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 — Following years of underfunding at the Department of Children and Family Services, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is pleased her colleagues and the state realized the financial despair the agency faces — leading it to receive $1.4 billion in the Fiscal Year ’21 budget. 

“DCFS has experienced more turmoil in the past decade than any other state agency,” Morrison said. “While not all of the agency’s problems revolve around funding, many of the high-profile failures come from funded lack of resources.” 

Morrison has been a constant advocate for more funding and oversight for DCFS following years of reporting issues, understaffing and mistreatment of children in the system. The $178.5 million in additional funding compared to Fiscal Year ’20 would be used to boost the workforce, which would reduce caseloads for investigators and allow more attention to go toward the high demand of services.

“There is no question the agency needs more employees and resources to hire highly trained workers who have the determination and emotional stability to take on one of the toughest jobs,” Morrison said. 

Additionally, the funding could be used for more safety measures to keep DCFS workers from being exposed to COVID-19, as their jobs are at a higher priority while more children are home. Employees of DCFS need more protective gear, like masks, gloves and other PPE. 

“No child should have to worry or suffer, and this additional funding will allow for more caseworkers, services and investigators to protect them, ” Morrison said. “I applaud the General Assembly’s commitment to help this already at-risk group of children.”

The budget now heads to Governor JB Pritzker for final approval and will take effect July 1, upon his signature.

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DEERFIELD — As State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) and her colleagues returned to Springfield Wednesday, she has vowed to fight for human services funding in the Fiscal Year ’21 budget, especially for the Department of Children and Family Services.

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“Many agencies that are tasked with helping and protecting our state’s most vulnerable populations already struggle with too few resources,” Morrison said. “Illinois should be a leader in showing all people are valuable and deserve to be treated with human dignity.” 

Morrison is chair of the Illinois Senate Human Services Committee, where she fights for the beneficiaries of a number of human services agencies, most notably DCFS. 

DCFS workers are in capacities that could expose them to COVID-19, causing them to need more protective gear, like masks, gloves and other PPE. Those on the frontlines for the agency have also expressed desires to reduce face-to-face interactions with  clients as much as possible. With this, however, comes a need for technology.

“High-profile failures at DCFS have come in part from the agency not receiving priority in funding,” Morrison said. “As members of the General Assembly, we should push for continued funding for DCFS and other human services organizations so they can help the most vulnerable among us, especially abused and neglected children.”

Additionally, Morrison has been a steadfast ally and supporter of the developmental and intellectual disabilities communities and pushes for funding to support autism services, sexual assault programs and mental health supportive housing.

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During its May 12 meeting, the Lake County Board passed a measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that gives property owners more time to pay each installment of their property taxes.

Many people across the state and in the Lake County community are dealing with financial difficulties due to the pandemic. 

The Lake County Board recognized those hardships and enacted an ordinance that allows taxpayers to spread their property tax payments over four installments, rather than two. If the second half of the payment is made by the second due date, no late fees will be incurred. 

The payments were originally due on June 8 and Sept. 8. However, under the ordinance, Lake County property owners can spread their payments out as follows:

  • 50% of the first installment payment is due by June 8, 2020.
  • 50% of the first installment payment is due by Aug. 7, 2020.
  • 50% of the second installment payment is due by Sept. 8, 2020.
  • 50% of the second installment payment is due by Nov. 9, 2020.

The Lake County treasurer's office said it will send notice of the deferred payment plan to Lake County property owners through the mail within the next two weeks. 

Additionally, Cook County officials announce what they’re going to do to help COVID-19-stressed property owners deal with their property taxes later this week.

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If you face uncertainty about when you will be able to return to work, you might be looking for immediate financial relief to help you during this time. 

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is open to help people who are unemployed for reasons related to COVID-19 and are not eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program, including independent contractors (gig workers), sole proprietors and the self-employed. 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security rolled out a new application portal Monday.

Workers who believe they may be eligible for new federal benefits under the PUA program must first apply for regular unemployment insurance and be denied before applying for benefits under PUA.

If you apply for benefits and receive an eligibility determination of $0, you can then submit a claim for PUA benefits. If you have already applied for and been denied regular benefits, you can submit a claim through the new PUA portal when it opens.

Under PUA, up to 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are potentially available for COVID-19-related unemployment claims. PUA claims will be backdated to your first week of unemployment, but no earlier than Feb. 2, and will continue no later than the week ending Dec. 26, 2020.

For more information and to apply, visit the IDES website.

Many Illinoisans are facing financial worries during this time — however, these resources will allow our state to begin its recovery. 

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