01282020CM0501SPRINGFIELD – As communities across the state begin to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, local governments will have help addressing pandemic-related challenges under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“For the past few months, local governments have been at the forefront of our COVID-19 containment efforts, managing regional health departments and providing financial, housing and meal assistance to their struggling communities,” said Murphy. “As the state begins to recover, they will need guidance and flexibility to continue that important work.”

House Bill 2096 is a package of legislation which:

  • Grants townships the option to postpone their annual meetings during a disaster declaration enacted by the governor;
  • Clarifies that townships should not count federal stimulus payments toward earned income in determining individuals’ eligibility for General Assistance programs;
  • Exempts low-income students from non-resident library card fees to give all students access to library resources, including e-books and online periodicals;
  • Allows school construction bids to be conducted electronically to enable bid discussions to continue during the COVID-19 emergency; and
  • Authorizes the Housing Authority of Cook County to enter business arrangements with developers to provide safe and stable housing for low- and middle-income suburban families.

Murphy worked with a bipartisan group of Illinois senators to find solutions to the problems facing local governments as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, with input from the Township Officials of Illinois, the Illinois Municipal League and other stakeholders.

“These measures lend a hand to local governments as they guide our communities through these challenging times,” said Murphy. “I hope this legislation helps address the most pressing issues facing our towns and cities during the pandemic.”

House Bill 2096 was signed into law Friday.

murphy floor 052120DES PLAINES – When Daniel Salgado-Alvarez tried to visit his local library to find new reading material during summer break, he was told he’d have to pay hundreds of dollars in fees to check out a book. Stories like Daniel’s motivated State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to sponsor the Cards 4 Kids Act, which allows low-income students in unincorporated areas to access the resources at their local library without paying nonresident fees.

“During summer break, I couldn’t go to my school’s library, and I couldn’t go to the public one either, because I couldn’t check anything out,” said Daniel. “I wanted to fix that.”

Currently, students living in unincorporated areas are required to pay a fee for a library card from their closest public library. However, students from unincorporated areas tend to come from low-income backgrounds and often can't afford them.

“Especially with schools closed, kids deserve access to the e-books, periodicals and other online resources our libraries have to offer,” said Murphy. “Our students shouldn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars in fees to stay engaged in education while they’re outside the classroom.”

As an upperclassman at Elk Grove High School, Daniel joined classmates Robert Demonte and Linda Puentes to advocate for the Cards 4 Kids Act. Daniel, a resident of Oasis Mobile Home Park in unincorporated Des Plaines, became interested in the project after having been involved in efforts to bring books to mobile home parks in his area over the summer, when school libraries are closed.

Daniel, Robert and Linda approached Murphy with the idea for the Cards 4 Kids Act as part of a project for Robert and Linda’s Sophomore Leadership Class program. Robert says instructor Jim Arey taught the class about inequity in their community, which inspired him to come up with the Cards 4 Kids Act.

“There are kids at our very own school that aren’t getting the same access as the rest of our students. That really just irritated me,” Robert said. “I feel that all students should have equal access and opportunities.”

Arey said the students presented their initiative to the District 214 Executive Board, but administrators were unable to get traction with the local library board. That’s when Arey connected them with Murphy, who brought their idea to the General Assembly.

Murphy’s bill aims to extend library privileges to children residing outside of the municipality in which their local library is located. Students in these areas who meet the poverty income guideline would no longer have to pay a non-resident fee for a library card.

Daniel, who plans to attend Harvard University in the fall, says he hopes the Cards 4 Kids Act will help more kids take advantage of the many helpful services public libraries have to offer.

“Right now, a lot of students have to pay fees that are pretty expensive, especially if you’re living in a mobile home or are living under the poverty line,” said Daniel. “I think it will allow kids to actually have those options and opportunities.”

With schools closed to the COVID-19 outbreak, Murphy says the Cards 4 Kids Act has taken on special urgency.

“Daniel, Robert and Linda showed me that our public libraries provide so many important services—not just books, but also job and college application tools—which could be particularly useful to kids when teachers and guidance counselors are harder to reach,” said Murphy. “But these services have been inaccessible to many kids in Illinois. After speaking to these brilliant and hardworking students, I knew that needed to change.”

House Bill 2096, a local government package which contains the Cards 4 Kids Act, passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and now awaits the governor’s signature.

ReopenOfficeSocialEnglishDES PLAINES – To begin to address the volume of expired vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses and ID cards in Illinois, the Illinois Secretary of State will open driver services facilities with limited service beginning June 1, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced Tuesday.

“Closing driver services facilities was necessary to protect workers and customers from the spread of COVID-19,” said Murphy. “Expiration dates have been extended, so you have plenty of time to renew, but I’m glad to see these offices reopening for service now that the curve is flattening.”

All Secretary of State departments and offices will reopen for business starting June 1. Driver services facilities across the state will reopen the first week of June with expanded hours of operation. Through July 31, these facilities will only serve new drivers, customers with expired driver’s licenses and ID cards, and vehicle transactions. Find nearby locations, opening dates and hours using the Secretary of State’s Facility Finder tool.

To ensure current documents remain valid and lessen the rush of customers when these facilities open, the Secretary of State has extended expiration dates for driver’s licenses, IDs and vehicle registrations by at least 90 days after the governor’s disaster proclamation ends. The federal deadline to obtain a REAL ID has also been extended to October 1, 2021.

Residents are still encouraged to visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to avoid waiting in line and take advantage of online services, including replacements and renewals of registrations, driver’s licenses and ID cards.

4Murphy FBSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) released the following statement as the General Assembly passed a budget for the next fiscal year:

“Illinoisans are losing their homes, their health care and their lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic—with so many Illinoisans suffering, now is the time for the government to step up and provide the programs and services that people need most.

“This responsible budget includes new programs for rent and mortgage relief, shores up our small businesses, makes our full required pension payment, lends a hand to our local governments and preserves funding for both K-12 and higher education.

“I’m proud to have joined my colleagues in the General Assembly to show our commitment to the fiscal health of our state and its people by not funding a scheduled pay increase for lawmakers like myself—with Illinois facing record unemployment, it would be unjust to increase our own compensation in a time like this.

With this and other smart cuts, we were able to increase funding for the essential human services that are providing assistance to those hurt most by this crisis.

“We’re also taking advantage of every opportunity, including resources from the federal government, to ensure the people of Illinois get the help they need. These are uncertain times with many unknowns, but together, we will build a stronger Illinois.”

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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