SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is working to ensure people store their guns in a safe and secure manner.

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“Recognizing that unsecured guns pose a public health risk is an important step in preventing accidental injuries and deaths,” Morrison said. “These programs will serve as a reminder of the lethal power of firearms and that proper storage can help prevent tragic accidents.”

Morrison passed a measure that would direct the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop a two-year, multi-phase statewide firearm storage and safety campaign that would include distribution of gun locks and safes, buyback programs in partnership with law enforcement and an evaluation piece to measure the impact of the program.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, an unsecured gun in the home can be extremely dangerous, especially for children. Every year, nearly 1,300 children die from accidental shootings and many more are seriously injured.

“This bill ensures that both children and families are more educated on gun safety,” Morrison said.

House Bill 4729 passed the Senate.   

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – As children in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services transition both in and out of care, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) wants to ensure they have the tools to succeed.

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House Bill 5418, sponsored by Morrison in the Senate, would give children access to intervention and counseling services within the first 24 hours after removal from a home and require the DCFS division of child protection to assess a child’s wellbeing each month.

“Being removed from your home at a young age is an anguishing time,” Morrison said. “We must provide these children with the support they need.”

As youth in care grow older and the time comes for them to live on their own, this measure would require DCFS to ensure they receive classes and instructions on independent living and self-sufficiency in the areas of employment, finances, meals and housing.

Further, under the measure, youth in DCFS care would be provided a document that describes inappropriate acts of affection, discipline and punishment by guardians, foster parents and foster siblings.

“By giving children an understanding of appropriate affection and discipline, we are ensuring they know which acts they should report and the treatment they deserve,” Morrison said.

The measure passed the Senate. Morrison’s House Bill 4304, which requires DCFS to conduct an exit interview for every child, age five and over, who leaves foster care within five days of removal, also passed.

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – As children in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services transition both in and out of care, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) wants to ensure they have the tools to succeed.

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House Bill 5418, sponsored by Morrison in the Senate, would give children access to intervention and counseling services within the first 24 hours after removal from a home and require the DCFS division of child protection to assess a child’s wellbeing each month.

“Being removed from your home at a young age is an anguishing time,” Morrison said. “We must provide these children with the support they need.”

As youth in care grow older and the time comes for them to live on their own, this measure would require DCFS to ensure they receive classes and instructions on independent living and self-sufficiency in the areas of employment, finances, meals and housing.

Further, under the measure, youth in DCFS care would be provided a document that describes inappropriate acts of affection, discipline and punishment by guardians, foster parents and foster siblings.

“By giving children an understanding of appropriate affection and discipline, we are ensuring they know which acts they should report and the treatment they deserve,” Morrison said.

The measure passed the Senate Health Committee Tuesday. Morrison’s House Bill 4304, which requires DCFS to conduct an exit interview for every child, age five and over, who leaves foster care within five days of removal, also passed the committee.

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – Drivers with autism or other disabilities that impede effective communication would have the peace of mind that an officer would recognize their condition during a traffic stop, thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest).

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“A routine traffic stop sparks anxiety for anyone – now imagine you are a driver who has autism or another medical condition that makes processing social cues and responding to commands difficult,” Morrison said. “That can quickly lead to a stressful situation for both the driver and the police officer.”

Morrison’s measure would create the opportunity for drivers to disclose a medical condition or disability that could impede effective communication with a police officer.

The space provided on an application for a vehicle registration would include a checklist of common health conditions and disabilities that hinder effective communication as well as a blank space where an applicant may specify a condition not listed. The information would then be printed on the person’s vehicle registration and be put in the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System.

“If a police officer pulls someone over and that person isn’t making eye contact or properly engaging in conversation, the officer may think the driver is being defiant,” Morrison said. “The reality, however, is that not every person communicates in the manner. By designating a medical condition that impairs speech on one’s registration, a traffic stop would be a less stressful situation for all involved.”

The idea for the legislation came from Henry L., a Wheaton North High School student whose twin brother is on the autism spectrum.  

"I often worry about what would happen if lights and sirens lit up behind him. Would he move his arms rapidly as an officer approached the car? Would he avoid eye contact when asked for his license? How would a police officer react to his unexpected or perhaps even inadvertently non-compliant responses," Henry said. "Since autism is a hidden disability, how would an officer ever know that my brother is communicating the best that he can? In short, I am afraid that some of the very behaviors that help my brother cope with high-stress situations could be tragically misinterpreted." 

House Bill 4825 passed the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously Tuesday.

Category: Latest News

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