041316CM2283SMSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) announced a series of summer hearings today in response to continued high-profile failures at the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

"Recent reports of another child abuse investigation that ended in tragedy highlight that there is something terribly wrong going on in an agency whose sole mission is to protect kids,” Morrison said. “These hearings are not meant to place blame on any one person. But it is imperative we work to find out where this agency is failing. If we don’t look, we will never see.”

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CapitolSMSPRINGFIELD – A plan by State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) that would increase transparency and modernize financial disclosure forms filled out by politicians, judges and certain state employees passed the Senate this morning.

“Our current financial disclosure process is antiquated and not built to properly disclose vital information that is the purpose behind this process,” Morrison said. “Taxpayers should be assured that their lawmakers are operating under the highest levels of ethics and transparency.”

Morrison’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 1289, updates the Statement of Economic Interest form, a financial disclosure form meant to increase transparency among elected officials and state employees involved with bidding and state contracts. The form has undergone few changes since it was enacted in 1972.

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03072017CM0511RSPRINGFIELD – For children under the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), finding an environment where minors are safe and protected is of the upmost importance.

Several reports have highlighted shortcomings at the state agency, however, in ensuring abused or neglected children are placed in appropriate living situations in a timely fashion. State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) is working with child care advocates on two proposals that would increase the court system’s role in preventing children from languishing in temporary or inadequate settings. 

“Abused children require stable environments to resume any sense of normalcy to their lives,” Morrison said. “When temporary placements turn into long-term living situations, children cannot get the kind of treatment they need, making it even harder to recover from their abuse or neglect.”

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SenateFloorSPRINGFIELD – It is not uncommon for local governmental officials to have access to taxpayer-purchased vehicles or receive vehicle allowances for use in conducting city business. But several suburban officials have the ability of using their vehicle allowance perk to boost their pension payments when they retire – a practice State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) thinks should be ended.

“Why should taxpayers be expected to pay for an increased pension for a mayor or other local official because they received a vehicle allowance?” Morrison said. “It doesn’t make sense and it needs to end.”

Current Illinois law allows certain allowances received by public officials to be counted as pensionable earnings. Morrison passed Senate Bill 701 out of the Senate this week, which would exclude vehicle allowances from the definition of earnings, prohibiting the perk from increasing a future pension.

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