Tobacco21 OneStepCloserSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) led the Senate today in overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto of a proposal to increase the age to legally buy tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

“Raising the age has been proven to eliminate the availability of tobacco for teens that are 14, 15, 16 and 17 years old,” Morrison said. “Since most current smokers started when they were teens, it is vital we work to cut off that supply and prevent the development of a deadly, lifetime habit.”

Morrison introduced Senate Bill 2332 in January and teamed with health care advocates and local Lake County students to increase support among lawmakers for the proposal. After passing the Senate in April, the measure passed the House in May but was vetoed by Gov. Rauner in August. 

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PrescriptionBottleSPRINGFIELD – Insurance companies will no longer be able to impose step-therapy on stage 4 cancer patients under a new law signed over the weekend that was passed by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield).

“No cancer patient should have to deal with an insurance bureaucrat to fight for the medication prescribed by their physician,” Morrison said. “Seriously ill Illinoisans must be able to rely on effective medical treatments to manage their conditions without interference from their insurance companies.”

Morrison’s new law, House Bill 4821, prohibits insurers from imposing step-therapy upon drugs treating stage 4 cancers. Step-therapy is the process by which a patient tries other medications first before “stepping up” to drugs that are costlier.

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tobacco 21 press conferenceSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) released the following statement this afternoon after Governor Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 2332 that would have made Illinois the sixth state to raise the age to legally buy tobacco products to 21:

“I’m stunned that Bruce Rauner, the governor of the state of Illinois, sided with Big Tobacco instead of our children. We have known for decades the dangers of tobacco use. The Illinois communities that stepped up and adopted Tobacco 21 on their own have seen a dramatic decrease in high school smoking rates.

“At a time of increased vaping use among teens, the governor had an opportunity to make a real investment in the health of our next generation. Instead, he favored political considerations over the health of our children, and in doing so failed us all.”

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Pictured (left): Brothers Hunter and Owen Martin join State Senator Julie Morrison after testifying in support of HB 4516.

HunterOwenMartinSPRINGFIELD – Insurance companies will be required to cover prescribed hearing aids for minors in Illinois under a new law sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that was signed today.

“When a child cannot hear properly, a host of problems can arise, including falling behind in school and behavioral challenges,” Morrison said. “Hearing aids are medically necessary for children to successfully go to school and grow. We must ensure they are available to all children who need them.”

The new law, passed under House Bill 4516, requires insurers in Illinois to cover prescribed hearing aids to minors as well as cover related services and repairs when necessary. While the number of children in Illinois who need hearing aids is relatively small at fewer than 5,000, the nature of children’s hearing disabilities is usually different from adults and requires different kinds of hearing aids.

In May, Morrison was joined by two Illinois brothers who both have bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and testified in the Senate Insurance Committee about the importance of hearing aids in their daily life.

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