SPRINGFIELD – Last year, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) launched a special committee to look into Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services. She was concerned about reports of rising death rates, several high-profile cases of potentially preventable deaths and many anecdotal stories about the agency not performing as well as it should. Now, after a series of hearings, Morrison is proposing reforms to help DCFS improve its success rate.

“One of the most important roles our government plays is defending people who can’t defend themselves,” Morrison said. “We must do everything in our power to prevent child abuse and neglect.”

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“DCFS has a lot of caring, motivated employees doing the incredibly difficult job of protecting children. But, what the agency is doing as a whole clearly isn’t working well enough. A director with vision and experience could help change that.” – State Senator Julie Morrison

SPRINGFIELD -  State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), chair of the Illinois Senate Subcommittee on Issues Relating to DCFS, is calling on Governor Pat Quinn to undertake a national search for the next director of the Department of Children and Family Services. The agency is on its fourth director in four months.

“DCFS needs strong, consistent leadership,” said Morrison, who is sponsoring several measures to help reform the struggling child welfare agency. “This constant turnover of the agency’s top post is putting abused and neglected children at risk. I believe Governor Quinn shares my concerns, and I urge him to undertake a national search.”

The turnover at DCFS began in November when then-director Richard Calica resigned due to health concerns. He has since passed away. Calica was replaced by Interim Director Denise Gonzalez, who served little more than a month before Governor Quinn appointed Arthur Bishop to take over the agency. Mr. Bishop resigned yesterday after a series of news reports questioning his fitness for the post. Yet another interim director will take over the head spot at the agency on Friday.

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file5441277786833SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s $302 billion proposal to repair and expand the nation’s roads and rails:

“Safe, well-maintained roads and bridges are a vital part of our economy. People rely on our nation’s highways to get to work and school. Businesses rely on our Interstate system to ship their products all over the world. I hope that Washington can get its act together and reinvest in our nation’s infrastructure.”

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Sponsors plan to exempt taxes on prizes

021914 js 0354RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison, who represents many of Illinois’ Olympic athletes, is sponsoring legislation to exempt state taxes on Olympians’ awards.

“Olympic athletes proudly represent our state and country,” Morrison said. “We should honor them for their commitment. Exempting Illinois’ taxes on their prizes is one small way to show our appreciation.”

Olympic athletes who win gold are also awarded $25,000 dollars. Athletes who win silver earn $15,000, and athletes who earn bronze also receive $10,000.

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