041923KP1831.JPGSPRINGFIELD – In order to protect the freedom of allowing people to read, State Senator Laura Murphy championed legislation to prevent the banning of books.

“The First Amendment protects more than just our right to speak, it includes the right to access resources from libraries that are free from censorship driven by partisan or doctrinal disapproval,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “These coordinated campaigns to censor books stand as a direct affront to the principles our country was founded upon.”

Under this measure, a library or library system must adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights or develop a written statement prohibiting the practice of banning books or materials in order to be eligible for state grants.

Nationally, the number of attempts to ban books has been rising, with 681 attempts involving more than 1,600 titles throughout the U.S. in 2021, according to the ALA. Seven states have passed laws to impose restrictions on libraries, including Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida and Utah. If passed, Illinois would become the first state in the nation to ensure intellectual freedom for all across the state.

“Our libraries are an invaluable resource for our communities. They offer so much more than just books, including community services, classes, and resources,” Murphy said. “Attacks on libraries start with banning books, but it can escalate into something so much worse.”

House Bill 2789 passed the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday. It now goes to the Senate floor for further deliberation.

010523CM0241SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy passed a measure through the Senate that would ensure that Illinoisans in need of insulin have affordable access to the life-saving medicine by capping the price at $35.

“Too many lives have been lost because they could not afford the rising costs of insulin,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “No family should need to choose between purchasing medication or putting food on their table.”

In addition to capping the price of insulin, Murphy’s measure would require the Department of Public Health to establish an insulin discount program. The program would allow participants to purchase insulin at a discounted rate.

Approximately 1.3 million Illinoisans have insulin-dependent diabetes. Insulin prices have continued to increase since the early 2000s, leaving many people to forgo the life-saving medication.

“Life-saving maintenance medications like insulin are taken for a lifetime, and they should be affordable to everyone who needs them,” said Murphy.

Senate Bill 1559 passed the Senate and now heads to the House for further deliberation.

033023CM0307SPRINGFIELD – To raise awareness of Lyme disease, one of the most underreported and dangerous vector-borne diseases, State Senator Laura Murphy is creating the Lyme Disease Innovation Program.

“I hope that by bringing forth this proposal more people will learn how to spot tick bites and the symptoms of Lyme disease,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “Illinoisans need to know the dangers of this disease.”

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms include fever, headache and skin rash. If Lyme disease is not treated, the infection can spread to the heart, nervous system and joints.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30,000 Americans report being infected with Lyme disease each year, but there could be as many as 300,000 cases annually as it is vastly underreported.

Senate Bill 1803 would create the Lyme Disease Innovation Program. This program will be appropriated by the Lyme Disease Awareness Fund, which will be financed through the sales of Lyme disease Awareness Stamps for Off-Highway Vehicles, and will raise awareness of the disease through community-based education to encourage people to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent worsening effects.

“Lyme disease can be treated if caught early,” Murphy said. “Lyme disease does not only affect hikers and hunters. People can also become infected in their homes by mice carrying infected ticks.”

Senate Bill 1803 passed the Senate on Wednesday it now goes to the House for further deliberation.

032423CM0425.JPGSPRINGFIELD – To address the growing need for direct support professionals, State Senator Laura Murphy passed legislation to provide college students with hands-on training and experience in the field.

“Direct Support Professionals help disabled individuals realize their full potential, that is why it is vital to help remove barriers to entering the workforce,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “The pandemic exacerbated the shortage of disability staff members, and we need to develop programs that help students get the experience they need to enter this workforce.”

Through this legislation, the Illinois Community College Board would be required to create a model program of study for college students to receive class credit that incorporates the training and experience necessary to serve as direct support professionals. If adopted, the program would begin in the 2026-2027 academic year.

According to a 2022 survey of Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities members, 28% of providers are unable to accept new patients and 72% of providers have delayed service expansion due to staffing shortages.

“Hands-on training will provide college students with the experience they need to feel confident when they enter the workforce,” Murphy said. “Working as a Direct Support Professional is a truly rewarding experience as they allow our disabled population to engage with their community.”

Senate Bill 1558 passed the Senate Friday and now heads to the House for further deliberation.

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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