SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) sponsored a resolution to create a commission tasked with changing the negative, and sometimes unethical, culture in Springfield that has taken over headlines.

“Legislators are elected to the Illinois General Assembly to be accountable to the residents of their districts and honorably represent them,” Senator Morrison said. “This commission should be a platform from which we develop and reform.”

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House Joint Resolution 93 creates the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform to review and make recommendations for changes to a number of current statutes, including the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act and the Lobbyist Registration Act.

The commission will be made up of 16 members, appointed by the majority leaders, minority leaders, attorney general, secretary of state and governor. Members of the commission cannot be registered lobbyists in Illinois during their service or less than five years prior.

Under the resolution, the commission must hold public hearings and issue recommendations to the General Assembly and constitutional officers by March 31, 2020.

“Illinois residents expect credibility, trust, honor and accountability from their elected officials – and nothing less,” Senator Morrison said.

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SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to provide more transparency among elected officials, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) filed a measure that would require lawmakers to state if they have a conflict of interest on a bill.

“This is simply about honesty and transparency,” Senator Morrison said. “The people of Illinois deserve to know lawmakers are best serving voters and the community — not themselves.”

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Senate Bill 2299, which was read into the record Tuesday, would require a member of the General Assembly to disclose if they have a conflict of interest on a measure they are taking official action on – which includes voting for a bill. If the legislator does have a conflict of interest, they would be responsible for filing a written statement declaring the conflict or stating their conflict during floor debate.

“It is more important than ever for us to strive for more transparency, greater disclosure and a higher standard of conduct,” Senator Morrison said. “This common sense legislation will call for lawmakers to work in the best interest of the people of Illinois by reporting if they have a conflict of interest on a legislative matter they are voting on.”

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FOX 32Senator Morrison spoke to FOX 32's Mike Flannery over the weekend to discuss her proposal to prohibit the Sports Facilities Authority board from appointing a new executive director during the 60-day period when a lame-duck governor is in office.

Morrison also discussed her concern with the highly publicized failures reported at the Department of Children and Family Services.

 

Click on the video link below to watch the interview.

FOX 32 Sunday: State Senator Julie Morrison

Fox32

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SPRINGFIELD – Long-overdue upgrades to U.S. Route 41 and Illinois Route 176 in the 29th District will begin next year, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) announced Tuesday.


The state is investing more than $35 million for local road and bridge projects in 2020.


Parts of the northern suburbs in Lake and Cook counties will receive updates to the roads as part of Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation’s $23.5 billion, five-year highway improvement plan – pegged as “Rebuild Illinois.”


04092019CM0184Over the next five years, the district Sen. Morrison represents will receive approximately $182 million to complete 54 projects.


“For years, drivers on these roads have dealt with delays and unsafe road conditions,” Sen. Morrison said. “I am proud to have worked with local officials to secure funding to fix this stretch of roadway in the Rebuild Illinois Program.”


Pritzker and IDOT announced the plan Monday and outlined projects that will take place in each Senate district. The 14 projects expected to take place in the 29th District next year will span 11.28 miles.


Projects that will begin in 2020 include the following:


- Fixing pavement on U.S. Route 41 at Dorchester Avenue to north of Illinois 120; West Park Avenue to Lake-Cook Road; and ramps at Clavey Road and Skokie Valley Road
- Pavement construction on U.S. Route 41 at Illinois Route 176
- Bridge improvements on U.S. Route 41 at Deerfield Road
- New shoulders and other improvements on Illinois Route 176 at Crescent Knoll Drive to west of U.S. Route 41
- Intersection improvements from U.S. Route 12 to Kennedy Drive


Alongside road and bridge projects, work will also be done to alleviate persistent flooding on U.S. Route 41 at Deerpath Road. A new pump station and emergency generator is expected to be built near the area.


“The work that will be done on U.S. Route 41 and Illinois Route 176 are important projects that will create jobs and make the roads safer for drivers,” Sen. Morrison said. “I applaud my fellow lawmakers for their bipartisan support on this comprehensive project.”

 

The multi-year plan will invest $23.5 billion to maintain, preserve and expand more than 4,000 miles of roads and 9.2 million square feet of bridges across the state. It is part of the of the $45 billion infrastructure plan passed by lawmakers in the spring.

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The State of Illinois provides many important services to its citizens.  Read more about them on this page, and click on the links provided to visit each office, agency, or program's website.  I especially encourage you to visit the Illinois General Assembly's website and the Illinois Senate Democrats' website to learn more about what my colleagues and I do while we are in Springfield.

Select the topic you are interested in below.

The Department on Aging
The Department on Aging manages services the State provides to help elderly residents.  These services include helping families select nursing homes, providing support services to help people stay in their homes and communities, and financial assistance for low-income seniors.  It also works to prevent elder abuse.

The Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture supports farmers' and other agricultural product businesses.  It also enforces food safety standards to protect consumers, runs the State Fairs, and works with other agencies to protect the environment. 

Office of the Appellate Defender
State appellate defenders represent indigent people who cannot afford to pay for lawyers in the appeals process.

Illinois Arts Council
The Arts Council's primary purpose is to support arts and culture in Illinois.  It distributes grants and helps publicize artistic events.  Visit their website to find cultural events and institutions near you.

Office of the Attorney General
The Attorney General's primary function is to serve as the State's chief lawyer.  However, her office also provides a number of services relating to consumer protection, victim's rights, and safety.  It also regulates a few Illinois industries and arbitrates Freedom of Information Act disputes.

Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
This commission is charged with protecting the integrity of Illinois' legal profession.  If you are looking for a lawyer, you can check their website to make sure he or she is authorized to practice.  You can also request an investigation if you believe your lawyer has violated your rights.

Office of the Auditor General
The Auditor General ensures that State agencies and programs are not wasting taxpayer dollars.  You can read completed audits on his website.

The Capital Development Board
The Capital Development Board manages major State construction projects.  If you have questions about Illinois building codes or would like to engage in construction business for the State, you should visit their website.  They also maintain an "Art in Architecture" program to beautify public spaces.

Department of Central Management Services
The Department of Central Management Services primarily provides support services for State agencies.  However, if you own a business and want to work with the State, it manages many State contracts, so you should visit its website to learn about procurement procedures.

Department of Children and Family Services
The Department of Children and Family Services protects children whose families cannot or will not take care of them.  It also licenses daycare facilities.  If you are interested in adoption or fostering, have questions about child abuse, or are part of a low-income family with children who needs extra help, DCFS is the agency you need to contact.

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity exists to support Illinois businesses and entrepreneurs.  If you own a business or are looking to start one, visit its website for helpful information.  It also operates the State's heating, cooling, and weatherization assistance programs for low-income families.

Commerce Commission
The Commerce Commission regulates public utilities and transportation companies.  Its primary function is consumer protection, so visit its website for helpful information or to file complaints about the companies it regulates.

Community College Board
The Community College Board manages Illinois' community college network.  These public schools provide associate's degrees, trade certificates, continuing education programs, and more.  They are a very economical way to begin pursuing higher education.

Comprehensive Insurance Plan
CHIP helps individuals who cannot find insurance from other sources get covered.  It is not free, and its primary purpose is to help individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Office of the Comptroller
The comptroller's job is to manage the spending of State money.  If you want to track how your taxdollars are spent, you should visit her website.  You should also contact her office if you do business with the State and are experiencing financial hardship due to late payments because she determines the order in which bills are paid.

Department of Corrections
The Department of Corrections' primary job is to oversee State correctional facilities.  However, they also provide victims' rights services.

Criminal Justice Information Authority
The Criminal Justice Information Authority's primary function is to track crime trends and statistics, which are available on its website.  It uses this information to work with law enforcement and legislators.  It also provides information about the options available to people who have criminal records.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission helps people who suffer from these conditions live and work in Illinois communities.  It licenses and refers interpreters and provides other informational resources.

Council on Developmental Disabilities
The Council on Developmental Disabilities exists to help individuals with disabilities and their families live and work in Illinois communities.

State Board of Education
The State Board of Education provides State support, guidance, and oversight to local P-12 public schools.  Its website is a good resource to learn about State educational requirements and programs that may benefit your children.

Educational Labor Relations Board
The Educational Labor Relations Board exists to help mediate disputes between educational professionals' labor unions and their managers.

State Board of Elections
The State Board of Elections manages elections and voter registration.  Visit its websites to find out who your elected representatives are and whether or not you are registered to vote (and if not, how to register).  You can also learn about voting options and candidates' financial disclosures.

Emergency Management Agency
The Emergency Management Agency's job is to organize Illinois' response to disasters.  Their website has information about natural emergencies (tornadoes, floods, etc.) and man-made disasters (terrorism, nuclear emergencies, etc.).  They have resources to help you prepare and keep safe when the worst happens.

Department of Employment Security
The Department of Employment Security manages unemployment insurance payments and tracks statistics.  It also manages programs to help the unemployed find work and get training.

Environmental Protection Agency
As its name implies, the goal of this agency is preserving the environment for future generations.  Visit its website for information on recycling; disposing of hazardous materials in a safe way; state regulations that may impact your business; and clean air, land, and water.

State Fair
Each August, the Illinois State Fair is held in Springfield to show off Illinois agricultural products and provide family-friendly entertainment.

Finance Authority
The Finance Authority helps Illinois businesses obtain the capital they need to get started and to expand.  It provides bonds and loans and helps businesses connect with private lenders.

Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation oversees banks,  and professionals like doctors who need State licenses to practice.  If you run a business, you may need a license from this agency.  If you are a consumer, you can look up disciplinary reports and file complaints.

Gaming Board
The Gaming Board oversees Illinois' casinos and video gaming.  It also runs programs to help gambling addicts.

Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability is a bipartisan legislative agency charged with providing accurate information about State finances.  Visit its website to learn about the final budgets passed each year, revenue estimates, and more.

Office of the Governor
The governor is the chief executive of Illinois.  He oversees all State agencies that are not headed by other elected officials.  His website has many informational resources.

Guardianship and Advocacy Council
The Guardianship and Advocacy Council protects the rights of people with disabilities.  It provides court-appointed guardians for individuals who have no family to turn to, legal assistance for people with disabilities and their families, and help for people with disabilities who have experienced human rights violations.

Department of Healthcare and Family Services
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services' primary role is to support low-income families and inviduals, especially low-income families with children.  It manages the State's Medicaid program, ALLKIDS insurance program, and more.  It also can help single and divorced parents collect late child support payments.

Board of Higher Education
The Board of Higher Education oversees Illinois' public university system.  Public universities provide bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, doctorate degrees, and professional degrees at a generally lower cost than their private competitors.

Historic Preservation Agency
The Historic Preservation Agency maintains all of Illinois' state historic sites and administers federal historic sites in the state.  It also helps individuals and local communities with their historic preservation endeavors.

Housing Development Authority
The Housing Development Authority helps low-income families find safe, affordable homes.  It also manages programs to help first-time home-buyers.

Human Rights Commission
The Human Rights Commission adjudicates human rights violation complaints.  It also provides resources for people who believe their rights have been violated.

Department of Human Rights
The Department of Human Rights investigates charges of human rights violations.  It also operates informational programs and training programs for businesses.  Under Illinois law, it is illegal for employers, housing companies, and others to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, military/veteran status, and order of protection status.  In some cases, citizenship status, familial status, and criminal record status also apply.

Department of Human Services
The Department of Human Services provides assistance to low-income families and individuals.  These programs include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and more.  Often, even when services are administered by other agencies, applications go through DHS.

Illinois Government
Visit the general Illinois government website to find a variety of information about the state in a well-organized setting.

Department of Insurance
The Department of Insurance regulates private insurance agencies within Illinois.  It also operates the Senior Health Insurance Program to help seniors navigate the gaps in Medicare and provides important consumer protection assistance.

Judicial Inquiry Board
This board investigates complaints against active judges.  Visit its website to find complaint forms; however, complaints cannot be submitted electronically.

Department of Juvenile Justice
The Department of Juvenile Justice oversees juvenile corrections facilities.

Labor Relations Board
The Labor Relations Board has jurisdiction between public employee unions and State and local government (excluding educators, who have their own separate board). 

Department of Labor
The Department of Labor protects the rights, safety, and wages of Illinois workers.  It also regulates amusement park and carnival rides.  Visit its website to learn more or file complaints about violations of state workers' rights laws. 

Liquor License Commission
The Liquor License Commission licenses businesses that sell alcoholic beverages.  It also has informational programs to help prevent underage drinking and smoking, and can accept complaints about businesses that violate State alcohol, tobacco, and gambling laws.

Lottery
The State-run lottery offers Illinois residents an opportunity to legally gamble and support important programs like education.  You can review past winning numbers, unclaimed prizes, and more on the lottery's website.

Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Should anything happen to the governor, the lieutenant governor becomes the chief executive of Illinois.  Her duties are largely dictated by the governor, but she is also the head of several commissions and task forces.

Governor's Office of Management and the Budget
The Governor's Office of Management and the Budget is the executive agency that tracks State spending and helps the governor propose a budget each year.  A variety of reports on State finances are available on its website.

Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources helps protect Illinois' natural areas and conserve our natural resources.  It also manages Illinois State Parks, camping, hunting, and fishing.  Visit its website to learn more about outdoor recreation opportunities.

Pollution Control Board
The Pollution Control Board decides contested environmental court cases and helps determine how Illinois environmental laws are implemented.

Power Agency
The Power Agency helps ensure that utility companies supply energy at the lowest possible cost, using as much renewable energy as they can.

Prisoner Review Board
The Prisoner Review Board deals with situations where inmates are released from correctional facilities.  It sets rules on exiting inmates, reviews allegations of parole violations, notifies victims and their families when prisoners are being released, and more.

Property Tax Appeal Board
The Property Tax Appeal Board hears taxpayer complaints that cannot be settled between the taxpayer and their local county assessors.

Department of Public Health
The Department of Public Health's goal is to keep the people of Illinois healthy.  It oversees food sanitation, maintains birth and death records, runs health-related programs and more.

Racing Board
The Racing Board oversees the Illinois Horse Racing industry.  Its website provides information about racing facilities and event dates.

Department of Revenue
The Department of Revenue collects Illinois State taxes.

Office of the Secretary of State
The Secretary of State performs many important record-keeping functions.  He registers and licenses vehicles and drivers, licenses businesses, and runs the Illinois State Library, among other things.

Office of the State Fire Marshall
The State Fire Marshall's main goal is to promote fire safety.  He provides support and inspection services to local fire departments and businesses and fire-safety information to the public.

State Police Merit Board
The State Police Merit Board is responsible for recruiting, promoting, and disciplining Illinois State Police officers.

State Police
The State Police help protect the people of Illinois by patrolling State highways and performing other important public safety tasks.  They provide a great deal of important information on their website and are responsible for processing Firearm Owner Identification cards.

Office of the Treasurer
The Treasurer's main purpose is investing Illinois' money.  His office provides a number of investment programs that may be of interest to businesses and individuals.  He also maintains a database of unclaimed property.

State Universities Civil Service System
The State Universities Civil Service System oversees civil service positions at State public universities, including administering applicants' tests.

Student Assistance Commission
The Student Assistance Commission administers Illinois higher education financial assistance programs, including Monetary Award Program grants and College Illinois.  It also provides helpful advice on college planning.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority in Illinois.  Its website has a lot of helpful legal information for consumers.

Toll Highway Authority
The Toll Highway Authority oversees Illinois' toll roads.  Visit its website to purchase an I-PASS, manage your account, or pay unpaid tolls.

Tourism
Visit Enjoy Illinois, the State's official tourism website to learn about fun opportunities for vacations and stay-cations here in Illinois.

Transparency and Accountability
Visit the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal to learn more about State expenditures, employees, contracts, and more.

Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation manages Illinois' system of highways.  Visit its website for important information about construction and weather-related road closures, maps, and more.

Department of Veterans Affairs
Illinois provides many services to veterans, including monetary assistance for low-income veterans and their families, veterans' homes, and free and reduced-price licenses for various activities.  Visit the department's website for more information.

Workers' Compensation Commission
The Workers' Compensation Commission arbitrates workers' compensation claims to help protect workers from employers who won't pay for injuries incurred on the job and to protect employers from expensive lawsuits.

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