04202021CM0120DES PLAINES – During the first full legislative session since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) made it a priority to give homeowners, students, business owners and other Illinois residents the support they need to make a full recovery.

“The past year wasn’t easy on anyone,” Murphy said. “It’s important that we lend a helping hand to those in need, so we can all move forward from the pandemic together.”

Especially for residents on fixed incomes, property taxes can be a heavy financial burden—with many households still reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic, Murphy took action to give homeowners more options for relief. Her new law expands eligibility for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral program through 2025, allowing older homeowners to stay in their homes and in the state.

Murphy also fought to improve resources for small business owners, monitoring state relief programs as head of the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission. The commission originally sunset on Dec. 31, 2020, but in light of the continuing challenges of the pandemic, Murphy passed legislation extending the operation of the commission by two years to Jan. 1, 2023.

Through the commission, Murphy and other members of the General Assembly provided feedback to state agencies to guide recovery efforts moving forward, helping craft the more streamlined, accessible $250 million Back to Business grant program introduced in August.

“After a particularly tough year, it was important that we offer more opportunities for financial relief,” Murphy said. “Creating new programs and expanding access to current ones will allow Illinoisans to maximize their savings in a time when money could be tight.”

Murphy also took steps to reduce costs for students at Illinois colleges and universities, strengthening an existing law to crack down on retiring administrators who exploit loopholes in the law by receiving massive payouts, or “golden parachutes,” after leaving their positions, even in cases of declining university performance under their leadership.

Lawmakers passed the Government Severance Pay Act in 2018 to limit the amount paid in university severance packages, but some administrators found ways around the law—and students and families were still footing the bill. Murphy’s new law strengthens the act by expanding the definition of severance pay and defining limits on compensation to ensure schools spend with student interests in mind.

Murphy also sponsored House Bill 332 in the Senate this year, which aims to help students save money on textbooks by creating a task force charged with researching ways colleges and universities can save students money on course materials, such as by increasing digital access to required texts.

“Education is key to recovery for Illinois families and the state as a whole,” Murphy said. “Cutting down on costs at our state colleges and universities will reduce the burden on students and help them move forward with confidence.”

Murphy also sponsored laws this year to protect mobile home owners, keep pedestrians safe on state highways, safeguard students against cybersecurity threats and more. A full list of the legislation Murphy has sponsored is available on the Illinois General Assembly website at ILGA.gov.

Constituent SurveyDES PLAINES – In nearly six years in the General Assembly, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) has sponsored countless laws resolving issues brought to her office by constituents. To continue serving the evolving needs of the 28th District, Murphy is launching a new online survey and inviting residents to share their input.

“My top priority as a legislator is solving real problems facing people in our community,” Murphy said. “Your government should work for you—I want to hear your concerns and take action to address them.”

Topics covered in the survey include K-12 and higher education, veterans affairs, small business, property taxes and government accountability.

“My office strives to be accessible—we are always available by phone or email,” Murphy said. “If there’s an issue you care about that isn’t included on the survey, please reach out.”

Residents can complete the survey at www.SenatorLauraMurphy.com/2021survey. To offer input on topics not included in the survey, residents are encouraged to contact Murphy’s office at 847-718-1110 or www.SenatorLauraMurphy.com/contact-us.

Energy Transition Act FBSPRINGFIELD – A plan to revamp Illinois’ energy industry and put the state on track to renewable electricity production has passed the General Assembly with support from State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), who said the groundbreaking legislation makes Illinois a national leader on fighting climate change while empowering current and future employees in the energy industry.

“Climate change threatens our health, our homes and our way of life. For the sake of our children’s and grandchildren’s futures, we need bold strokes,” Murphy said. “This landmark plan makes historic investments in local jobs and homegrown renewable energy generation to put Illinois at the forefront of the green energy movement.”

The historic plan would set Illinois on a path toward 50% renewable energy by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. New workforce training programs would help prepare current power plant employees for long-term, good-paying careers in the green energy industry.

The comprehensive measure also would create a number of safeguards for Illinois’ energy consumers, helping lower costs and increase utility company accountability. For example, it would formally empower the Illinois Commerce Commission to investigate ComEd – and any other utility companies found guilty of criminal behavior – and impose penalties that could include returning money to customers. It also would ban the practice of charging “convenience fees” for customers who prefer to pay using debit or credit cards rather than enrolling in auto-pay or direct bank transfers.

“It’s time to put people—not utility companies—first,” Murphy said. “Illinois is showing the rest of the nation what’s possible when it comes to climate action and clean energy.”

Senate Bill 2408 now awaits the governor’s signature.

Energy Transition Act FBSPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans could soon be able to count on clean and reliable energy to power their homes under Senate Bill 18, also known as the Energy Transition Act, a plan State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) says will put the state at the forefront of the nationwide race toward renewable electricity production:

“The Energy Transition Act represents not only the largest investment in renewable energy in Illinois history, but also the most innovative clean energy agreement in the nation.

“We’re taking bold steps to decarbonize our energy sector by 2050 in a way that protects and creates jobs, divesting from imported power from other states and investing in homegrown renewable energy every Illinoisan can depend on.

“This plan puts the people of Illinois above corporate interests, laying the foundation for thousands of good-paying jobs, long-term economic development, and a brighter, healthier, more equitable future for our children and grandchildren.”

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Office Info

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

District Office:
1645 South River Road, Suite 7

Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
(847) 718-1110