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.

MRImaachineSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced legislation through a key Senate committee 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.  

“I’m proud to fight to expand women’s access to healthcare the day after thousands of women marched on behalf of their healthcare at the Capitol,” 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.  

“Early detection is crucial to giving women the best chance possible to fight breast cancer,” Murphy said. “This will give doctors an additional tool to help find and combat cancer.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 314, passed the Senate Insurance Committee and will now head to the full Senate for consideration.

plannedparenthoodSPRINGFIELD – President Trump this week signed into law legislation to allow states to withhold family planning funds from women’s healthcare providers, such as Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this year, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) joined with her colleagues in the Senate Public Health Committee to block legislation that would have made it more difficult for women to have access to health care from advancing.  

“These actions taken by President Trump are just another example of an attempt to strip away women’s access to health care,” Murphy said. “I remain committed to stopping President Trump and his extremist proposals that will set women’s health care decisions back decades.”

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