03032020HAO0719DES PLAINES – To protect the region’s representation in government and ensure its fair share of federal funding, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) encouraged residents of the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago to fill out the 2020 Census.

“Census data is used to determine federal funding for our roads, schools, hospitals and more. Especially during these challenging times, our communities need help to continue providing important services to residents,” said Murphy. “Your response could help our community secure that much-needed support.”

As of May 11, 73.4% of DuPage County residents have responded to the census, significantly higher than Cook County’s response rate of 58.2%. Both counties have yet to reach their response rates from the 2010 Census.

Murphy also pointed out that when more individuals respond to the census on their own, fewer census workers must visit households in-person. During the COVID-19 pandemic, that means less risk to the health of census workers and their families.

The fastest way to respond to the census is by filling it out online at www.my2020census.gov. However, individuals can also respond over the phone or by filling out the form they receive in the mail.

“It only takes 10 minutes to fill out the census,” said Murphy. “If you’ve already completed it, call a family member or neighbor to check if they’ve been counted. Taking that extra step could make all the difference for our community.”

Individuals can find additional information about the census at www.2020census.gov. To see local responses rates across Illinois and the entire nation, visit www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us.

11142018CM1153DES PLAINES – Contract and gig economy workers who believe they may be eligible for new federal benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program should apply for and be denied regular unemployment insurance before applying for benefits under PUA, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced Friday.

“It may seem counterintuitive, but you must have your application denied before you can submit a claim through the new PUA program,” said Murphy. “If you think you’ll be eligible for federal benefits, I encourage you to apply as soon as possible to get a head start on that process.”

If claimants apply for unemployment benefits through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and receive an eligibility determination of $0, they can then submit a claim for PUA benefits. Claimants who have already applied for and been denied regular benefits can submit a claim through the new PUA portal when it opens.

PUA provides up to 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed for specified COVID-19-related reasons and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program. Independent contractors and sole proprietors are newly eligible for benefits under this program.

PUA claims will be backdated to a claimant’s first week of unemployment, but no earlier than Feb. 2, 2020, and will continue for as long as the individual remains unemployed as a result of COVID-19, but no later than the week ending Dec. 26, 2020.

IDES is contracting with Deloitte to run the online PUA program. The department expects the program to launch Monday, May 11, 2020.

IDES processed over a million initial unemployment claims between March 1 and May 2, nearly 12 times the number of claims the department processed over the same period last year. The number of initial claims has slightly declined over the last two weeks, but the department expects to experience an increase when the PUA program launches.

“Lots of gig economy workers are struggling at this time, and the current unemployment program doesn’t cover them,” said Murphy. “I hope the PUA program rolls out smoothly and offers some relief to these Illinoisans soon.”

For more information and to apply, visit the IDES website.

I have heard from numerous nursing home workers and administrators in my community that adequate protective personal equipment (PPE) has been unavailable to staff during the COVID-19 crisis. The distribution system isn't providing these workers with the protection they need to do their jobs safely.

This news is deeply concerning to me. The staffs in our nursing homes are an enormous asset to the state. They have bravely stepped up to care for some of our most vulnerable residents— our aging parents, friends, and loved ones— during this outbreak.

We must ensure they feel as safe as possible on the job. That's why I joined my colleagues to request information from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) regarding the amount of Personal Protective Equipment that has been distributed to those nursing homes and the process by which it was distributed.

Here's our message:

PPEforNursingHomes

PPEforNursingHomes p2

PPEforNursingHomes p3

01282020CM0501SCHAUMBURG – To help local business owners navigate state and federal financial assistance programs during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-8th) co-hosted a virtual meeting with the Schaumburg Business Association on Monday, April 27.

The conversation focused on economic issues facing the small business community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and featured presentations from financial experts, followed by a Q&A.

“Small businesses strengthen our local economies and make our communities unique. We must do everything we can to help them survive this challenging period,” said Murphy. “I hope business owners came away from this meeting with the knowledge they need to find help.”

It was the second virtual meeting Murphy has hosted with local businesses during the pandemic. The first attracted nearly 40 business owners.

Jonathan McGee, Assistant Deputy Director for Regional Economic Development at the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity, discussed the $60 million Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund. Bo Steiner, District Director of the Illinois office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, was also on hand to explain the grant and loan opportunities that are available to struggling businesses in Illinois under the federal CARES Act.

“State and federal assistance programs can help small businesses get back on their feet after this pandemic,” said Murphy. “I’m glad to have given our local business owners the chance to learn more.”

Business owners who were unable to attend the meeting can get the information discussed by contacting Murphy’s office at 847-718-1110 or www.senatorlauramurphy.com/contact-us.

Murphy regularly updates her Facebook and Twitter with information about the COVID-19 outbreak, including resources available to businesses.

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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