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

DEERFIELD —Twenty-one years ago Monday, two students opened fire on Columbine High School, killing 13 and injuring 24. 

Two years ago today, a man opened fire on a Tennessee Waffle House, killing four and injuring two.

“These acts of senseless violence are just two examples of dozens of instances where innocent people lost their lives because of the selfish and reprehensible behaviors of others,” State Senator Julie Morrison said. “After these tragic events, we often hear family members or neighbors mention they were worried about the person’s threatening behavior but didn’t know where to turn.”

Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is taking this time to remind people of the Firearms Restraining Order Act – also known as the “Red Flag” law.

The measure allows family members and law enforcement officials who have concerns that someone is a threat to themselves or others to ask a judge to temporarily remove their guns.

If a judge grants the restraining order, law enforcement may seize the at-risk person’s firearms for up to six months and prevent them from purchasing additional weapons during that time period to keep themselves and others safe.

Due to the Stay at Home Order, however, some circuit courts are closed, leaving people worried they might not be able to take action. 

If the circuit court in question is closed, a person will have to engage law enforcement in order to get a Firearms Restraining Order. The person must explain the situation, explicitly asking for a Firearms Restraining Order. Sheriffs’ offices may be able to provide more support and resources than municipal police departments.

“During this trying time, tension is higher and depression is becoming more prevalent. It's important to keep an eye on each other,” Morrison said. “If you know someone whom you believe is at risk of harming themselves or others, I encourage you to call law enforcement. That phone call could save a life.”

Category: Uncategorised

DEERFIELD — State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is reminding parents of three easy steps they can take to make sure their children sleep safely. 

crib

“Even the greatest parents can make mistakes and not put their baby to bed safely when stressed or in a rush,” Morrison said. “Parents should make sure their baby is alone, on their back and safe in a crib. Those three simple steps can be the difference between life and death.”

Morrison is echoing the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ call to be especially aware of safe sleep for infants in a time when many parents are experience extra stress and exhaustion. Parents should remember the ABC’s of safe sleep. A child should be alone and never sleeping with someone else, placed on their back and not on their sides or stomach, and in a crib rather than on a bed or couch.

Last year, between January 1 and June 30, 53 infants in Illinois under the age of 1 died as a result of being put to sleep unsafely. Being placed in a location to sleep other than a crib, bassinet or pack and play; lying in positions that weren’t on their back; or co-sleeping lead to the deaths. 

Babies are the most safe when they are alone in a crib with a firm mattress and tightly-fitted sheets. The crib should not have any pillows, blankets or stuffed animals. Additionally, a baby should never be put to sleep on an adult bed or couch. 

“Creating safe sleeping arrangements for children is imperative for their health and safety,” Morrison said. “Please take the extra time to make sure your baby is in their crib properly.”

Category: Uncategorised

Workers at traditional businesses

On April 6, the Illinois Department of Employment Security began disbursing Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) funds, which was the first week that payments were allowed by the federal government. FPUC provides an additional $600 each week in 100% federally funded benefits to anyone entitled to regular state unemployment benefits. FPUC benefits are available for weeks beginning on or after March 29, 2020 and continuing through the week ending July 25, 2020. Pursuant to federal legislation, this $600 will not be retroactively applied to unemployment claims that arose prior to March 29, 2020.

Those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits of up to 26 weeks are now eligible for an additional 13 weeks’ worth of 100% federally funded benefits called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). IDES received guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor on April 10 and expects to have the program fully implemented the week of April 20.

To speed up the process for unemployment claimants, IDES filed an emergency rule which suspended the requirement that a claimant register with Illinois Job Link if their unemployment is due to a temporary lay-off resulting from a temporary closing attributable to the novel coronavirus.

Thanks to an executive order from Governor Pritzker, the waiting week for claimants has been entirely waived. This change allows a claimant to receive two weeks of benefits, rather than the usual one week of benefits as their first payment.

Self-employed, freelancers, and independent contractors

Beginning May 11, the federal government will allow self-employed workers, freelancers, and independent contractors to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This program provides a total of 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals not typically eligible for unemployment benefits, including independent contractors and self-proprietors, who have become unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has advised that those seeking PUA benefits should file a regular unemployment benefits claim now. While they will not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits, their information will be kept on file and processed when the PUA program goes into effect on May 11.

PUA claims will be backdated to the individual’s first week of unemployment, but no earlier than February 2, 2020. Benefits will continue for as long as the individual remains unemployed as a result of COVID-19, but no later than the week ending December 26, 2020. While a program of this magnitude might normally take up to a year to design and implement, IDES plans to get this program online by the week of May 11.

Expanding IDES’ capacity

Through the five weeks from March 1 to April 4, Illinois received more than 500,000 unemployment claims. To put that in perspective, the total number of initial claims for the entirety of 2019 was 489,831. To accommodate the tens of thousands of unemployment claims filed each day over the past month, IDES has taken a number of steps to expand the operating capacity of its call center and website:

Overhauling the IDES website infrastructure: IDES expedited the process for new users to register and submit a claim, cutting red tape in the validation process. Since these updates, loading times for people using the website are now averaging below one-second, and server and mainframe utilization has remained below 50%.

Expanding the IDES unemployment call center: IDES updated its phone system to increase capacity by 40%, reducing wait times and the number of claimants receiving a busy signal. The daily call center hours have been extended to respond to those waiting in the queue after closure. Additionally, IDES is in the process of establishing an outside call center with an additional 200 agents who will assist in the application and certification process.

Building private partnerships: The administration has sought out partnerships with technology and consulting companies who have stepped up to provide their expertise during this critical time. IDES is also working closely with companies like Accenture, IBM, and Deloitte to continue to expand capacity in its existing systems and implement new programs.

If you have any questions, please reach out.

Category: Uncategorised
DEERFIELD — The Illinois State Police announced Thursday new renewal requirements for Firearm Owner Identification cards, which State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) will allow for closer examination of people who have submitted renewal applications.
 
“The state police now has more time to analyze each renewal application to make sure no one slips through the cracks,” Morrison said. “The order from ISP also empowers them to prioritize the work they know will be most important in preventing gun violence.”
 
The emergency rule — which took effect upon announcement Thursday — extends the expiration date of FOID cards through the duration of the state’s disaster proclamation and for an additional 12 months following the termination of the disaster. 
 
However, the Illinois State Police will continue to enforce FOID prohibitions. 
 
Morrison has been a steadfast force behind gun control legislation since first joining the Illinois Senate. Most notably, she spearheaded and successfully passed the Red Flag Law, which allows a family member or law enforcement official to alert the court system when an individual with access to a firearm is displaying threatening or unsafe behavior that could lead to injury to themselves or to the general public.
 
“I applaud ISP’s decision and am confident it will lead to less senseless gun violence down the road,” Morrison said. “There is no doubt that a closer look into who is obtaining these licenses and firearms will be better for all of us.”​
Category: Uncategorised

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