College Class MasksSPRINGFIELD – University administrators will no longer be able to exploit loopholes in the law by receiving massive payouts, or “golden parachutes,” after leaving their positions under a new law introduced by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

Lawmakers passed the Government Severance Pay Act in 2018 to limit the amount paid in university severance packages. Murphy’s measure strengthens the act by expanding the definition of severance pay and defining limits on compensation.

“I’m proud to see Illinois take a stand in defense of college students and families,” Murphy said. “The Government Severance Pay Act is a key part of making sure our colleges and universities put the campus community first.”

Universities typically offer severance packages to end an employment agreement without litigation or arbitration. Upon resignation, many public university administrators are awarded severance packages that pay amounts equal or nearly equal to their entire salary, even in cases of declining university performance under their leadership.

The new law expands the definition of severance pay to include employees who are transitioning to a new position within a unit of government. It also limits the compensation that employees may receive to the annual compensation of the highest paid employee in their department.

“This new law ensures tuition and tax dollars are benefitting students—not lining administrators’ pockets,” Murphy said.

The law, originally Senate Bill 2240, was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.

01102021CM0107CHICAGO – To ask questions and offer feedback on behalf of small businesses in the district she represents and across Illinois, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) joined Thursday’s joint hearing of the Illinois Senate Appropriations and Commerce Committees on the Back to Business (B2B) small business recovery program.

“Small business owners have suffered unimaginable stress over the past year. State and federal grant programs offered them some relief, but funding didn’t reach everyone who needed it,” Murphy said. “We approached this hearing seeking answers and solutions for the businesses that felt left out in the cold.”

The B2B program, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is expected to distribute $300 million in economic relief to small businesses across the state to help offset losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leveraging relationships with regional partners established through the recently expanded community navigator outreach program, DCEO will conduct outreach locally for the B2B grant program and prioritize hardest-hit industries and communities.

At the hearing, lawmakers questioned representatives from DCEO, conveyed feedback from their local small business owners and offered suggestions on how the B2B program could learn from the successes and shortfalls of previous relief programs like the Business Interruption Grant program to better serve the needs of the Illinois small business community.

“The Back to Business program has enormous positive potential for small business communities across the state, but it must be managed with business owners and communities’ interests in mind,” Murphy said. “The feedback we received during this hearing should help direct outreach, funds and other resources to the businesses and communities that need them most.”

Applications for the B2B program open Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. More information, eligibility requirements and applications are available on DCEO’s website at Illinois.gov/DCEO.

open signCHICAGO – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) and members of the Senate Appropriations and Commerce Committees will hold a joint hearing Thursday, Aug. 12 at noon to discuss the Back 2 Business small business recovery program.

“With the livelihoods of so many Illinoisans hanging in the balance, it’s critical that state agencies are transparent and accountable,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), who serves on both committees. “I look forward to the opportunity to make our small business owners’ voices heard.”

The B2B program, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is expected to distribute $300 million in economic relief to small businesses across the state to help offset losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only testimony on the subject matter will be heard.

“It has remained a top priority of mine to help all small businesses build back better,” said Sims, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. “And I’m especially eager to ensure dollars reach the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.”

A livestream of the committee hearing can be viewed when proceedings begin at www.ilga.gov.

Who: Members of the Senate Appropriations and Commerce Committees
What: Subject matter hearing on the Back 2 Business grant program
When: Thursday, Aug. 12 at noon
Where: Room C600 of the Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60601 or Virtual Room 1 on www.ilga.gov

Construction ConeSPRINGFIELD – To identify problem areas on state roads and allow residents to drive, bike and walk safely in their communities, a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to look more closely into traffic accidents on state highways that result in the death of a pedestrian.

“Even one pedestrian fatality is too many,” Murphy said. “By working proactively to pinpoint areas of concern and make immediate improvements, we can make our roads safer and prevent injury and death.”

The legislation would require IDOT to conduct a traffic study after any fatal pedestrian accident at the intersection of a state highway. The study would include a rundown of potential methods to improve safety at the site, such as design improvements and traffic control devices. The results of each study would be publicly accessible via IDOT’s website.

Murphy was inspired to sponsor the legislation following a series of three fatal accidents in just two years on Miner Street, between Pearson Street and Graceland Avenue, in Des Plaines.

After four people were hospitalized following two separate accidents two hours apart at the location, police conducted a sting operation: Officers in plainclothes walked across the crosswalk and if drivers failed to yield, they were issued a citation. Within a six-hour period, 20 citations were issued.

“Sometimes, preventing pedestrian loss is as simple as installing a stop sign,” Murphy said. “This law ensures the state responds quickly to accidents to help avoid further tragedy.”

The law, originally Senate Bill 1791, was signed into law Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

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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