Manufacturing equipment 107SPRINGFIELD – Football season may be over, but the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) and State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) are gearing up for a different kind of championship. The IMA has launched “Makers Madness,” a bracket-style tournament to determine which Illinois product receives the title of “Coolest Thing Made in Illinois,” and Murphy encourages Illinoisans to participate by nominating their favorite products before the nomination period closes on Feb. 24.

“Nearly 600,000 Illinoisans work in manufacturing, but lots of people aren’t aware of all the great products that are made right here in the state,” said Murphy. “Makers Madness is a fun way to get people interested in what Illinois has to offer.”

The tournament is designed to highlight the many different products manufactured in Illinois, ranging from pinball machines to macaroni and cheese.

The IMA also hopes the competition will call attention to the range and quality of manufacturing jobs available in the state. The Illinois manufacturing industry generates more than $304 billion in economic output and accounts for 12% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product.

The product nomination period will close on Feb. 24, and voting to narrow the field will begin on Feb. 26. Weekly matchups of the top 16 products will follow. Makers Madness culminates in an awards ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion on April 1, when the winning product will be named the Coolest Thing Made in Illinois. All voting will take place on the contest website.

“It’s going to be tough for me to decide which Illinois product I think is the ‘coolest,’” said Murphy. “I’m excited to learn about all the products that are made in Illinois.”

murphyheadshotBy State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines)

Thousands of Illinoisans depend on insulin to keep them alive. However, the market is dominated by a small group of big pharmaceutical companies that have been accused of charging too much for their insulin products.

That is why I co-sponsored Senate Bill 667, a bill from Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) that requires pharmaceutical companies to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs for qualifying diabetics at $100 for a one-month supply.

I am proud to say that the legislature passed the bill and Governor Pritzker signed it into law. Good news for diabetic patients, to be sure.

But not long after we passed the bill, one of the industry players ran a full-page ad in the Tribune, addressing the problem of insulin costs and offering a solution: limiting the monthly cost of prescription insulin to less than $100. The ad failed to mention that the cap is in fact a requirement under the law I co-sponsored.

In reality, pharmaceutical giants caused the insulin access problem in the first place by charging greatly inflated prices. They had a choice to relieve the financial burden on people with diabetes and their families, and instead, they chose to keep charging through-the-roof prices. For years, they chose to put their gargantuan profits over the desperate needs of so many patients.

Corporations pat themselves on the back, touting their charity and compassion without acknowledging the real motivation behind their forbearance: hard-fought legislation. I feel I must remind these companies that they could have capped insulin costs voluntarily at any time. Instead, they chose to continue gouging patients until the passage of SB 667 forced them to stop.

Although I am grateful to see more Illinoisans able to afford their life-saving medications, I can’t help but think that the people of Illinois deserve the truth—not corporate propaganda.

And the truth is that SB 667 is just the start of an effort to curb Big Pharma greed. During session this spring, I plan to introduce other initiatives designed to cut the cost of prescription medicine for Illinois consumers, including a bill to prohibit “Pay-To-Delay,” when pharmaceutical companies pay off generic drug manufacturers to delay the sale of much cheaper generic drugs, enabling the big companies to continue charging patients exorbitant amounts for many life-saving medicines. Schemes like these—which put consumers’ health at risk for financial gain—must come to an end, and I don’t trust corporations to make that change voluntarily.

The $100 monthly insulin cap is very good news for Illinoisans with diabetes. Now we must expand this effort to rein in Big Pharma and ensure that affordable prescription drugs are available to all. No Illinois family should have to choose between accessing their medications and paying for food or rent.

Murphy Signature 200w

 

 

 

Laura M. Murphy

State Senator, (D) 28th District

CUB Event 650wSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) will join the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and the Sierra Club later this month to host a presentation and Q&A session to help consumers explore alternative energy options and lower their utility bills.

The event is free and open to the public, and will take place on Feb. 24 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Park Ridge Public Library, located at 20 S. Prospect Ave. in Park Ridge.

“Lots of people could be saving money on their utility bills, but just aren’t aware of their options,” said Murphy. “I’m hoping that this event will help families find some financial relief. Even a few dollars a month can make a huge difference.”

At the event, Tim Milburn of the Northwest Cook County Sierra Club will give a short presentation on the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a piece of legislation that aims to ramp up renewable energy development in Illinois while saving consumers money and creating jobs.

Experts from CUB will also discuss how to avoid unnecessary utility costs and the benefits of cutting the cable cord. Residents are encouraged to bring their electric and cable bills to compare costs.

“Renewable energy sources are great for the environment, of course, but they can also be easier on your wallet,” said Murphy. “I hope people come away from this event having learned that.”

Murphy encourages those who are interested to register for the event online. For more information, contact Murphy’s office at 847-718-1110 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Construction trainingSPRINGFIELD – People interested in a career in construction can receive training and other assistance through HIRE360, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced Friday.

“This program is a great opportunity for people to get the help they need to start on the path to a well-paying, lifelong career,” said Murphy. “If you’re looking to enter the union workforce, this is a great way to get your foot in the door.”

Chicago developers, general contractors, local labor unions and the United Way of Metro Chicago partnered to create HIRE360, a program that empowers underrepresented individuals to pursue union careers.

The program offers test preparation, funds to buy needed supplies for apprenticeships, job referrals and more assistance to those interested in union construction careers.

Although HIRE360 currently only offers job services in the construction industry, the program plans to expand to other unionized fields, like manufacturing and hospitality sectors, in the coming months.

“Unemployment in Illinois is at a record low, and businesses are looking for workers,” said Murphy. “Going through a career training program like this would put you ahead of the pack.”

Interested candidates can sign up for construction trades readiness training with HIRE360 here.

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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