• High school students inspire legislation to waive library card fees for students in unincorporated areas

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  • Murphy leads local government COVID-19 recovery plan

    Senator MurphySPRINGFIELD – To help guide local governments through the COVID-19 recovery process, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) has sponsored a package of legislation to give municipalities the means to address pandemic-related challenges.

    “Especially now, local governments are keeping our communities afloat by managing our regional health departments and providing financial, housing and meal assistance to struggling Illinoisans,” said Murphy. “I hope this legislation can help them continue to provide much-needed services as we look to recover from this pandemic.”

  • Murphy urges residents to get tested for COVID-19 at new Rolling Meadows testing site

    aurora drivethrough 042220ROLLING MEADOWS – Residents of the Northwest Suburbs will be able to get tested for COVID-19 safely and easily at a new drive-thru testing site opening May 20 in Rolling Meadows, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced.

    “Especially as we start the reopening process, increased testing is one tool we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Murphy. “The best way to make sure you aren’t spreading the virus is to get tested. It’s easy and free—if you think you may be at risk of infection, I encourage you to visit this new site.”

    The new site will be located in the parking lot of Rolling Meadows High School at 2901 Central Rd. and will offer testing services seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or while supplies last.

    Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can be tested for the virus without a doctor’s order. You can also get a test if you’ve been in contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, if you have a compromised immune system or other chronic medical condition, or if you are a front-line worker, whether or not you are experiencing symptoms.

    At drive-thru testing sites like the one in Rolling Meadows, patients must remain in their vehicles—walk-ups will not be accepted. Testing is free, but patients will be asked to show photo identification and a health care employee or first responder ID badge, if applicable.

    “There are lots of people who need tests, so keep in mind that the wait times at these sites may be significant,” said Murphy. “Please be patient with personnel and the other people in line. We’ll get through this if we work together.”

    Testing sites continue to open across the state. For the most up-to-date list of these sites, as well as testing hours and contact information, visit

  • Murphy hosts Telephone Town Hall to connect with residents during Stay at Home Order

    murphy 030420 2SPRINGFIELD – To connect with community members during the Stay at Home Order and stay up to date on the issues affecting her district, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hosted a Telephone Town Hall event Thursday evening, which also featured input from medical and public health experts.

    “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I haven’t been able to speak to constituents in person for the past few weeks,” said Murphy. “This Telephone Town Hall was a great opportunity to hear from my neighbors about the challenges they’re facing and offer my assistance in any way I can.”

  • As businesses reopen, Murphy reminds employers of health and safety guidelines

    reopen barber 051420DES PLAINES – As some businesses prepare to reopen during the modified Stay at Home Order, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) seeks to protect employees and consumers by highlighting new employee safety measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

    “It’s great to see business able to reopen, but as we begin that process, we must keep health and safety in mind,” said Murphy. “These simple guidelines are vitally important for protecting employers, employees and shoppers from the spread of COVID-19.”

    At the end of April, Gov. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-32 to provide specific regulations for businesses and workplaces. All employers with workers physically reporting to a worksite must post this guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Office of the Illinois Attorney General regarding workplace safety during the COVID-19 emergency. 

    As businesses begin to reopen, employers will be required to provide face masks for employees who are unable to adhere to social distancing requirements. Businesses must also observe other measures, like limiting occupancy and staggering shifts to ensure workers can maintain six feet of social distancing.

    Other requirements and guidelines for employers to help limit the spread of COVID-19 can be found in this FAQ, issued by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    If your place of work is not adhering to these new guidelines, please report violations to a certified local health department or IDPH. The Office of the Illinois Attorney General is also accepting complaints through their Workplace Rights Bureau at 844-740-5076 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Up-to-date information and resources related to the status of COVID-19 in Illinois can be found at Murphy’s office is currently closed, but her staff is working remotely and responding to calls and emails. With questions or concerns, call 847-718-1110 or visit

  • Murphy: Census responses could help community secure much-needed support

    murphy 021820DES PLAINES – To protect the region’s representation in government and ensure its fair share of federal funding, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) encouraged residents of the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago to fill out the 2020 Census. 

    “Census data is used to determine federal funding for our roads, schools, hospitals and more. Especially during these challenging times, our communities need help to continue providing important services to residents,” said Murphy. “Your response could help our community secure that much-needed support.”

    As of May 11, 73.4% of DuPage County residents had responded to the census, significantly higher than Cook County’s response rate of 58.2%. Both counties have yet to reach their response rates from the 2010 Census.

    Murphy also pointed out that when more individuals respond to the census on their own, fewer census workers must visit households in-person. During the COVID-19 pandemic, that means less risk to the health of census workers and their families.

    The fastest way to respond to the census is by filling it out online at However, individuals can also respond over the phone or by filling out the form they receive in the mail.

    “It only takes 10 minutes to fill out the census,” said Murphy. “If you’ve already completed it, call a family member or neighbor to check if they’ve been counted. Taking that extra step could make all the difference for our community.”

    Individuals can find additional information about the census at To see responses rates across Illinois and the nation, visit

  • Murphy urges contract workers to apply now for unemployment benefits

    murphy 030420 2DES PLAINES – Contract and gig economy workers who believe they may be eligible for new federal benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program should apply for and be denied regular unemployment insurance before applying for benefits under PUA, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced Thursday.

    “It may seem counterintuitive, but you must have your application denied before you can submit a claim through the new PUA program,” said Murphy. “If you think you’ll be eligible for federal benefits, I encourage you to apply as soon as possible to get a head start on that process.”

    If claimants apply for unemployment benefits through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and receive an eligibility determination of $0, they can then submit a claim for PUA benefits. Claimants who have already applied for and been denied regular benefits can submit a claim through the new PUA portal when it opens.

    PUA provides up to 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed for specified COVID-19-related reasons and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program. Independent contractors and sole proprietors are newly eligible for benefits under this program.

    PUA claims will be backdated to a claimant’s first week of unemployment, but no earlier than Feb. 2, 2020, and will continue for as long as the individual remains unemployed as a result of COVID-19, but no later than the week ending Dec. 26, 2020.

    IDES is contracting with Deloitte to run the online PUA program. The department expects the program to launch Monday, May 11, 2020.

    IDES processed over a million initial unemployment claims between March 1 and May 2, nearly 12 times the number of claims the department processed over the same period last year. The number of initial claims has slightly declined over the last two weeks, but the department expects to experience an increase when the PUA program launches.

    “Lots of gig economy workers are struggling at this time, and the current unemployment program doesn’t cover them,” said Murphy. “I hope the PUA program rolls out smoothly and offers some relief to these Illinoisans soon.”

    For more information and to apply, visit the IDES website.

  • Several Senate Democrats urge IDPH to release nursing home PPE distribution numbers

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  • Murphy hosts virtual meeting of over 50 small businesses to help navigate assistance programs

    murphy 012920SCHAUMBURG – To help local business owners navigate state and federal financial assistance programs during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-8th) co-hosted a virtual meeting with the Schaumburg Business Association on Monday, April 27.

    The conversation focused on economic issues facing the small business community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and featured presentations from financial experts, followed by a Q&A.

    “Small businesses strengthen our local economies and make our communities unique. We must do everything we can to help them survive this challenging period,” said Murphy. “I hope business owners came away from this meeting with the knowledge they need to find help.”

  • Murphy urges student loan borrowers to contact providers for relief options

    student loan 042320DES PLAINES – In an effort to provide support to Illinoisans facing unprecedented economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) highlighted relief options that could help nearly 140,000 Illinoisans pay their student loans.

    “Widespread unemployment means that many Illinoisans are struggling to keep up with bills, including student loan payments,” Murphy said. “If you’re facing financial hardship during this time, don’t wait—contact your loan provider now to discuss your options.”

    Under this new initiative, spearheaded by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief.

    Borrowers who need assistance are asked to contact their student loan provider immediately to set up a plan.

    Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

    • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance;
    • Waiving late payment fees;
    • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting;
    • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days; and
    • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

    Those having problems contacting their student loan servicer can contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.

  • Suburban residents eligible for $460,000 to assist with home repairs

    Senator MurphyDES PLAINES – The North West Housing Partnership in Schaumburg has been awarded $460,000 in grant funds to help area homeowners with repairs, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced Monday.

    “People are spending more time at home during the COVID-19 crisis, which makes home repairs all the more urgent,” said Murphy. “Especially during a time when many families don’t have much savings to fall back on, I’m glad to see that there is help available.”

    The North West Housing Partnership, which serves the West and Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, is one of 25 local governments and non-profit organizations in the state to receive funds from the Illinois Housing Development Authority Board of Directors. The group awarded $11 million statewide through the state’s Single Family Rehabilitation Program. The lump sum is projected to help at least 326 low- and very low-income families with necessary home repairs.

    The Single Family Rehabilitation Program provides forgivable loans of up to $45,000 per household to assist with necessary repairs to remove documented health and safety hazards. Eligible repairs include roofing, flooring and plumbing, among others.

    A roof-only option is also available for people who do not need other repairs. Those recipients are offered up to $16,500 to militate against future roof damage.

    “The North West Housing Partnership has already made a difference to so many families in our community. With these funds, they can keep up the good work and help even more households,” Murphy said. “If your home is in need of maintenance, I encourage you to apply.”

    Households can apply for grants by contacting the North West Housing Partnership at 847-969-0561. The organization will walk residents through the application process and explain eligibility.

  • Murphy asks Illinoisans to look out for red flags during Child Abuse Prevention Month

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  • Murphy: Loans, tax deferrals and more assistance available to local businesses during COVID-19 closures

    Sen. Laura MurphySPRINGFIELD – To provide assistance to the many local restaurants and businesses who have closed their doors due to the outbreak of COVID-19, or the new coronavirus, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is sharing information that might help these establishments survive this difficult period.

    “It’s heartbreaking to see so many businesses shuttered and so many working Illinoisans struggling. It’s important that we stop the spread of coronavirus, but the resulting loss of business has been devastating to our communities,” said Murphy. “It’s vital that we offer them resources to provide some help during this uncertain and challenging time.”

  • Murphy wants to cut bureaucracy, break down care barriers for physician assistants

    murphy PA 031220SPRINGFIELD – Illinois is facing a shortage of health care workers, but State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hopes to fill in the gaps by removing unnecessary and outdated practice barriers for physician assistants (PAs).

    “Physician assistants are highly skilled and highly educated, and it would be best for both them and their patients to let them do their jobs,” said Murphy. “Illinois is losing health care workers at an alarming rate. It’s time to remove barriers to care and make them want to stay.”

    Murphy’s proposed legislation would simplify partnerships between physicians and PAs by removing burdensome red tape, like written agreements and practice notifications. These bureaucratic barriers restrict health care access for patients, according to a 2018 study by the Brookings Institution, and eliminating them could significantly improve productivity in the health care industry.

    The measure would also give PAs representation by establishing a PA regulatory board. Physicians and PAs would be able to work together to decide what care services the PA can provide to patients, based on his or her education, training and experience.

    “There are more than 3,000 PAs in Illinois. Everyone has a friend or loved one who has been cared for by a PA,” said Murphy. “They deserve a helping hand, too.”

    Senate Bill 2758 has been assigned to the Senate Licensed Activities Committee.

  • Murphy presents Governor’s Hometown Award to Schaumburg for Monarch Butterfly Initiative

    murphy 031120SCHAUMBURG – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) presented the Governor’s Hometown Award to the Village of Schaumburg in recognition of its Monarch Butterfly Initiative at a ceremony in Schaumburg Tuesday evening.

    “I’m deeply proud to recognize Schaumburg as a recipient of the Governor’s Hometown Award,” said Murphy. “It’s always an honor to represent this community in the Illinois Senate, but projects like the Monarch Butterfly Initiative prove just how special our region is.”

    The Governor's Hometown Awards recognize volunteers for their work in improving their communities. Schaumburg was one of 21 Illinois communities to receive the award this year. The village was also honored with the award in 2014 for its Older Adult Market.

    The Schaumburg Monarch Butterfly Initiative was started by three friends who shared a passion to preserve the iconic monarch butterfly, but it soon grew into a community-wide conservation effort to rescue the official state insect of Illinois from extinction.

    Despite being one of the most recognizable and well-studied butterflies on the planet, monarch butterfly populations are in decline, threatened by herbicides, climate change and human development.

    In just a year, the Monarch Butterfly Initiative team recruited more than 60 volunteers and raised over $3,500 to increase awareness and preserve the species. They worked with the local park district to construct a butterfly rearing and education station, and after 2,300 hours of volunteer work, they have raised and released nearly 600 monarchs.

    “Thanks to this project and other conservation efforts, we will be able to associate this amazing, vibrant insect with our great home state for many years to come,” said Murphy.

  • Applications open for $80 million in local economic development grants

    murphy 021820SPRINGFIELD – Local governments have a shot at $80 million in grants to foster economic development and revitalize infrastructure in their communities, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced Tuesday.

    “A healthy economy starts in our neighborhoods,” said Murphy, who chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government. “These grants will empower local governments to take on projects that will create jobs, lift up communities and make a difference for Illinois families.”

    Through a competitive selection process, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will distribute funding to local governments to support projects that will help generate jobs, expand economic opportunity and encourage new development.

    DCEO has allocated $50 million for public infrastructure investments, $16.5 million for regional economic development projects and $13 million to prepare sites for construction.

    Potential projects include improvements to utility lines and waste disposal systems, land and building acquisition, and architectural planning and engineering design. DCEO emphasizes the importance of projects with long-term economic benefits for the region.

    Altogether, DCEO has made more than $150 million available in Rebuild Illinois funding this year. Other grants offer support for broadband and opportunity zone investments.

    “During the last administration, local projects went unsupported for years, and our Main Streets suffered. It’s time for that to change,” said Murphy. “When we invest in our communities, Illinoisans see benefits close to home, but the whole state gets a boost.”

    Applications for public infrastructure grants must be submitted by June 30, but others will be accepted on a rolling basis. Available grants, project guidelines and application materials can be found here.

    For additional information on these funds, prospective applicants can visit DCEO’s website here. Interested parties can send questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 217-785-6174.

  • Murphy proposes tax breaks for families of Illinois college students

    collegestudents 030520SPRINGFIELD – Illinois college students and their families would be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $2,000 for tuition and fee expenses under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

    “For a working family, the cost of college can really add up,” said Murphy. “This tax credit is a way for us to give a little relief to the students who choose to pursue an education at one of the exceptional institutions Illinois has to offer.”

    Couples making less than $250,000 and single taxpayers making less than $125,000 who claim one or more qualifying students as dependents would be eligible for the tax credit.

    Qualifying students must be Illinois residents under the age of 24 who are currently enrolled at an accredited public or private university, community college, vocational school or other post-secondary educational institution located in the state of Illinois.

    Murphy says this bill is part of a package of legislation aimed at fighting rising tuition costs and encouraging students to remain in the state to pursue higher education.

    “We make investments in our kids from kindergarten through high school, but we watch those investments walk out the door when students choose to continue their education outside of the state,” said Murphy. “I hope this tax credit will encourage Illinois talent to stay in Illinois.”

    Senate Bill 1432 was the topic of a subject matter hearing in the Senate Revenue Committee Wednesday.

  • Murphy proposes tax breaks for families of Illinois college students

    murphy 030420 2SPRINGFIELD – Illinois college students and their families would be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $2,000 for tuition and fee expenses under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

    “For a working family, the cost of college can really add up,” said Murphy. “This tax credit is a way for us to give a little relief to the students who choose to pursue an education at one of the exceptional institutions Illinois has to offer.”

    Couples making less than $250,000 and single taxpayers making less than $125,000 who claim one or more qualifying students as dependents would be eligible for the tax credit.

  • Murphy: Colleges must make it easier for vets and active military to find support on campus

    murphy 030420SPRINGFIELD – Veterans and active service members would be able to use social media to connect with their colleges’ support networks under legislation from State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), which passed the Senate Wednesday.

    “Social media is quickly becoming the primary source of news on college campuses,” said Murphy. “If they posted available support services on their pages, schools could more effectively raise awareness about the resources they offer to veterans and service members.”

    Currently, public colleges and universities must designate one employee to coordinate services for veteran and active military students. The employee’s contact information and a brief summary of their services must be available on the campus’ homepage and promotional mailings for student applications.

    Murphy’s measure would require the information to be available on the institution’s social media accounts as well.

    “College can be tough on any student’s mental health, and even tougher on those who are serving or have served in the military,” said Murphy. “It’s important that we make it easy for these students to get help if they need it.”

    Senate Bill 3069 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House.

  • Murphy, Bertino-Tarrant propose grant programs to offset tuition

    jbt murphy 030320SPRINGFIELD – Rising tuition costs have made higher education inaccessible to many Illinois students, but State Senators Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) hope to put college back within their reach by expanding grant programs for students in need.

    “As high school students begin to explore options for higher education, many are turned off by the rising cost and lack of need-based assistance,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is imperative students who want to get an associate’s degree or certificate have the opportunity to do so without going into debt.” 

    Murphy and Bertino-Tarrant are sponsoring separate measures that would expand grant programs to students entering college.