“We require people who drive cars to earn licenses. It’s only reasonable to require boat operators to have some basic training. We require people to use headlights when they drive at night. Flying flags when you’re towing an inner tuber or water skier serves the same purpose.” - Senator Julie Morrison

water-safety-040114RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison’s (D-Deerfield) water safety plan – the product of months of hearings, a careful study of other state’s best practices and bipartisan compromise – passed the Illinois General Assembly. It now goes to the governor for his consideration.

“A few commonsense safety precautions can help keep Illinois’ waterways safe for children and families,” Morrison said. “We require people who drive cars to earn licenses. It’s only reasonable to require boat operators to have some basic training. We require people to use headlights when they drive at night. Flying flags when you’re towing an inner tuber or water skier serves the same purpose.”

The first part of the package is Senate Bill 2731, which requires boats that are towing inner tubers, water skiers or others to fly orange flags. Several other states, including Illinois neighbor Missouri, already have similar laws. Orange safety flags are widely available for $10 or less.

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032014 js 0050CLRSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison’s (D-Deerfield) legislation to enable county boards to remove appointed officials who violate the public trust passed the Illinois General Assembly last week and now goes to the governor.

“When employees break their companies’ codes of conduct, their bosses can fire them. When elected officials violate the public trust, the people can vote them out or their colleagues can impeach them. Right now, if appointed officials act unethically, county boards can’t do anything but wait for their terms to expire,” Morrison said. “This situation must change.”

Morrison’s legislation, Senate Bill 3552, introduced at the request of Lake County Board, allows the county boards of the collar counties to remove appointed officials by a two-thirds majority vote. To initiate the process, the county board or county executive would have to find that the appointed official violated the county’s code of conduct, and the county board would have to hold a hearing.

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040914 js 0201RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison’s (D-Deerfield) plan to improve the transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the Department of Children and Family Services has cleared the Illinois General Assembly. It now goes to the governor for his approval.

“We have to hold DCFS to the highest standards possible,” Morrison said. “Thousands of children are depending on state government to keep them safe.”

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RecyclingRRecycling is one of simplest and easiest ways that we can help improve our environment. Currently, Illinois has laws that require us all to recycle electronics. This not only allows for rare metals, such as copper and silver, to be harvested, but it also saves energy. Recycling one million laptops saves the amount of electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.

State Senator Julie Morrison is currently sponsoring House Bill 4227, which would make it much easier for everyone to recycle computers, cell phones and other electronics. The legislation would require the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to post the mailing addresses of electronics recycling collection sites so that people will be able to conveniently find their nearest recycler.

“I hear from people all the time who want to recycle their old cell phones and laptops, but don’t know where to go,” Morrison said. “Having a handy list of all drop-off locations on the EPA’s website would make electronics recycling much easier.”

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