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.

Deputy Chief Jogmen awardState Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) recognized Park Ridge Deputy Chief of Police Lou Jogmen for his work to promote rail safety, which recently earned him the national Green Cross for Safety Advocate Award.

“Deputy Chief Jogmen showed great leadership on this initiative and the inaugural Illinois Rail Safety Week,” Murphy said. “He is a shining example of the Park Ridge community, and I am honored to present him with this Illinois State Senate Certificate of Recognition for his work to promote public safety.”

The National Safety Council, a nonprofit that works to eliminate preventable deaths, presented the award to Jogmen this summer. This national award is given each year to one person who substantially influenced a safety issue using evidence-based practices and data to raise awareness and prevent further injuries and deaths.

“Unfortunately, despite all of the good work being done, Illinois traditionally found itself near the top of the list of states with regard to injuries and deaths on or near our railroads,” Jogmen, who has worked for the Park Ridge Police Department for nearly 24 years, said.

“The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee set out to bring awareness to this issue and to improve the rail safety culture in Illinois by partnering with stakeholders and communities throughout the state, including my home community of Park Ridge.”

Jogmen is the Traffic Safety Committee chairman for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. He led the first Illinois Rail Safety Week in 2014, the model of which has since been used to promote awareness of distracted driving.

“The growing success of Illinois Rail Safety Week demonstrates how Illinois law enforcement can come together around a serious issue,” Jogmen said.

“It also serves to illustrate that Illinoisans are committed to making our state safer and stronger. I am happy to accept this recognition on behalf of the members of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee and all of those individuals who have worked so tirelessly throughout Illinois to help keep our residents safe around our railroads.”

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to protect individuals who speak out at public zoning appeal hearings from being sued was recently signed into law. Senate Bill 731 expands provisions regarding reviews of zoning board of appeals decisions to all municipalities, not just Chicago.

Senator Murphy on the Senate floor“Community members have a right to voice their opinions at zoning hearings without fear of being sued,” Murphy said. “Community input is an important aspect of zoning decisions. This legislation strengthens freedom of speech protections in reviews of zoning board of appeals decisions.”

Senate Bill 731 clarifies that only the zoning board of appeals and applicants that come before the board are considered a “party of record.” The legislation also states that notice must be provided to participants in a zoning hearing of their ability to intervene.

“I hope this law encourages more people to voice their concerns without fear of reprisal,” Murphy said.  

This legislation was developed following a constituent inquiry. It goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

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