03232021HAO0132SPRINGFIELD – To allow local governments to undertake grant projects when the time is best for their community, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) introduced a measure to give park districts more time to complete projects funded through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant program.

“As communities recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, local governments are getting back on track with their long-term project goals,” Murphy said. “Our park districts are best positioned to decide when it makes sense for their community to start taking on new projects again.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD grant program, provides an advance payment of 50% of the grant value upon awarding the grant. 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 has 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 requests by grant recipients to extend the deadline on the use of grant funds.

“Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic will take time. This legislation will ensure that park districts’ hard-earned grant funding will still be available when they’re ready to tackle new projects,” Murphy said.

Senate Bill 321 passed the Local Government Committee Tuesday and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

03162021HAO1294SPRINGFIELD – Residents of mobile home parks could see improved financial transparency and more dependable clean water access under two measures proposed by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“There are a number of mobile home parks in the Northwest Suburbs and surrounding communities. Our friends and neighbors live in these parks, and they need someone to advocate on their behalf,” Murphy said. “These initiatives are meant to increase transparency for mobile home buyers and improve conditions in mobile home parks.”

A loan for a mobile home located in a mobile home park is different from a mortgage: Mobile homes are assessed and taxed as personal property, not real estate; interest rates are often much higher than those for typical home loans; and refinancing options are limited. To ensure residents are well informed when purchasing a mobile home, Senate Bill 1779 would require lenders to disclose these differences to prospective mobile home buyers.

Murphy has also introduced Senate Bill 1780, which calls for the owner of a mobile home park to provide water to residents if the normal water supply has been disrupted for more than three days. Murphy was inspired to introduce the legislation after a weeklong water shortage in 2019 at the Blackhawk Estates mobile home park in unincorporated Des Plaines, which left residents unable to shower, do laundry or wash dishes.

“Mobile home owners are part of our community,” Murphy said. “Like any other property owner, they deserve to know the terms of their loan agreements, and they deserve to be able to depend on a basic standard of living.”

Senate Bills 1779 and 1780 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday and now head to the full Senate.

03162021CM0164SPRINGFIELD – Residents of long-term care facilities could avoid burdensome red tape and administrative delays in receiving their prescribed medications under a measure proposed by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to exempt these individuals from the four-prescription limit imposed on Medicaid patients.

“For residents of long-term care facilities, whose drug regimens are regularly reviewed, prior authorization requirements are often just an unnecessary hoop to jump through,” Murphy said. “Removing this barrier would allow patients to get the care they need more quickly and efficiently.”

The legislation would exempt residents in long-term care facilities, community-integrated living arrangements, supportive living facilities, and intellectual and developmental disability care facilities from having to request prior authorization when prescribed more than four medications.

Nearly 92% of older adults have at least one chronic condition and 77% have at least two, according to the Illinois Association of Long Term Care Pharmacy Providers. That often results in many long-term care facility residents regularly being prescribed more than four prescriptions.

Federal law mandates that a patient in a long-term care facility has his or her drug regimen reviewed at least once a month by a licensed pharmacist, who must report any irregularities to the attending physician and the director of nursing. The physician must make changes based on these reports. Advocates say this rigorous review process should allow long-term care facility residents to bypass the prior authorization requirement.

“We should be making it easier, not harder, for patients to follow the treatment plans prescribed by their doctors,” Murphy said. “This legislation would eliminate a significant obstacle standing between long-term care residents and better health.”

Senate Bill 142 passed the Senate Health Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate.

03162021CM0100SPRINGFIELD – More students could represent their schools feeling comfortable, confident and included under a proposed measure from State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) that would allow student athletes to modify their athletic uniforms to adhere to cultural, faith-based or physical comfort requirements.

“Athletic uniforms are about establishing a sense of unity among team members, but in certain situations, they can unintentionally exclude groups of students,” Murphy said. “By allowing athletes more flexibility in the design of their uniforms, we can give every student the opportunity to represent their school with pride.”

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 for the purpose of adhering to the clothing requirements of their 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.

“Inclusivity is a critical component of a healthy school environment for all our students,” Murphy said. “Any student athlete, regardless of their cultural or religious background, deserves to feel like part of the team.”

Senate Bill 1784, an initiative of the IL Muslim Civic Coalition, passed the Education Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate.

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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