03042020CM0991SPRINGFIELD – Illinois college students and their families would be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $2,000 for tuition and fee expenses under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“For a working family, the cost of college can really add up,” said Murphy. “This tax credit is a way for us to give a little relief to the students who choose to pursue an education at one of the exceptional institutions Illinois has to offer.”

Couples making less than $250,000 and single taxpayers making less than $125,000 who claim one or more qualifying students as dependents would be eligible for the tax credit.

Qualifying students must be Illinois residents under the age of 24 who are currently enrolled at an accredited public or private university, community college, vocational school or other post-secondary educational institution located in the state of Illinois.

Murphy says this bill is part of a package of legislation aimed at fighting rising tuition costs and encouraging students to remain in the state to pursue higher education.

“We make investments in our kids from kindergarten through high school, but we watch those investments walk out the door when students choose to continue their education outside of the state,” said Murphy. “I hope this tax credit will encourage Illinois talent to stay in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 1432 was the topic of a subject matter hearing in the Senate Revenue Committee Wednesday.

03032020HAO0719SPRINGFIELD – Veterans and active service members would be able to use social media to connect with their colleges’ support networks under legislation from State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), which passed the Senate Wednesday.

“Social media is quickly becoming the primary source of news on college campuses,” said Murphy. “If they posted available support services on their pages, schools could more effectively raise awareness about the resources they offer to veterans and service members.”

Currently, public colleges and universities must designate one employee to coordinate services for veteran and active military students. The employee’s contact information and a brief summary of their services must be available on the campus’ homepage and promotional mailings for student applications.

Murphy’s measure would require the information to be available on the institution’s social media accounts as well.

“College can be tough on any student’s mental health, and even tougher on those who are serving or have served in the military,” said Murphy. “It’s important that we make it easy for these students to get help if they need it.”

Senate Bill 3069 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House.

03032020CM0713SPRINGFIELD – Rising tuition costs have made higher education inaccessible to many Illinois students, but State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hopes to put college back within their reach through an expansion of a college grant program to offer assistance to eligible students at public universities in the state.

“A college degree can give someone the chance to change their lives for the better, but the cost of tuition makes that impossible for many students from working families,” said Murphy. “The University of Illinois paved the way with their Illinois Promise program, and it’s time that all Illinois students benefit from that idea.”

The legislation would expand the University of Illinois’ grant program to all public schools in the state. The expanded Illinois College Promise program would provide grant assistance for up to four years to eligible students who stay in Illinois, keep their grades up and work 10-12 hours per week.

To be eligible to receive a grant through the Illinois College Promise program, a student must:
•    be under 24 years of age;
•    have attended and graduated from an Illinois high school;
•    have been admitted as a new freshman or new transfer student;
•    have an expected family contribution of $0 as determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid;
•    have total family assets that are less than $50,000; and
•    be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours during the fall or spring semester.

The student and his or her parents or guardians must also be residents of Illinois.

“Illinois is losing lots of talented students because tuition costs are just too high,” said Murphy. “This program will make sure our world-class institutions stay cost-competitive with the schools in nearby states.”

Senate Bill 3770 was part of a subject matter hearing on college affordability in the Senate Higher Education Committee Tuesday.

03282019CW0215SPRINGFIELD – After a weeklong water shortage at a mobile home park in her district, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is taking action to ensure that residents can count on the owners of their parks to maintain livable conditions.

Last winter, residents of the Blackhawk Estates mobile home park in unincorporated Des Plaines were unable to shower, do laundry or wash dishes after pipes froze, cutting off access to clean running water across the park.

“Water is a vital resource. During the situation in Blackhawk Estates last year, people couldn’t cook, perform household tasks or care for their pets. Without water, their homes became unlivable,” said Murphy. “I want to make sure that it never happens again.”

If the normal water supply in a mobile home park is disrupted for more than five days, Murphy’s proposed legislation would make park owners responsible for providing enough clean water to residents to provide for food and drink, basic hygiene, and cooking needs. The park owner would be required to continue the supply until water services are restored.

Bronwyn Russell, a resident at Blackhawk Estates, experienced the water shortage in 2019. She explained that water quality and access have been longtime issues in the park.

“We have so many water main breaks, we’re laughing that we should start keeping a bucket by the toilet just so we can flush it,” Russell said.

Russell said that residents are often forced to wait in long lines to fill up water bottles at the supermarket. Management has been unresponsive to her complaints.

Murphy says that stories like Russell’s are too common among residents of mobile home parks, especially parks that are managed remotely.

“Typical mobile home parks aren’t ‘mom-and-pop’ operations anymore. Park owners might not live in—or even near—the park, but residents still rely on them to uphold a basic standard of living,” said Murphy. “This ensures that access to clean water is included in that standard.”

Senate Bill 3436 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and now heads to the full Senate.

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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