05022017CM0296SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced legislation through the Illinois Senate today to require insurance companies to cover an MRI if a patient is diagnosed with dense breast tissue, a possible indicator of cancer. Currently, insurance companies are only required to cover an ultrasound in Illinois.

“This is a significant, life-saving step forward for women, and I’m proud to advance it days after thousands of women rallied at the Capitol to support women’s health care,” Murphy said.

Studies show that dense breast tissue can be up to six times more likely to develop cancer. Because cancer is a non-fatty tissue, it can also be harder to detect within dense breast tissue. An MRI can find up to an additional 8 percent of breast cancers not initially detected by a mammogram or ultrasound.

“Experts agree – early detection is vital to giving women the best chance to beat breast cancer,” Murphy said. “Giving women with dense breast tissue, a potential indicator of cancer, the option to consult their doctors and conduct an MRI will save lives.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 314, passed the Illinois Senate unopposed and will now head to the House for consideration.  
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05032017AM5837SPRINGFIELD- In the midst of a year of nearly record gun violence in Chicago, the Illinois Senate passed legislation to require gun dealers to obtain a state license. The license can be revoked or the dealership fined if the dealer is involved with the sale of illegal firearms, similar to laws in place in 26 other states.

 State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) was a co-sponsor of the legislation.

“Every week, kids across the country are being needlessly killed by gun violence. This common sense measure will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and save lives in our own neighborhoods,” Murphy said.

The legislation, backed by the Council Against Handgun Violence and the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, seeks to prevent corrupt gun dealers from selling guns to criminals.

Over the last several years the coalition has found that:

•    17 percent of all gun crimes in Chicago come from just three of the state’s 2,400 gun dealers.
•    40 percent of guns used in crimes between 2009 and 2014 came from Illinois.
•    Of the top 120 firearm dealers that sold guns used in a crime between 1996 and 2000, thirteen dealers were located in Illinois – the second most of any state.

The legislation passed the Illinois Senate and will now head to the Illinois House for consideration.

04262017CM0731SPRINGFIELD- In response to a Park Ridge developer who sued residents for speaking against his potential project, no longer will residents who voice their concerns at public meetings be subject to lawsuits thanks to legislation advanced by state Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“Everyone should be able to express their concerns in a public forum; it’s a fundamental right under the First Amendment,” Murphy said. “Unfortunately, state law is now unclear. This proposal protects the rights of citizens so they no longer will face retribution for standing up for their best interests at a public hearing.”

Because of ambiguity under current law, about 20 residents were named as defendants when the developer filed suit to overturn the commission’s decision to reject the plan.

Murphy’s legislation, Senate Bill 731, passed the Senate 57-0 and will head to the Illinois House for consideration.  

veteransSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced legislation through the Illinois Senate today to prevent disabled veterans from being forced to reapply for the Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption every year.

The exemption is available to veterans with service-related disabilities.  

As of 2015, veterans with a 30 percent - 50 percent disability can receive $2,500 exemption, those with 50 percent - 70 percent receive a $5,000 exemption, and veterans with at least a 70 percent disability are exempt from paying property taxes.

“These property tax exemptions are a small token to show our thanks for making these great sacrifices for our country, but forcing disabled veterans to reapply every year is duplicative,” Murphy said. “My proposal removes the legal barriers that force them to reapply and make their lives just a bit easier.”

Senator Murphy’s legislation, Senate Bill 1437, passed through the Illinois Senate with a vote of 55-0. It will now head to the Illinois House.

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