052020210081SPRINGFIELD – Local park districts would have more time to complete projects funded through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program under a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), which has passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on many local governments’ development plans, and some are still working to get back on schedule,” Murphy said. “I’m thrilled to see the Illinois legislature come together to give park districts the support, flexibility and time they need to recover at their own pace.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD grant program, provides an advance payment of 50% of the grant up front. State law requires grantees to complete projects within two years of receiving grant funds, meaning that park districts have just two years after this advance payment to complete projects.

The legislation Murphy proposed would allow park districts to opt out of advance payments on OSLAD grants, delaying the start of the two-year grant timeline and giving them more authority over when to begin projects.

In addition to allowing park districts more freedom on future projects, Murphy’s initiative would also provide more flexibility on active grant projects by directing IDNR to consider recipients’ requests to extend deadlines.

“Helping our communities grow and thrive—on a timeline that fits their needs—is a bipartisan issue,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to have my colleagues’ support on this initiative, and I hope to see the governor sign the measure into law soon.”

House Bill 1760 passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support.

052621HAO00442SPRINGFIELD – More students will be able to represent their schools comfortably and confidently under a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to give students more flexibility in the design of their athletic uniforms, which has passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature.

“Some athletic uniforms can be a barrier to students who want to compete for their school. The simple addition of long sleeves, leggings or a head scarf can make all the difference for diversity and inclusion on the team,” Murphy said. “The passage of this legislation shows kids across the state that we stand with them—no matter their background.”

Murphy’s proposed legislation would enable student athletes at public K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and community colleges in Illinois to modify their athletic or team uniform to be in accordance with their cultural values, modesty standards or religion.

From youth sports to the Olympics, athletes of faith have often had to request special permission to wear modified uniforms, such as longer hems, headscarves and jerseys with sleeves. Safety is often cited as the concern against modest uniforms, but thanks to recent advancements in performance apparel, more breathable, low-profile sportswear options now allow athletes of all backgrounds to compete safely and confidently.

“Every student deserves the chance to stay active and have fun alongside their friends and teammates,” Murphy said. “I’m proud to see this legislation open the door for more students to pursue a sport that could become a lifelong hobby—or even a profession.”

House Bill 120, an initiative of the IL Muslim Civic Coalition, passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support.

OHare International Airport USGSRDES PLAINES – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) invites local governments and members of the public to submit comments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the proposed Airport Terminal Area Plan and changes to air traffic procedures at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

“Many members of the community stand to be affected by operational changes at O’Hare Airport,” Murphy said. “It’s important that every voice is heard during the planning process.”

The FAA is preparing an Environmental Assessment to analyze actions proposed by the Chicago Department of Aviation, including terminal projects, in-airport hotels, airfield and taxiway improvements, and support facilities.

The Environmental Assessment will determine whether the proposed projects have the potential to significantly affect various environmental resources, such as noise, air quality, water resources and historic facilities.

Government agencies, local officials and community members are encouraged to participate in the scoping process to provide input for the Environmental Assessment. Detailed descriptions of the proposed projects are available here.

The FAA is accepting comments via:

  • Web: http://www.faa.gov/airports/great_lakes/TAPandATEA
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Voicemail: (847) 294-7354
  • Mail: Ms. Amy Hanson
    Federal Aviation Administration
    2300 E. Devon Ave.
    Room 320
    Des Plaines, IL 60018

Comments must be submitted by July 9, 2021.

052521HAO00648SPRINGFIELD – To ensure Illinois college students can afford the tools they need to learn, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) has advanced legislation to create a task force dedicated to making textbooks and other course materials more affordable.

“The school year is over, and many recent high school grads are preparing for college—and the financial stresses that often come with it,” Murphy said. “It’s time to examine ways our schools can lift some of that burden for students and their families.”

The legislation would create the Course Materials Equitable Access and Affordability Study Task Force, which would research ways to save students money on course materials, examine digital learning materials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and publish its findings online.

Using these findings, the task force would identify best practices for colleges and universities with an eye toward improving affordability, ensuring access to required course materials by the first day of class, and securing better outcomes for students—especially minority, low-income and first-generation students.

“No student should have to skip buying a textbook because they can’t afford it,” Murphy said. “This task force will ensure every college kid in Illinois can get the most out of their courses.”

House Bill 332 advanced out of the House in April and passed the Senate Tuesday without opposition.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:

1645 South River Road, Suite 7
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
 (847) 718-1110