEERFIELD — State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is highlighting the Illinois Department of Human Services’ COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program, which created 100 summer jobs for Lake County teens.

    “So many teens rely on summer work — especially those who live in low-income households,” Morrison said. “The current pandemic made finding jobs more difficult. However, thanks to the program, dozens of teens will be able to earn money while learning skills they can put to use both now and for years to come.”

    Lake County-based Employee Connections was one of 30 youth employment providers to receive $500,000 to employ 100 youth between June and August. The program will provide a total of $9.3 million to support dozens of projects across counties hardest hit by the pandemic, which in turn will employ thousands of teens.

    Many people — both teens and adults — have struggled to find work during the COVID-19 health crisis. The program will curb those struggles by putting Lake County teens to work while helping complete projects in the community.

    “The program will allow teens to kick start their careers by learning the skills they need to succeed in the future,” Morrison said. “This is a great opportunity for young adults to receive career training that will shape them into community leaders for years to come.”

  • Morrison reacts to criminal bribery investigation

    capitol bldg 071720DEERFIELD— State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) released the following statement on a criminal bribery investigation that appears to implicate the highest leadership in the Illinois House:

    “Today’s development is further proof of the ongoing corruption in Illinois government and the need for change. For far too long, people in and related to the General Assembly have gotten away with unethical and illegal actions with no repercussions. The ComEd investigation speaks for itself: We must step up. We must push for ethics reform. We must not allow corrupt people to serve in office.

    I ask every member of the General Assembly to uphold their legal and ethical obligation to the people they represent, and to join me in the upcoming session to prioritize the overhaul of this system.”

  • Morrison pleased with upcoming DCFS transition to Medicaid managed care

    morrison 030420DEERFIELD– After months of delays, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is pleased to learn youth in the Department of Children and Family Service’s care will finally transition to a new Medicaid managed care program in September.

    More than 16,000 foster children will transition to the new Medicaid managed care program this September, after nearly a year of delays. People who were formerly in care of the state’s foster program were transitioned to the new health care program in February, but the transition for current foster children was put on pause in an effort for them to receive a smooth transition to the robust care. 

  • Morrison’s epilepsy preparation law takes effect Wednesday

    morrison 020817DEERFIELD— Students with epilepsy will be better protected at school as teachers train for handling students with the disorder under a new law spearheaded by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest).

    “Students spend a large part of their day at school, so it is imperative for teachers and staff to be prepared to handle all medical needs,” Morrison said. “Educating schools on how to respond when a student is having a seizure could save lives.”

    Morrison’s new law – contained in House Bill 1475 – creates the Seizure Smart School Act, which requires the development of a plan for students with epilepsy that includes training for employees and care aides on how to handle students with the disorder.

    The plan requires a student’s parents or guardians to share the health care provider’s instructions on managing the student’s epilepsy and include a copy of any prescriptions and how and when to administer those medicines.

    “Nationwide, 470,000 children have epilepsy, but not all schools are equipped to help them,” Morrison said. “That will change under this new law, which will prepare schools for any epilepsy-related situation.”

    The measure passed the Senate in 2019 with no opposition and takes effect July 1. 

  • Morrison’s proposal to require testing for deadly infant disease takes effect Monday

    morrison 012120DEERFIELD — Starting Monday, Illinois newborns will now be tested for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a condition that leads to death if left untreated, thanks to a law passed by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest).

    “Medical advancements have made all the difference in treating this horrific disease that affects our youngest children,” Morrison said. “Including testing for SMA in regular newborn screenings will ensure treatment can begin immediately to prevent the disease from progressing and causing life-time harm or even death.”

    Public Act 100-0864, spearheaded by Morrison in 2017, requires all newborns to be screened for spinal muscular atrophy by July 1, 2020. The Illinois Department of Public Health met the target date, and testing will begin June 29.

    SMA is the most common genetic disorder linked to infant death worldwide and affects between 1 in 6,000 to 1 in 10,000 U.S. births. It is a terminal, degenerative disease that causes severe symptoms that eventually prevent a child from walking, standing, eating, swallowing and even breathing. Most children with the genetic disorder will not live past 18 months.

    Fortunately, advances in medical treatment led the FDA to approve the first treatment for SMA in December 2016. The drug is only effective, however, if given early before symptoms fully develop, making testing of paramount importance.

    “I am proud Illinois is taking a lead in ensuring all children are tested for a painful disease that can now be treated,” Morrison said.

     

  • Morrison: Vote-by-mail applications now open

    VBM 062420DEERFIELD — Thanks to efforts from State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest), people interested in voting from home this November are now able to apply for a ballot online.

    “Making it easier for people to vote from the comfort of their homes allows them to exercise their rights while keeping them safe from COVID-19,” Morrison said. “Many people look forward to voting, and they can now apply for vote-by-mail ballots as soon as they’d like.”

    As a part of Morrison’s vote-by-mail expansion measure — found in Senate Bill 1863, which was signed by the governor last week — people who are registered to vote and want to request a vote-by-mail ballot may now do so by visiting their individual election authority’s website.

    For Lake County, people should visitlakecountyil.gov/4321/Voting-by-Mail.

    For Cook County, people should visitmailvoting.cookcountyclerkil.gov/.

    Those who are not yet registered to vote may do so by visiting the Illinois State Board of Elections websitehere, and they will be able to request a vote-by-mail ballot while applying.

    While people are now able to apply for a ballot on their own, any person who has voted in the past two years —in the 2018 General Election, 2019 Consolidated Election or 2020 Primary Election — will automatically receive an application for a vote-by-mail ballot in their mailbox for the 2020 General Election under Morrison’s measure.

    People who registered to vote after the 2020 Primary Election will also receive an application.

    Election authorities are expected to mail out applications no later than Aug. 1, so people can expect their applications in early August. They can also expect to receive periodic reminders from the secretary of state’s office to submit their application.

    “I encourage people to take advantage of the state’s comprehensive vote-by-mail program,” Morrison said. “This is a great way to be able to take time to fill out your ballot while keeping yourself and others safe and healthy.”

     

  • Vote by mail program expanded, thanks to Sen. Morrison

    Vote by mail

    DEERFIELD — Illinoisans across the state will receive an application in their mailbox to vote from the comfort and safety of their home, thanks to a measure spearheaded by State Senator Julie Morrison.

    “If you’re eligible to vote, you should be able to do so safely and securely. No one should have to worry about jeopardizing their health to practice their civic duty,” Morrison said. “It is vital that no eligible voter — regardless of age or health — end up disenfranchised by the current health crisis.”

    Morrison (D-Lake Forest) successfully passed an elections package which, among other things, expands the state’s vote by mail program for the November 2020 election, amid concerns COVID-19 could discourage people from visiting the polls.

  • Morrison: Without safe and reliable child care, many families won’t be able to return to work

    childcare 061220DEERFIELD - In an effort to ensure families have a safe place for their kids to return to as parents return to work, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is urging child care providers to apply for the Child Care Restoration grant program, which she supported as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget. 

    “Without safe and reliable child care, many families won’t be able to return to work at a time when they need steady income more than ever to get back on their feet,” Morrison said. “Child care programs want to be able to serve families, but they are strapped for cash due to lack of money coming in during the pandemic. These grants will allow these facilities to be able to keep their doors open.”

    The Child Care Restoration grant program will dedicate at least $270 million of the state’s Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Fund to support the economic health of child care providers as the state’s economy continues to reopen in the coming weeks and months. 

    The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services, is charged with developing the grant program for licensed child care providers. The Child Care Restoration Grants will be administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies.

    The “Intent to Apply” survey launched Wednesday and is available online here. The information gathered will help grant writers create the grants, to be released in July. Eligible providers will receive their first installments later this summer. The opportunity to respond to the survey will close on June 19 at 5 p.m.

    More information will be added to www.ilgateways.com/financial-opportunities/restoration-grants. People are encouraged to continue to check back frequently for information and resources.

  • Morrison applauds additional DCFS funding in state budget

    morrison floor2 52220DEERFIELD — State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Fiscal Year 21 budget, which provides more funding for DCFS:

    “No state agency has gone through more turmoil over the past decade. While not every problem revolves around funding, many of the Department of Children and Family Services’ high-profile failures come from a lack of resources. 

    “This additional funding is necessary to boost the workforce, which would reduce caseloads for investigators and allow more attention to go toward services. More funding means the ability to hire more highly trained workers who have the determination and stability to take on one of the state’s toughest jobs. 

    "I will work diligently with DCFS to hold them accountable and make sure the additional funding is used appropriately for resources to best help our state's most vulnerable children. 

    “Children should not have to suffer — especially at a time when they are home more often in situations that could be dangerous. We must be there for them. More money for DCFS will protect our children — and that’s the best investment we can make.” 

  • Morrison supports grants for child care providers

    childrenDEERFIELD — After hearing concerns from child care providers about the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on them, Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) supported funding to allow them to continue the vital services they provide for families.

    “Child care providers across the state have faced financial challenges after the public health crisis led them to shut their doors,” Morrison said. “Families rely on the care and education these facilities provide, so supplying them with funding was a priority of mine and a priority of the General Assembly.”