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SPRINGFIELD – To ensure Illinoisans experience no gap in support during the continued COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is sponsoring a bill to extend a number of state pandemic relief provisions put in place by the General Assembly last May.

“With the vaccine distribution process now underway, there is a light at the end of the tunnel—but the pandemic is by no means behind us, and many Illinoisans are still struggling,” Murphy said. “This bill allows Illinoisans to continue to depend on the relief measures already in place for as long as they are needed.”

The bill allows the secretary of state to delay expiration dates on driver’s licenses and other permits, and gives the Illinois State Police the authority to keep FOID and CCL cards active and valid during the renewal process. Under the legislation, minors under age 16 can also apply for and be issued work permits via a remote application process.

Additionally, the bill contains a provision to ensure state government remains functioning during times of emergency by enabling the General Assembly, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability and the Legislative Audit Commission to convene remotely during a pandemic or threat of attack.

The bill also extends operation of the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, a bipartisan, bicameral commission created last May to monitor and help shape the state’s economic recovery plans after the COVID-19 crisis.

“The commission has made significant progress in ensuring the public has access to state economic relief programs,” said Murphy, the Senate co-chair of the commission. “Over the next few weeks and months, I look forward to working with the executive branch to make sure the people of Illinois are heard when decisions are being made.”

The bill also looks ahead to life after COVID-19. To ensure Illinoisans are prepared to reenter the post-pandemic workforce, the legislation creates a 27-member task force to identify and assess the future of employment in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to recommend programs and supports to help workers adapt to predicted changes in the job market.

Other provisions automatically extend property tax exemptions for people with disabilities, veterans with disabilities and older adults; give local governments more time to complete grant projects; and extend the deadline for local governments to submit pandemic-related expenditures for reimbursement under the Local CURE program.

House Bill 3469 passed the Senate and now heads to the House.

murphy floor2 052120SPRINGFIELD – Members of the bipartisan, bicameral Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission met Tuesday to discuss the commission’s accomplishments and future goals during its final meeting of 2020.

“The RICC was created to help shape the state’s economic recovery plans after the COVID-19 crisis,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), the Senate co-chair of the commission. “We’ve made progress in adapting our recovery strategy to the needs of people, businesses and communities across the state, but there’s much more work to be done."

Representatives from Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Response joined Tuesday’s meeting to discuss the state’s vaccine distribution plan. The commission has met with IDPH several times this year to assess the state’s public health decisions and monitor testing and contact tracing efforts.

Since July, the commission has been joined by representatives from a variety of state agencies to ask questions and offer feedback to help advance the state’s recovery.

Following an August meeting with a panel of school superintendents from across the state, the commission helped procure more concrete public health guidance and metrics for schools as they prepared to begin a new school year during the pandemic. The commission then checked in with the Illinois State Board of Education in October to ensure teachers and students had the support they needed to overcome remote learning challenges.

Representatives from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, as well as local government, labor and business leaders, have also joined the commission over the past five months to provide updates on their agencies’ parts in the state’s recovery.

The commission is set to dissolve at the end of the year, but members are optimistic that the operation of the commission will be extended when the General Assembly reconvenes for the spring legislative session.

“I’m proud of everything the commission has been able to accomplish this year, but to truly put our state on track to recovery, the executive and legislative branches must work together,” Murphy said. “In 2021, I look forward to offering more than just feedback on the governor’s decisions regarding our recovery—it’s time lawmakers are at the table when those decisions are being made.”

03042020CM0991DES PLAINES – To put a stop to price gouging and help more Illinoisans afford life-saving prescription medications, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) co-sponsored a new law that will cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply starting Jan. 1, 2021 for patients on state regulated insurance plans.

“No Illinois family should have to go into debt or skip meals to afford life-saving medications,” said Murphy. “I’m glad to see costs lowered for millions of Illinoisans with diabetes, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the General Assembly to ensure that affordable prescription drugs are available to all.”

On Jan. 1, Illinois will become the second state in the nation to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 per month for all patients using a state regulated insurance plan, regardless of the supply they require.

Over 34 million Americans have diabetes, including 1.3 million Illinoisans, who rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Between 2009 and 2017, the price of insulin nearly tripled, leaving many patients struggling to pay for the drug and at risk of death without it.

The new law also requires the Departments of Insurance, Human Services, and Healthcare and Family Services to jointly issue an "insulin pricing report" to the public that details findings on insulin pricing practices and recommendations to control and prevent overpricing of prescription insulin drugs.

“This law is only the first step in a larger effort to rein in Big Pharma and curb corporate greed,” said Murphy. “It’s past time to put people’s health ahead of financial gain.”

Senate Bill 667, chief sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), passed the General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support in November 2019 and was signed into law in January 2020.

murphyheadshotBy State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines)

I am overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the people in the 28th Senate District. I reached out to the community to assist me in providing cards for folks living in long-term care facilities within the district, and you did not disappoint. I received over 1,000 cards; some were homemade, some made in your classroom or by your own children, others were carefully decorated, and all will raise the spirits of long-term care residents who are unable to be with their families this holiday season.

This pandemic hasn’t been easy on any of us, but it’s been particularly challenging for our older friends, family and neighbors, who are unable to gather with loved ones without significant risk to their health. The holidays can magnify feelings of loneliness and isolation, so it’s especially important that we reach out and let others know we’re thinking of them.

As I’ve learned from my years as a resident, and now as a state senator, the Northwest Suburban community shows boundless generosity and compassion at every opportunity. Yet again, you have stepped up to offer great kindness to those in need, preserving and strengthening the true meaning of the season.

Thanks to your efforts, our neighbors at Plum Creek Supportive Living, Lee Manor Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Asbury Court Senior Living, Alexian Village and Generations at Oakton Arms will enjoy a happier holiday, feeling loved and connected to their communities during this difficult time. You have made an enormous difference.

I continue to be honored to serve as your state senator. Thank you again for your care and thoughtfulness, and may you and your families enjoy a safe, healthy, and very merry holiday season.

Warmest wishes,

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Laura M. Murphy
State Senator | 28th District

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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