01282020CM0501SPRINGFIELD – To allow schools to prepare for a fall semester against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) supported a new law giving students and teachers much-needed guidance and flexibility to face challenges related to the pandemic.

“The pandemic revealed a real lack of resources in many Illinois schools. If our state is still facing the COVID-19 threat this fall, we have to be prepared to respond in a way that prioritizes safety without sacrificing students’ education,” said Murphy. “This new law gives our education system some help adapting to this ‘new normal.’”

The education package contains a number of measures to offer help to teachers and students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a one-year extension for educator license renewals to allow teachers to postpone the renewal process until they can return to their classrooms.

The legislation also enables students to take mandatory tests remotely, so they don’t have to risk getting sick in order to take exams they need to apply for college.

A number of provisions relate to higher education during the pandemic. Under the new law, any grade of “pass,” “credit,” or “satisfactory” during the public health emergency is transferable and will fulfill prerequisite requirements for more advanced college courses.

The bill also modifies the state's AIM HIGH education grant program to stabilize tuition for scholarship recipients during these uncertain times.

“We hope kids will be able to return to physical classrooms this fall, but we have to be prepared in case that isn’t a safe option,” said Murphy. “These measures will help keep our schools on track, no matter what the future holds.”

Senate Bill 1569 was signed into law Thursday.

03282019CW0215DES PLAINES – Small businesses and independent contractors struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for one-time, zero-interest loans through the Cook County Community Recovery Fund, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced today.

“Our communities are beginning to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak, but the past few months have been devastating to the restaurants, shops and nonprofits that make our neighborhoods unique,” said Murphy. “These funds are a way for the county to offer support to businesses that are especially vulnerable at this time.”

The $10 million Community Recovery Fund offers loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses and up to $10,000 for independent contractors. The program will serve suburban Cook County businesses with fewer than 25 employees and less than $3 million in annual revenue, or independent contractors with less than $100,000 in yearly income who earn at least 50% of their revenue from contracting work.

Self-employed independent contractors, like rideshare drivers and other gig industry workers, who reside in South Suburban Cook County are also eligible to apply.

“With so many business owners hurting, $10 million is just a start,” said Murphy. “But these funds may provide some relief while we work to come up with other ways to offer assistance to our small business community.”

Online applications for the loans in Spanish and English are available now through June 17, 2020. To find additional information and apply, visit www.cookcountyil.gov/recovery

042216 js 0182SPRINGFIELD – As the state begins a staggered reopening process during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) was glad to see funding set aside for businesses affected by closures in this year’s state budget, signed into law today.

“Our small businesses not only create jobs and stimulate the local economy—they make our communities unique,” said Murphy. “It’s important that we support them as they reopen after weeks of pandemic-related closures and begin the tough recovery process.”

The state budget for the 2021 fiscal year sets aside more than $600 million in funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Specific funds have been allocated for daycare providers and businesses in underserved communities.

To help workers get back on their feet until businesses can reopen, the Department of Employment Security will receive nearly $60 million in additional funding to help address challenges with the unemployment system.

Murphy also highlighted features of the budget that aim to support middle class Illinoisans more broadly, like the preservation of funding for K-12 and higher education, as well as an $871.8 million increase in funding to human services agencies providing aid to seniors, children and families across the state.

“Illinois unemployment is at a record high, but I hope these funds will give business owners, workers and their families the support they need to recover from pandemic-related losses as our state begins to reopen,” said Murphy.

The budget is contained in Senate Bill 264. The governor signed it into law Wednesday, and it takes effect July 1.

TelecomDES PLAINES – With millions of Illinoisans out of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) encourages residents to take advantage of a new online career training program for jobs in the information technology industry.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our workforce particularly hard,” said Murphy. “As the state begins to recover, the Workforce Recovery Initiative could help Illinoisans return to the job market with new, in-demand skills and find a great career.”

Partnering with Coursera, an online learning platform, Illinois is one of the first states to make online job training courses free to residents through their Workforce Recovery Initiative. Now through September residents can apply online to enroll in over 3,800 industry-certified courses offered by accredited institutions. To receive credit, all courses must be completed by Dec. 31.

If you are interested in career opportunities outside the information technology industry, Get Hired Illinois is an online job portal that has over 60,000 listings available in a variety of industries.

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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