murphySPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) released its 2018 Environmental Scorecard this week. State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plains) has been honored with a perfect voting record. A total of 21 state senators received an award for their voting record during the 2018 legislative session. “Senator Laura Murphy demonstrated a commitment to environmental issues in Springfield this session,” said IEC Executive Director Jen Walling.

The 2018 Environmental Scorecard included numerous legislative measures.  Specific priorities from the Scorecard include:

●  SB2298: Industrial Hemp Act
○  This bill brings new opportunities to farmers as well as benefits to soil by opening new initiatives for sustainable agriculture.
●  SB2773: Renewable Energy Financing
○  This measure enhances the property-assessed clean energy (PACE) program by allowing Illinois to help communities access fund for clean energy projects.
●  HB4790: Use of Compost
○  This legislation increases the use of compost in transportation projects and helps create a market for compost use in Illinois.

“Senator Laura Murphy voted 100% of the time with the environmental community on nine pieces of key legislation,” added Walling. “The IEC is honored by Senator Murphy’s dedication to Illinois’ environment and we look forward to working together in the future.”

IEC releases its scorecard in August of each year.

030216 js 0254DES PLAINES —Mid-sized convention centers will continue to benefit from a state grant which helps them compete with other states under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“This legislation is designed to spur tourism, economic activity and competition with convention centers in other states,” Murphy said. “Hosting conventions helps local hotels, restaurants and retail merchants. I am pleased that Illinois will benefit from another four years of this grant and hope to see increased economic growth around our convention centers.

House Bill 4990 extends the Municipal Convention Center and Sports Facility Attraction Grant until 2022. Through this program, mid-size convention centers can receive up to $200,000 in reimbursements for incentivizing business. This legislation applies to convention centers in: Schaumburg, Lombard, Tinley Park, Peoria, Springfield, Collinsville, Quincy, the Quad Cities and Rockford.

“My district has already greatly benefited from this program,” Murphy said. “I encourage mid-size convention centers across the state to take advantage of this grant and apply for funding.”

The grant is funded through the Tourism Promotion Fund, housed within the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. This law takes effect immediately.

Senator Murphy questions tollway officialsAt the urging of State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), the Senate Transportation Committee convened a subject matter hearing on Tuesday morning in Chicago to discuss potential irregularities in Tollway procurement.

Illinois Deputy Chief Procurement Officer Jan Morrow, Tollway Director Liz Gorman and Tollway Chief of Procurement John Donato testified on procurement policies for engineering contracts and how proposals are reviewed.

“This was a good start to the conversation,” Murphy said. “We discussed the nuts and bolts of how contracts are awarded, but I’d like to see more transparency in the process. When politically connected organizations are awarded contracts, it erodes public confidence.”

The hearing was called following the award of a $6.6 million subcontract to Morreale Communications which was tacked onto an engineering contract. The CEO of Morreale is married to Republican State Representative Michael McAuliffe.

Though the Tollway contended that Morreale Communications disclosed the potential conflict of interest, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) remarked that it is important to avoid the impression of a conflict of interest, which can be just as undermining.

During the hearing, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) questioned some work Morreale was performing, such as writing speeches for the chairman of the Tollway, when the Tollway employs an 11-member communications staff. Donato testified that he believes Tollway communications staff’s budget is $1.6 million annually.

The Tollway was also under fire for a $157 million contract with Omega and Associates, a company which employs the children of Tollway executives. The firm has also contributed to board members’ charities.

“I’ll keep asking questions about these contracts and the award process,” Murphy said. “I believe the Tollway owes a transparent process and efficient use of funds to the public.”

Murphy tours AmadaEarlier this week, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) toured the Amada America Inc. facility in Schaumburg with Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Shinsuke Sugiyama and Consul General Naoki Ito.

“I am excited about the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Japan and to work collaboratively to promote job growth in Illinois,” Murphy said.

The Japanese ambassador is touring facilities across the Midwest as a part of his Grassroots Caravan. Amada has a 133,000 square foot facility in Schaumburg, which showcases its advancement in laser cutting, automation and manufacturing.

“Schaumburg is an excellent place to live and work,” Murphy said. “Schaumburg District 54 has great schools that offer dual-language and immersion programs in Japanese, Spanish and Chinese, making this community a prime location for global business opportunities. ”

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
307 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
1645 South River Road, Suite 7

Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
(847) 718-1110