DES PLAINES – To ensure college students can afford the tools they need to excel in the classroom, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) passed a law in the spring to create a task force dedicated to making textbooks and other course materials more affordable. On Monday, Murphy was appointed as one of its members.

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“Far too often, students don’t buy a textbook because they can’t afford it – which puts them at a disadvantage in the classroom and beyond,” Murphy said. “The task force will enable all students – regardless of income – to get the much-needed college supplies that will lead them to success in and out of the classroom.”

Murphy created the task force during the spring legislative session with the passage of House Bill 332. The group will research ways to save students money on course materials, examine digital learning materials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and publish its findings online.

Using these findings, the task force will identify best practices for colleges and universities with an eye toward improving affordability, ensuring access to required course materials by the first day of class, and securing better outcomes for students—especially minority, low-income and first-generation students.

“As students look into their higher education options, they should not feel deterred by the high price of textbooks,” Murphy said. “Anyone who wants to go to college should be able to.”

The rest of the members of the Course Materials Equitable Access and Affordability Study Task Force will be selected in the weeks to come and begin its meetings.

DES PLAINES – On the surface, the decline of the COVID-19 pandemic has put Illinoisans on track toward normalcy. However, more than 400,000 people are still facing housing insecurity, and State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hopes the new Housing Help emergency rental and utility assistance program can ease the burden so many are still facing.

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“As the federal and state eviction moratoriums come to an end, thousands of people across the state are continuing to struggle to find ways to keep a roof over their head,” Murphy said. “No person should have to face stress of the pandemic on top of the fear of losing their housing.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinois Housing Development Authority recently announced a new program to provide financial assistance to Illinoisans who are unable to pay their rent and utilities due to COVID-19 economic hardships.

IDHS’ Housing Help program can cover up to 12 months in rent and/or utilities for people who lost income, had an increase of medical bills or faced additional substantial child care costs during the pandemic.

“We can’t let our neighbors feel alone and afraid,” Murphy said. “Winter is approaching and families need the peace of mind that they won’t be without heat, or worse – without a home.”

People struggling to pay their rent or utilities should visit https://www.illinoisrentalassistance.org/providers to find a community-based agency in the area to help, or call the Suburban Cook County Call Center at 877-426-6515 for help. For further assistance, people can call Murphy’s office at 847-718-1110.

DCEO B2B DES PLAINES - State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) congratulated the five businesses in the 28th Legislative District that have already received $150,000 in Back to Business grants and encouraged more small business owners to apply.

“We created the Back to Business grant program to help our vibrant small business community recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Murphy said. “We know that necessary health restrictions and people’s cautions about going to enclosed public spaces have hurt many company’s bottom lines, and we want to do all we can to help. If your business still needs assistance, it’s not too late to apply!”

The businesses in the 28th District that have successfully received grants illustrate the diversity of the area’s economy and how many different enterprises are eligible for the B2B program. They include:

The B2B program is distributing $250 million in grants to businesses that brought in $20 million or less in 2019 and that sustained a documented revenue reduction in 2020. Grants range between $5,000 and $150,000 for all industries except hotels, which have higher allowable revenue and grants.

Priority is given to businesses in hard-hit industries, in hard-hit areas, and with revenues less than $5 million, as well as businesses that have not yet received any government assistance.

Interested business owners and managers can learn more and apply on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website. The final deadline to apply is Oct. 13.

Sen Murphy Oct. 8 Flu Shot ClinicDES PLAINES – With flu season fast approaching, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is encouraging residents to protect themselves from illness by getting their annual flu shot at a pop-up clinic next week.

Murphy has partnered with AMITA Health and the Des Plaines Park District to offer free flu shots Friday, Oct. 8 from 9-11 a.m. at the Prairie Lakes Community Center, located at 515 E. Thacker St. in Des Plaines.

“Our health care facilities are still overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, and hospital beds are limited—that means it’s all the more important to protect yourself this flu season,” Murphy said. “Getting your annual flu shot is the quickest and easiest way to prevent a bad case of the flu.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that millions of people get seasonal flu every year. For most people, the flu is mild, but it can be very serious and even cause death. Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get an annual flu shot to protect themselves and others from influenza.

Walk-ins are welcome, but space is limited, so interested residents are asked to pre-register online at AMITAHealth.org/PrairieLakesFluClinic or by calling 855-692-6482.

For residents with Medicare Part B, the cost will be covered with presentation of a Medicare card. All other patients, including those with insurance, should bring a valid ID and can fill out a fee waiver on site to get their flu shot at no cost.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:

1645 South River Road, Suite 7
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
 (847) 718-1110