DES PLAINES – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is encouraging incoming college students to take advantage of a newone-stop-shop to apply for Illinois colleges and universities.

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“Applying to multiple colleges can take hours of entering the same information into numerous websites and end up costing hundreds of dollars,” Murphy said. “With Common App, applying to college just got easier.”

Incoming students applying to college will now be able to submit applications to any of Illinois’ 12 public universities and dozens of private institutions using just one form on commonapp.org. Once a student makes a Common App account, they will be asked to confirm which schools they’d like to apply to and review the admission requirements for those schools. They’ll then submit their application on the website, where they’ll be able to track its status.

Low-income students and their families can apply for a waiver to help cover the application cost. Over the last two years, more than 470,000 students using Common App across the country were granted a fee waiver.

“Common App will make the process of applying to college less tedious and stressful,” Murphy said. “It breaks down barriers to higher education for low-income students, giving them a better chance at success.”

The expansion of Common App comes thanks to $1 million set aside in partnership with the governor’s office, Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois General Assembly.

DES PLAINES – As winter weather quickly approaches, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) recommends families take advantage of no- and low-cost ways to reduce their energy bills. 

Wintertime. Winter background with  thermometer in the snow on frosty day.

Northern Illinois has seen more frequent severe and destructive cold weather due to climate change in recent years. The region has experienced extreme cold, ice storms and snowfalls that constantly set new seasonal records. In response, ComEd is investing in projects to ensure that the energy grid is ready to reliably meet the energy needs of families and businesses.

”Energy sustains the operation of businesses and allows our families to comfortably endure Illinois’ winters,” Murphy said. “Because major storms and extreme temperatures can disrupt the energy grid, it is imperative that we continue to search for innovative ways to withstand the elements.” 

The economic difficulties presented by the pandemic bring forth added challenges to Illinois families during the winter months. To further help northern Illinois residents, ComEd is offering a range of programs to help customers pay their electric bills, including flexible payment options, financial assistance for past-due balances and usage alerts for current bills. 

All Illinois residents should also implement these no- and low-cost tips to help reduce their energy costs during the winter months:

  • Lower manual or programmable thermostats 7-10 degrees during the winter months when leaving the home for eight hours or more to save up to ten percent of heating costs
  • Change filters every three months at minimum, and if the filter looks dirty, change it sooner. Dirty filters will slow down airflow and make the system work harder, wasting energy.
  • Replace conventional incandescent holiday lights with LEDs
  • Get a free home energy assessment, receive rebates on qualifying Energy Star® appliances and smart thermostats and save with in-store discounts through ComEd 

ComEd customers experiencing hardship should call ComEd at 1-800-334-7661, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or visit the ComEd website to learn more and enroll in a program. Customers in financial need can also contact the nearest CEDA agency to apply for assistance or call at 800-571-2332. 

All residents of Illinois are encouraged to prepare for winter weather according to Illinois Emergency Management Agency guidelines as well. Visit https://bit.ly/3BLpY02 for more general winter weather preparedness tips.

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced a measure out of the Senate Tuesday to eliminate red tape and modernize health care delivery by making it easier for physicians and physician assistants to serve people with immediate medical needs.

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“Our medical professionals have faced unprecedented stress the past year, and it’s not slowing down,” Murphy said. “We must ensure we can reduce the bureaucratic obstacles our health care workers face so our hospitals can be fully staffed and ready to help people in need.”

Murphy’s proposed legislation would simplify partnerships between physicians and PAs by removing burdensome red tape, like written agreements and practice notifications. These bureaucratic barriers restrict health care access for patients, according to a 2018 study by the Brookings Institution, and eliminating them could significantly improve productivity in the health care industry.

The PA profession is tied for seventh on the list of fastest-growing occupations in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in the industry is expected to grow 31% by 2029.

"Illinois has the health care infrastructure necessary to benefit from the predicted growth in the PA industry—but first, we must break down these bureaucratic practice barriers and show our PAs we support them in their jobs,” Murphy said.

Senate Bill 145 passed the Senate Tuesday and now heads to the House for final approval.

DES PLAINES – Residents will be able to learn more about the property tax appeal process and how to lower their property tax bill at an upcoming workshop co-hosted by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

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Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Michael Cabonargi will lead the workshop, which will take place at 6 p.m. onThursday, Oct. 28 at the Des Plaines Library, located at 1501 Ellinwood St.

“High property taxes are the number one issue I hear about from residents,” Murphy said. “We’re working on long-term property tax reforms in Springfield, but to provide some relief in the meantime, residents should consider appealing their property tax assessment to potentially lessen their tax burden.”

Residents are asked to bring their second installment property tax bill to the workshop, and to have their property index number on hand for reference.

Face masks will be required at the event, but an outdoor table will be set up for residents uncomfortable gathering indoors.

For more information about filing an appeal, including online appeal options and filing deadlines, residents can visit CookCountyBoardOfReview.com/Cabonargi.

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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