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.

03162021HAO0167SPRINGFIELD – As college-bound seniors receive their acceptance letters and prepare for the fall semester, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is seeking to create a task force dedicated to making textbooks and other course materials more affordable.

“After a year of remote learning and working, we have all become more familiar with the advantages of digital resources like e-books,” Murphy said. “As we look ahead to recovery, it’s important that we find out how these resources can supplement current initiatives like subscription and rental programs to help reduce the financial burden on college 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.

“For working families, the cost of course materials—on top of tuition and other fees—can be a barrier to higher education,” Murphy said. “This task force can help schools make sure they are offering convenient, accessible and affordable ways for students to get the supplies they need to learn.”

Senate Bill 101 passed the Senate Wednesday and now heads to the House.

01102021CM0105SPRINGFIELD – In a victory for Illinois student athletes of all personal, cultural and religious backgrounds, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) has advanced legislation to give student athletes more flexibility in the design of their athletic uniforms.

“Some team uniforms prevent athletes from feeling confident and accepted on the field, or even from being able to compete at all,” Murphy said. “Allowing athletes to adjust their uniforms according to their needs can give more students the chance to have fun, stay active and be part of a team.”

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.

“We should celebrate, not punish, the diversity of students competing on school sports teams,” Murphy said. “Athletic uniforms are meant to inspire a sense of unity among players—this legislation ensures every athlete can share in that team spirit.”

Senate Bill 1784, an initiative of the IL Muslim Civic Coalition, passed the Senate Wednesday 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