Music therapy weekThis week State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) met with local music therapists and advocates Nancy Swanson and Victoria Storm to celebrate music therapy week in Illinois. Music therapy is the clinical use of music interventions to achieve specified goals within a therapeutic relationship. It is used to help patients with emotional, physical, social and cognitive needs. Music therapy can help patients who may struggle to express themselves communicate. Music therapy is a growing field of treatment within the United States.

Sen Murphy with Linda Joseph SB 314SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hopes to increase the rate of early detection of breast cancer in Illinois under a new law she sponsored. Senate Bill 314 requires insurance companies to cover an MRI if a patient is diagnosed with dense breast tissue which can be an indicator of cancer.

“Early detection is a key element in the fight against breast cancer,” Murphy said. “By requiring insurance companies to cover MRIs in patients with dense breast tissue, we are arming doctors with another tool to help them detect breast cancer sooner.”

Studies show that dense breast tissue can be up to six times more likely to develop cancer. An MRI can find an additional 8 percent of breast cancers that go undetected by mammograms and ultrasounds. According to a study by the Illinois Department of Public Health, 26 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Illinois each day.

“I am so grateful that Senator Murphy Sponsored ‘Linda's Law’ - Bill 314,” said Linda Joseph, the constituent who encouraged Murphy to sponsor this legislation. “It is all about educating women about their breast health and being their own advocate.”

“During my annual mammogram, I asked for additional screening as I have dense breasts which make it difficult to detect abnormalities in the breast,” Joseph said. “My radiologist didn't request a second screening, my gynecologist didn't request a second screening - I requested a second screening. My mammogram was ‘perfect’ - the second screening was not. Women with dense breasts need to be aware of the need for second screening whether it is ultrasound, ABUS or MRI as it helps with early detection. Do not be afraid to ask for a second screening. This is your life.”

This law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Senator Murphy on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) issued the following statement on the school funding vote:

“This is a historic moment for the state of Illinois. I am encouraged that the evidence-based school funding plan has passed the General Assembly and is awaiting the governor’s signature. For the first time we have a funding formula that provides fair and adequate funding for students throughout the state.

“However, I could not support some elements in this bill that send a very disingenuous message to taxpayers. This bill gives the false impression of helping middle class families receive a tax credit when in reality it provides tax credits for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. It contains philosophical differences for which I cannot compromise. It takes money away from a state that is sorely in need of every dollar. The state cannot spend money it does not have.”

Senator Murphy presents legislation on the Senate floorUnder a new law co-sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), qualified Illinoisans will be automatically registered to vote or have their existing registration updated when they interact with certain state agencies.

“Automatic voter registration will streamline the registration process and make it easier for eligible citizens to access the ballot,” Murphy said. “I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation that updates and expands our voting rolls.”  

The new law is expected to provide 2 million eligible voters with access to the ballot. It cleans up current voting records by updating registration as Illinoisans move.

Individuals will have the option to opt-out of being registered to vote when they interact with state agencies. The legislation also includes protections to prevent potential abuses and ensures that only qualified applicants are registered.

Illinois is the tenth state to approve automatic voter registration.

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