vaccine vialsDES PLAINES – The Cook County Health Department has 16,000 available appointments for residents looking to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is reminding those eligible they can book their dose at the community vaccination site located in the repurposed Kmart in Des Plaines.

“The vaccine is our best defense against COVID-19, and it’s the fastest way we can return to normal,” Murphy said. “For yourself, for your family and for your community—I urge you to make an appointment as soon as you are eligible to receive the vaccine.”

Starting Wednesday, March 24 at noon, the Cook County Health Department is opening county-run sites to people eligible in Phases 1A, 1B and 1B+—that includes residents age 65 and older, front-line essential workers like teachers and police, and people under 65 with underlying medical conditions, such as cancer or kidney disease.

For residents of the Northwest Suburbs, the closest county-run vaccination site is located in the former Kmart at 1155 E. Oakton St. in Des Plaines. The site opened in early March with support from the Illinois National Guard.

All vaccinations are by appointment only. Appointments can be made at or by calling 833-308-1988 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday.

03162021HAO0170SPRINGFIELD – To ease feelings of stress, anxiety and burnout on college campuses in Illinois, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) has sponsored a new initiative to create an online resource hub geared toward campus mental health.

“As the parent of a college freshman, I know higher education presents a number of unique stressors,” Murphy said. “It’s important that those experiencing mental health conditions have easy access to targeted support.”

The legislation would require the Department of Human Services to maintain a resources 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.

“We know college students suffer high levels of stress and anxiety, but many people aren’t aware that faculty and staff experience similar pressures,” Murphy said. “With the pandemic taking an additional toll on everyone’s mental health, now is the time to make sure our campus communities know help is available.”

Senate Bill 1786 passed the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee and now heads to the full Senate.

03232021HAO0152SPRINGFIELD – To ensure the state is doing its part to keep roadways safe for pedestrians, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) backed legislation to require the Illinois Department of Transportation to look more closely into traffic accidents on state highways that result in the death of a pedestrian.

“Illinoisans deserve to be able to walk to school or work, go for a run, or simply take a stroll around their neighborhood safely,” Murphy said. “If we can identify problem areas on our state highways, we can implement solutions that will save lives.”

The legislation would require IDOT to conduct a traffic study after any fatal pedestrian accident at the intersection of a state highway. The study would include a rundown of potential methods to improve safety at the site, such as design improvements and traffic control devices. The results of each study would be publicly accessible via IDOT’s website.

Murphy was inspired to sponsor the legislation following a series of three fatal accidents in just two years on Miner Street, between Pearson Street and Graceland Avenue, in Des Plaines.

After four people were hospitalized following two separate accidents two hours apart at the location, police conducted a sting operation: Officers in plainclothes walked across the crosswalk and if drivers failed to yield, they were issued a citation. Within a six-hour period, 20 citations were issued.

“With the right safeguards in place, fatal accidents can often be prevented,” Murphy said. “We owe it to those lost and their families to look into accidents and find ways to avoid further tragedy.”

Senate Bill 1791 passed the Transportation Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate.

03232021HAO0132SPRINGFIELD – To allow local governments to undertake grant projects when the time is best for their community, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) introduced a measure to give park districts more time to complete projects funded through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant program.

“As communities recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, local governments are getting back on track with their long-term project goals,” Murphy said. “Our park districts are best positioned to decide when it makes sense for their community to start taking on new projects again.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD grant program, provides an advance payment of 50% of the grant value upon awarding the grant. 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 has 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 requests by grant recipients to extend the deadline on the use of grant funds.

“Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic will take time. This legislation will ensure that park districts’ hard-earned grant funding will still be available when they’re ready to tackle new projects,” Murphy said.

Senate Bill 321 passed the Local Government Committee Tuesday and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

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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