030513br0306r“For me, this law is about turning a personal tragedy into an opportunity to protect other people. Last summer, my nephew was killed by a boater under the influence of drugs and alcohol. I’m doing everything I can to keep other families from experiencing our loss.”
-State Senator Julie Morrison

CHICAGO – Thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), families enjoying Illinois’ many lakes and rivers will have a little bit less to worry about next summer. The law targets reckless boaters who operate their craft under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“For me, this law is about turning a personal tragedy into an opportunity to protect other people,” Morrison said. “Last summer, my nephew was killed by a boater under the influence of drugs and alcohol. I’m doing everything I can to keep other families from experiencing our loss.”

Specifically, the law requires boaters who are involved in crashes resulting in serious injuries or death to submit to breathalyzer or chemical tests, much like suspected drunken drivers. If they refuse, the secretary of state will have the authority to suspend their driver’s licenses.

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SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) issued the following statement after the General Assembly voted to override Governor Quinn’s veto of the legislation to authorize concealed carry in Illinois. Quinn rewrote the law to increase public safety protections.

“I’m disappointed that my colleagues in the General Assembly don’t care more about common-sense public safety measures to reduce gun violence,” said Morrison, who supported the governor’s proposed changes. “Guns and alcohol – any alcohol – are a recipe for disaster, and you can’t convince me that anyone needs more than one gun or more than 10 bullets for protection.

“I will keep fighting to keep guns out of our communities, away from our children and out of the hands of criminals.”

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“I think it’s great that people are taking advantage of our state’s lakes and rivers. They’re a great place for family fun. However, we need to keep everyone safe. We need to keep the lakes clean. And we need to make sure that they stay open to everyone.” - State Senator Julie Morrison

Deerfield, IL – Due to her impressive advocacy for increased safety on Illinois’ waterways, State Senator Julie Morrison has been tapped to lead an investigation into Illinois’ boater safety laws.

“We have law after law to ensure that people drive their cars safely. We need to make sure that we give watercraft the same scrutiny,” the Deerfield Democrat said. “A 1,000 pound boat can be every bit as deadly as a car.”

Morrison’s interest in waterway safety stems from personal tragedy. Her nephew, Tony Borcia, was killed by a drunken boat operator last year.

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051613br0298rSPRINGFIELD – Morrison said a new state audit underscores her belief that changes may be needed at the Department of Children and Family Services, changes she plans to explore at a series of upcoming statewide hearings.

“The children who enter the DCFS system are very vulnerable. It is our responsibility to safeguard them. Clearly the status quo is not working,” said Morrison, a longtime advocate for child welfare. Morrison’s involvement with the agency dates back to 1986, when she was appointed to serve on Governor’s Statewide Advisory Council to the Department of Children and Family Services.

Morrison (D-Deerfield) was already in the process of finalizing three hearings regarding lingering issues at DCFS when a new state audit was released this week. Illinois Auditor General William G. Holland’s office found that in addition to not determining whether cases are warranted in a timely manner, the agency failed to initiate investigations within a 24-hour time period.

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