Welcome!

Welcome to my legislative website! I am proud to serve as the State Senator from Illinois' 29th District, representing portions of the North Suburbs of Chicago in Lake and Cook Counties.

It is truly my honor to represent you in Springfield. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions or ways I can better serve you.

Sincerely,

Julie Morrison

SPRINGFIELD — Tuesday is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) would like to bring awareness to the values and rights this important group of people have.

The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Dec. 3 aims to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities, and to increase awareness of the situations this unique group faces in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

“People with disabilities are regular people whose challenges may be more apparent than others,” Senator Morrison said. “I will continue to strive toward statewide inclusion and fight to provide those with disabilities more well-deserved rights and freedoms.”

Morrison photo dece. 2

As chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, Senator Morrison passed three pieces of legislation aimed at increasing state employment of individuals with disabilities during the spring legislative session. All three measures were signed into law over the summer.

One measure requires the state to better facilitate the hiring of individuals with disabilities by requiring Central Management Services to send the Successful Disability Opportunities List to state agencies when they are hiring.

Another creates a disabled persons trainee program at all state agencies with more than 1,500 employees

And lastly, a new law requires the state to conduct an annual presentation to state agencies about what hiring programs are available to individuals with disabilities

“People with disabilities can often face barriers when looking for employment,” Senator Morrison said. “However, Illinois should lead by example to break down those barriers.”

During the past few months, Senator Morrison has also worked with groups to make supportive housing for people with developmental disabilities more accessible throughout the state and has discussed the problems with paying subminimum wage to people with disabilities during a committee hearing.

Category: Features

SPRINGFIELD — After carefully looking at the problems of the Department of Children and Family Services hotline, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) requested an audit of the organization’s first contact with a case. Six months after recognizing a problem and initiating an investigation, DCFS responded to the senator’s request.

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“Children need to have a guardian angel watching to make sure DCFS actually follows through with this and doesn’t get sidetracked with another issue,” Senator Morrison said. “I am committed to looking over the organization to ensure it is putting the well-being of children first.”

In May, Senator Morrison – who chairs the Senate Human Services Committee – requested a review of the DCFS’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline after a state audit highlighted issues with the hotline. Between 2015 and 2017, nearly half of all first-time hotline callers were sent to voicemail and were not contacted until days later, the audit found.

The newly released report made 11 recommendations to improve staffing, technology and efficiency that DCFS will adopt to fix the troubled hotline.

Senator Morrison met with DCFS Acting Director Marc Smith to discuss the report when it was released Wednesday. While the Senator is pleased with the outcome of the report, she will continue to push the organization to be more transparent about its challenges and needs going forward.

Category: Features

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) voted in support of a measure that will cap patients’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply.

“No one should have to choose between getting the medication they need to survive and putting food on their family’s table,” Senator Morrison said. “I applaud the efforts of my colleagues to pass this life-saving measure.” 

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Senate Bill 667 caps co-payments for insulin at $100 per month for all patients, regardless of the supply they require. The cap, however, only applies to commercial insurance plans regulated by the state.

About 1.3 million adults in Illinois have diabetes – 12.5% of the state’s population – according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. On average, people with diabetes pay $475 a month on insulin, the Health Care Cost Institute reports. The high cost drives many patients to ration their insulin supply, which can result in blindness, kidney failure or death.

“Insulin is not an option for more than one million Illinois residents,” Morrison said. “It is time Illinois leads by example to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for choosing to maximize profits at the expense of consumers’ health.”  

If the bill becomes law, Illinois will become the second state in the country to cap out-of-pocket prices.

The legislation now heads to Gov. JB Pritzker, who previously pledged his support of the measure.

Category: Features

SPRINGFIELD —  In response to a Springfield-based nonprofit’s previous decision to withhold paychecks from employees with developmental disabilities, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) held a hearing in hopes to further examine sub-minimum wage.

“There are thousands of people in the state of Illinois who are anxious to work,” Morrison said. “We need to lead by example and provide good options for those who not only need to work, but want to work.”

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The joint Senate and House Human Services Committee was joined by members of the Department of Human Services and Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities to discuss sub-minimum wage employment for people with developmental disabilities.

The committee follows Land of Lincoln Goodwill’s decision to withhold paychecks from employees with disabilities due to the minimum wage increase. The now-former CEO of the organization also said in July that she would potentially lay off employees with disabilities to cut costs.

Sub-minimum wage is legally paying certain individuals less than minimum wage. Land of Lincoln Goodwill has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor to pay sub-minimum wage rates to workers with disabilities under a 1938 provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, six states no longer permit sub-minimum wage rates.

“It’s important to guarantee equal protection under the law,” said Kimberly Mercer-Schleider, executive director of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. “Study after study shows that workers with disabilities are dependable and productive and valuable to the work environment. They are loyal employees.”

Category: Features

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