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 – A comprehensive Medicaid overhaul measure passed through the General Assembly Monday includes two provisions spearheaded by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest).

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“Programs that help people kick the habit and make adults better role models for children who might see their family members partake in the harmful act of smoking,” Morrison said. “Ensuring every person who can benefit from these types of treatments can afford them is a commonsense proposal.”

A 2020 Surgeon General Report on the health benefits of quitting smoking found that insurance coverage for comprehensive “smoking cessation treatment” leads to higher rates of successful quitting. To align with the report, Morrison spearheaded part of the Senate Bill 2294 to add Medicaid coverage for smoking cessation counseling.

The comprehensive Medicaid package also includes a provision that would raise Medicaid reimbursement rates for targeted dental services for both adults and children. Many families face limited dental access, because so few dentists participate in Medicaid. By increasing Medicaid reimbursement for targeted services, the number of participating dentists will increase.

“Higher reimbursements will incentivize dentists to expand their care to some of the most vulnerable people in our state,” Morrison said. “Other states that have implemented higher rates have seen gains in dentists’ participation and more children getting dental services.”

The measure passed both chambers and now heads to the governor for final approval.

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SPRINGFIELD – To prevent poor dental health among children and teens that can cause lifelong health consequences, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) has passed a measure to allow preventative dental services within schools.

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“Routine dental care isn’t just about appearance – it’s about overall health and well-being that can affect every part of a child’s life,” Morrison said. “It’s time we treat dental care like other preventative health care.”

Under the measure, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services could put in place a school-based dental program that would allow out-of-office preventative services – like teeth cleanings.

About 20% of children between the ages of 5 and 11, and about 13% of those between 12 and 19, have at least one untreated cavity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children who have poor oral health also often miss more school and receive lower grades than children who don’t.

“The best way to keep teeth healthy is through preventative dental care – but not every person has the means to go the dentist routinely,” Morrison said.

Senate Bill 346 passed the Senate Wednesday and now heads to the House for further consideration.

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HIGHWOOD – To bring more attention to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ new online reporting system and what signs to look for to protect children, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is hosting a webinar next week with DCFS and the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center.

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“The new online reporting system provides an easier and more efficient way to report child abuse and neglect,” Morrison said. “However, not enough people know how user-friendly the system is or when it should be used. My hope is this informational webinar will teach people about the signs of abuse and neglect, and when to make a report.”

Morrison is hosting a free virtual Lunch and Learn webinar to discuss the DCFS hotline and its new reporting platform. A representative from the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center will also be in attendance to discuss what the organization does and how each person can help make a difference in the lives of the state’s at-risk children.

It will take place Friday, April 16 from 1 to 2 p.m. via Zoom. The event is the second installment of Morrison’s new Lunch and Learn series – a monthly virtual event to teach Illinoisans more about the work state agencies do and show off the great local attractions Illinois has to offer.

“If the pandemic has done one positive thing, it has showed us how easy it is to connect with each other virtually from the comfort of our homes,” Morrison said. “It has been a pleasure connecting with people from across the state through these events, and I can’t wait to continue to meet and inform more people as the year goes on – even after the pandemic subsides.”

The webinar is free, but registration is required. To sign up, visit https://bit.ly/3sImYy0.

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SPRINGFIELD – Following up on her promise to hold local health departments and other COVID-19 vaccine stakeholders accountable, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) led a Senate hearing Monday to receive updates on the statewide distribution plan.

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“Doses and distribution of the vaccine are ramping up, but we still have eligible people who have struggled to get an appointment,” Morrison said. “However, the number of people vaccinated and the promise from the federal government to increase supply have given me hope for the future.”

Last month, Morrison hosted a Senate hearing to get to the bottom of the confusing vaccination distribution process and call for a more comprehensive and timely plan. During the Feb. 11 meeting, she and other members of the Senate Health Committee raised concerns about the number of available vaccines and the competitive crowd.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reassured the group people will receive their vaccines as quickly as possible. During Monday’s update, Ezike said more than four million vaccines have been administered in Illinois – an exciting milestone that has led to over 25% of adults getting their dose.

However, she also acknowledged in certain areas of the state – including suburban Cook County and rural areas – supply is lacking. She said she expects the number of doses to ramp up in the weeks to come. Additionally, she announced a rural vaccination program which will send mobile sites to certain communities this week.

While Morrison said she is pleased so many eligible Illinoisans have been vaccinated, she hopes to see the number grow exponentially in the weeks to come.

“The demand for the vaccine is higher than ever, but the number of doses available is continuing to grow,” Morrison said. “Thanks to the work of health department officials and the patience of Illinoisans anxious to receive their dose, we are the right track toward normalcy.”

Last week, the Lake County Public Health Department reported more than 50% of people over the age of 65 were vaccinated, and Cook County reported more than 65%.  

Any person who has questions about the vaccine or who is struggling to find an appointment is encouraged to call IDPH’s vaccine hotline at 833-621-1284.

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