College kid studyingSPRINGFIELD – College students and staff in Illinois will have easier access to support systems under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to create an online resource hub geared toward campus mental health.

“The past school year was full of unexpected stressors for students and professors alike,” Murphy said. “Under this law, the entire campus community can rely on readily accessible support to help them survive and thrive under pressure.”

The law requires the Department of Human Services to maintain a page on its website with mental health resources specifically tailored to post-secondary education institutions, their staff, students and families.

Currently, DHS provides digital brochures and links on its website of helpful tools for those who may be dealing with a mental health concern. However, the website does not contain provisions directly targeted to post-secondary education and its communities.

“Feelings of stress, anxiety and depression can be heightened in the high-intensity college environment, but there are resources available,” Murphy said. “No one should have to face those hardships alone.”

The law, originally Senate Bill 1786, takes effect immediately.

ParkSPRINGFIELD – Local park districts now have more time to complete projects funded through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program, thanks to a law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“When it comes to infrastructure projects, planning is best left in the hands of local governments,” said Murphy. “Especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that we allow park districts to set practical timelines for themselves.”

Previously, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD grant program, provided 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 had just two years after this advance payment to complete projects.

This new law allows 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 also provides more flexibility on active grant projects by directing IDNR to consider recipients’ requests to extend deadlines.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on a number of local development plans, but I’m excited to see our park districts take on more projects as they bounce back,” Murphy said. “This new law gives our communities the flexibility they need to grow at their own pace.”

The law, originally House Bill 1760, goes into effect immediately.

CondoSPRINGFIELD – Condominium boards will be allowed to require a majority of board members to live on site under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“When a condominium board is made up of off-site board members, residents’ needs may not be accurately represented,” Murphy said. “This legislation gives condominium associations the chance to ensure decisions are being made by the people who live there.”

The legislation allows a condominium’s bylaws to include a provision requiring the majority of the condominium board to be made up of members who occupy a unit as their primary residence.

A constituent approached Murphy with the idea for the legislation, citing concerns that board members who do not reside on the property may not be positioned to make decisions affecting other unit owners.

“Nonresidents may not have the same motivations and interests as those who live on the condominium property,” Murphy said. “Important decisions should be made by those who call the community home.”

Senate Bill 636 was signed into law Monday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

TrainSPRINGFIELD – To promote domestic manufacturing and put U.S. workers first, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) sponsored a new law that will ensure Illinois prioritizes American contractors in the development of mass transit systems in the state.

“When we contract with foreign-based companies, we lose control over the business practices and standards involved in our transportation projects,” Murphy said. “As our economy recovers from the pandemic, it’s even more important that we support American manufacturers first.”

The new law prohibits Illinois from contracting for the development of any mass transit facility with a vendor that receives support from certain countries in which the government allocates goods and resources and determines prices.

In recent years, numerous major American cities have contracted with companies backed by non-market economy foreign governments, only to discover the companies have a history of questionable labor practices, including intellectual property theft and the use of child labor.

The law will strengthen the domestic rail supply industry and protect the economic and national security of U.S. rail infrastructure against foreign government interests.

“Buying American is the best way we can protect our transportation industry and support the nation’s long-term economic success,” Murphy said.

Senate Bill 640 was signed into law Monday 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:

1645 South River Road, Suite 7
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
 (847) 718-1110