BudgetQuote Murphy2021 1SPRINGFIELD – After months of negotiations with lawmakers, state agencies and other stakeholders, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is calling the state’s final budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year a win for students and working families:

“As we work toward a full recovery from the pandemic, it’s crucial that Illinois spends—and saves—smart. Every dollar represents a down payment on our state’s future.

“By closing loopholes and cutting back on unnecessary expenses, we were able to keep our promise to public schools and increase evidence-based funding by $350 million, making critical investments in K-12 education in a way that reduces the tax burden on local property owners.

“I’m proud to have helped craft a balanced budget that makes our full required pension payment, supports the middle class and spurs economic growth in all our communities. We’ve weathered the challenges of the past year—now it’s time to build back better.”

05302021CM1178SPRINGFIELD – To increase transparency at all levels of government and ensure elected officials are held accountable for their actions, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) championed a measure to overhaul ethics laws in Illinois.

“Illinoisans deserve to be able to trust their government again,” Murphy said. “These long-overdue changes can help restore transparency and accountability to our state government, and begin to build back the public’s confidence.”

The legislative package includes numerous provisions to strengthen ethics laws surrounding economic interest disclosure, lobbying, campaign finance and compensation, including:

  1. Prohibiting elected officials from lobbying other units of government for entities that lobby them;
  2. Creating a statewide lobbyist database that requires those lobbying state, county, municipal or township governments to be registered and disclosed;
  3. Barring elected officials in the General Assembly and officers in the executive branch from lobbying for firms registered to lobby the legislative or executive branches;
  4. Forbidding local elected officials from lobbying for firms registered to lobby their own unit of government;
  5. Establishing a six-month cooling-off period for executive branch elected officials and legislators becoming lobbyists;
  6. Closing the Consultant Loophole by requiring individuals who may not directly communicate with officials and staff, but who help develop strategies to influence executive or legislative officials or staff to register with the database;
  7. Banning in-person or virtual fundraisers anywhere in the state on a session day or the day before a legislative session day;
  8. Prohibiting salaried appointees who are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate from serving as officers for political committees;
  9. Authorizing the Executive and Legislative Inspectors General to initiate investigations independently, without the advance approval of their respective ethics commissions;
  10. Enacting a clearer, more streamlined Statement of Economic Interest disclosure system; and
  11. Pro-rating the salaries of General Assembly members who leave office prior to the end of their term.

“Government officials should serve the people—not their own financial interests,” Murphy said. “This legislation is a good first step, but I will continue pushing for reform to bring us closer to the ideals Illinois was founded on.”

Senate Bill 539 passed the Senate with unanimous support and now awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

052020210081SPRINGFIELD – Local park districts would have more time to complete projects funded through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program under a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), which has passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on many local governments’ development plans, and some are still working to get back on schedule,” Murphy said. “I’m thrilled to see the Illinois legislature come together to give park districts the support, flexibility and time they need to recover at their own pace.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD grant program, provides an advance payment of 50% of the grant up front. State law requires grantees to complete projects within two years of receiving grant funds, meaning that park districts have just two years after this advance payment to complete projects.

The legislation Murphy proposed would allow park districts to opt out of advance payments on OSLAD grants, delaying the start of the two-year grant timeline and giving them more authority over when to begin projects.

In addition to allowing park districts more freedom on future projects, Murphy’s initiative would also provide more flexibility on active grant projects by directing IDNR to consider recipients’ requests to extend deadlines.

“Helping our communities grow and thrive—on a timeline that fits their needs—is a bipartisan issue,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to have my colleagues’ support on this initiative, and I hope to see the governor sign the measure into law soon.”

House Bill 1760 passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support.

052621HAO00442SPRINGFIELD – More students will be able to represent their schools comfortably and confidently under a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to give students more flexibility in the design of their athletic uniforms, which has passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature.

“Some athletic uniforms can be a barrier to students who want to compete for their school. The simple addition of long sleeves, leggings or a head scarf can make all the difference for diversity and inclusion on the team,” Murphy said. “The passage of this legislation shows kids across the state that we stand with them—no matter their background.”

Murphy’s proposed legislation would enable student athletes at public K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and community colleges in Illinois to modify their athletic or team uniform to be in accordance with their cultural values, modesty standards or religion.

From youth sports to the Olympics, athletes of faith have often had to request special permission to wear modified uniforms, such as longer hems, headscarves and jerseys with sleeves. Safety is often cited as the concern against modest uniforms, but thanks to recent advancements in performance apparel, more breathable, low-profile sportswear options now allow athletes of all backgrounds to compete safely and confidently.

“Every student deserves the chance to stay active and have fun alongside their friends and teammates,” Murphy said. “I’m proud to see this legislation open the door for more students to pursue a sport that could become a lifelong hobby—or even a profession.”

House Bill 120, an initiative of the IL Muslim Civic Coalition, passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support.

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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