03232021HAO0132SPRINGFIELD – To give parents the peace of mind that videos of their students at school won’t be shared with unauthorized parties, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced legislation out of the Senate Thursday to remove the video recording requirement from the Illinois edTPA teacher licensing assessment.

“Uploading videos of children to a third-party vendor poses a cybersecurity risk, threatening kids’ privacy, and in some cases, their safety,” Murphy said. “It’s time to explore more secure ways to assess our student teachers’ performance.”

The legislation would establish student teachers cannot be required to videotape themselves or their students in order to earn a license.

Currently, student teachers in Illinois must record themselves and their students on video to pass the edTPA, an assessment required for their teaching license. The video is then uploaded and sent to a third-party vendor for evaluation. The edTPA requires just two short segments of video, but student teachers are encouraged to record hours of footage to choose from.

The legislation would still allow teacher education programs to videotape for in-house teaching purposes, and licensed teachers and administrators could still film students in order to gain National Board Certification or for training, sporting events or promotional purposes.

“Aspiring educators shouldn’t have to put their students at risk to gain a license,” Murphy said. “This legislation takes an important step in protecting children’s privacy.”

Senate Bill 808 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House.

03162021CM0164SPRINGFIELD – To provide targeted support to college students and staff in Illinois, an initiative sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to create an online resource hub geared toward campus mental health passed the Senate Wednesday.

“The challenges of higher education can take a toll on the entire campus community,” Murphy said. “This initiative would provide students and professors alike an easy-to-access website listing all available resources to help manage stress, anxiety and depression.”

The legislation would require the Department of Human Services to maintain a page on its website with mental health resources specifically tailored to post-secondary education institutions, their staff, students and families.

Currently, DHS provides digital brochures and links on its website of helpful tools for those who may be dealing with a mental health concern. However, the website does not contain provisions directly targeted to post-secondary education and its communities.

“Balancing classes, exams, extracurricular activities and home life can sometimes feel overwhelming,” Murphy said. “It’s critical that our campus communities know there are resources available to help support them through these hardships and come out stronger.”

Senate Bill 1786 passed the Senate and now heads to the House.

03162021HAO0170SPRINGFIELD – With the vaccine effort underway but COVID-19 cases still on the rise, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced a measure out of the Senate Wednesday to give the legislature a voice in the reopening process by reinstating the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission.

“When the state was first grappling with the pandemic, the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission gave lawmakers the chance to offer input and communicate feedback from their constituents,” Murphy said. “Our work isn’t over yet. It’s time to reinstate the commission so we can help guide Illinois to a full recovery.”

Murphy’s proposal would reenact the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, a bipartisan, bicameral commission created last May to monitor and help shape the state’s economic recovery plans after the COVID-19 crisis.

The commission met from July through December 2020, joined by representatives from a variety of state agencies to ask questions and offer feedback to help advance the state’s recovery.

The commission originally sunset on Dec. 31, 2020, but in light of the continuing challenges of the pandemic, Murphy’s initiative would extend the operation of the commission by two years to Jan. 1, 2023.

“Over a quarter of Illinoisans are fully vaccinated, but the recent rise in positivity rates is a reminder that we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Murphy said. “It’s critical that legislators have a say in all decisions being made as our state moves forward.”

Senate Bill 632 passed the Senate and now heads to the House.

04202021CM0325SPRINGFIELD – To reduce property tax burdens for more Illinois homeowners, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced a measure out of the Senate Wednesday to raise the maximum income limitations for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral and the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption.

“The past year was particularly hard on older Illinoisans, and as a result, many are struggling to make ends meet,” Murphy said. “Expanding eligibility for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral and the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption can help lift some of that burden.”

Starting this year, Murphy’s measure would raise the maximum income limitation for the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption from $65,000 to $75,000 for Illinoisans 65 and older living outside Cook County. Starting next year, the new, higher limit would apply statewide.

The legislation would also raise the income limit for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Act, bringing it in line with the homestead exemption to simplify the process for low- and moderate-income older residents seeking relief.

“Homeowners shouldn’t have to wade through complicated income tables and eligibility requirements to find out if they qualify for relief. This legislation brings the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral and the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption in line with each other to simplify the process,” Murphy said.

Senate Bill 2244 passed the Senate and now heads to the House.

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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