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

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
DEERFIELD — More scams are popping up as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) urges people to be careful when responding to requests for money or personal information.
 
“It’s disheartening people are being taken advantage of during such a vulnerable time,” Morrison said.“It’s important to be vigilant and cautious if someone reaches out to you for money or personal information. Don’t hesitate to question the person calling and seek advice from the attorney general’s office before providing information.”
 
Attorney General Kwame Raoul said attorneys general from across the nation have seen a rise in reports of people posing as charitable organizations or public health agencies. Those scams, according to Raoul, include cyber scams, telephone and text messaging scams, counterfeit product offers, bogus door-to-door offers of tests and products related to the coronavirus and solicitations for donations to phony charities.
Some of the most common scams seen by Raoul include:
  • Emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and other health care organizations, offering to share information about the virus,
  • Emails asking for the verification of personal data, including Medicare or Medicaid information, in exchange for receiving economic stimulus funds or other benefits from the government,
  • Email phishing scams, text messages from unknown sources which may include hyperlinks to what appear to be automated pandemic updates, or interactive infection maps,
  • COVID-19 vaccinations and home test kits that are made online, in stores, through electronic messages or over the phone.
For more information or to report scams connected to COVID-19, please visit the attorney general’s website found here.
Category: Uncategorised

SPRINGFIELD — While people are staying home to keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a population —survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence — who are living in more vulnerable situations. 

State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) applauds Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services for expanding services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

“Domestic violence and sexual assault survivors are living in constant fear,” Morrison said. “Right now, they have nowhere to go and no one to watch out for them. I can’t imagine how scared some of these people are in an already worrisome time.”

IDHS announced Thursday the launch of a $1.2 million plan to increase the capacity of its current statewide network of services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

The plan expands the domestic violence helpline by creating a one-stop access point for all shelter needs. Survivors can call the helpline at 1-877-863-6338 to be connected to a shelter that can provide assistance.

The agency is also working with the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence to establish an emergency fund to support local providers with assistance needs related to COVID-19.

 

Additionally, domestic violence prevention and intervention providers will receive a three-month advance of their current grant to support continuations of services and respond to the needs of domestic violence survivors.

IDHS will also provide the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault with a grant advance to enhance the capacity of local rape crisis centers statewide to aid sexual assault survivors. The agency will similarly advance grant funds to Partner Abuse Intervention Program grantees for programs costs related to COVID-19.​

Category: Uncategorised

COVID-19 Resources

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