Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater ChicagoThe Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is accepting applications for their 2019 Sustainability Summit Awards. The two award categories are "Sustainable Landscaping" and "Biosolids Beneficial Reuse".

Applicants are eligible for the 2019 Sustainable Landscaping Award by demonstrating an innovative use of green infrastructure, capital investment and how an individual or organization promotes green landscaping to educate the community.

Applicants are eligible for the 2019 Biosolids Beneficial Reuse Award by using Exceptional Quality (EQ) Biosolids. You can learn more about EQ Biosolids here.

If you know an individual, organization and/or business that is eligible for either award you can nominate them here. The application deadline is Sunday, Sep. 15.

Senator MurphyCHICAGO – During today’s Senate Higher Education Committee’s hearing on transitional pay for university administrators, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) criticized the practice of administrators leaving their positions and receiving their full salary despite poor performance.

“This is a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars,” said Murphy. “We need to be good fiscal stewards of our state’s education system, and sending often-times disgraced administrators off with a fat check is utterly reckless.”

Public university administrators are able to resign from their post and receive “golden parachute” severance packages that are equal or similar to their entire salary, in many cases despite a worsening performance of the university. Many administrators are rehired by their university as professors and earn significantly more than other faculty.

The latest administrator to come under scrutiny for this practice is Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas who resigned in June 2019. Thomas is to receive his full six-figure salary and benefits for two years. Student enrollment at Western fell by over 40 percent during Thomas’ tenure as president.

Lawmakers passed the Government Severance Pay Act in 2018 to limit the amount paid in university severance packages, however, the law only applies to new contracts.

During the hearing, State Senator Murphy suggested amending the Government Severance Pay Act to apply to all university contracts and that the Illinois Attorney General look into taking preventative legal action.

CyclistsDES PLAINES – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) recently announced a $152,700 grant to construct a .15-mile bridge and bike path that will provide accessibility for Des Plaines cyclists between two popular parks.

“This path will give cyclists a safe space to ride and provide families with new ways to enjoy our local parks,” said Murphy. “I’m happy to see the state making meaningful investments that will positively affect public health and make our community more appealing for prospective residents."

The .15-mile expansion will connect Cumberland Terrace Park and Des Plaines Manor Park.

“Bike path projects are excellent investments in safe transportation, creating jobs, boosting local economic development efforts, and improving local and regional recreation opportunities,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Trails are great places for bike riders, hikers, joggers and families to enjoy spending time outdoors in our beautiful state.”

Funds for this new trail, now named the Cumberland Terrace Park Bike Path, come from the Bicycle Path Grant Program administered by Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). These grants are intended for the acquisition of land or development of facilities for bicycle paths. The Bicycle Path Grant Program was approved by the Illinois General Assembly in 1989, and funding comes from a percentage of motor vehicle title fees.

Combined with previous years’ funding, IDNR has awarded grants that have helped develop nearly 1,000 miles of local government bicycle trails in Illinois since 1990.

Illinois Environmental Council ScorecardSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) released its annual Environmental Scorecard this week giving State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) a 100 percent rating.

“I stand with the Illinois Environmental Council in taking action on climate change, fighting for clean air and water, and protecting our open spaces in my district and across our state,” said Murphy. “I’m 100% in for the environment, and my voting record reflects that.”

The 2019 Environmental Scorecard includes 22 legislative measures. Specific priorities from this year’s Scorecard include:

  • SB9: Coal Ash Pollution Prevention (Support)
    • Already signed by Gov. Pritzker, this bill creates a regulatory framework for closure of toxic coal ash sites, requiring polluters—not communities—to cover the cost of clean-up.
  • HB3481: Kyoto Protocol Act Repeal (Support)
    • Recently signed by Gov. Pritzker, this bill repealed Illinois’ antiquated 1998 adoption of the Kyoto Protocol Act that prohibited the state from regulating carbon and taking meaningful action against climate change.
  • HB2076: BPA Receipts Ban (Support)
    • Passing both chambers without opposition, this bill prohibits the manufacture and distribution of paper with toxic BPA for banking or business records.
  • HB2425: Removing Endangered Species Protection (Oppose)
    • Failing to pass, this bill jeopardized endangered species by eliminating certain requirements for permits and limiting the state’s ability to protect species.

“At every opportunity, Senator Murphy voted in the best interest of our environment, and because of her 100% voting record on these 22 key pieces of legislation, IEC considers Senator Murphy an environmental leader in Springfield,” said IEC Executive Director Jen Walling. “We are honored by Senator Murphy’s dedication to Illinois’ environment and we look forward to working together in the future.”

A total of 50 state legislators received an award for their voting record during the 2019 legislative session. IEC releases its scorecard in August of each year.

Find Your Legislator

O'Hare Air Traffic Complaint Form

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
880 Lee St. Suite 100
Des Plaines, IL 60016

 (847) 718-1110