SPRINGFIELD – Following the success of State Senator Julie Morrison’s law to provide more efficient ways for people to cast their ballot from home during the peak of the pandemic, a new proposal to make voting by mail permanently more accessible was signed into law.

05282021CM0248“The COVID-19 demonstrated the interest and efficiency of voting by mail,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “This becomes a permanent change that will encourage more voters to participate in the election process.” 

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morrison successfully championed a law to mail a 2020 General Election vote-by-mail application to every person who voted during the previous two years. In response, one of every three votes cast during the election was cast via a mail ballot. 

The law expands upon Morrison’s previous voting rights progress by allowing voters to request to be added to a list to permanently receive vote-by-mail ballots for all future elections. Voters who are added to the permanent vote-by-mail list will remain on the list unless requested to be removed or the election authority receives confirmation the voter has registered in another county. 

Additionally under the newly signed law, people with disabilities would be able to independently and privately fill out ballots using assistive technology – a provision originally led by Morrison.

“Voting disparities among people with disabilities is a very real issues,” Morrison said.

Senate Bill 825 was signed by the governor Thursday. It takes effect immediately.

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) released the following statement after the Illinois Senate left Springfield without voting on a clean energy plan Wednesday:

“I’m disappointed the Senate didn’t come together to pass a clear, comprehensive clean energy measure that will help fight climate change. I have talked to so many people across the community who share my concerns regarding the future of our environment. I hear you and see you.

“I have fought for a just and equitable transition to clean energy for years – and yesterday was simply just another obstacle to overcome. We must pass a measure that transitions Illinois to 100% renewable energy — and we must plot that timeline now.”

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – To ensure they can more easily prove they’re under an order of protection, Illinois would issue an official card for survivors of domestic violence under a measure sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest).

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“We must do all we can to protect survivors of domestic violence and provide them with the peace of mind that they are safe,” Morrison said. “Allowing them to have a convenient way to live life with the fullest protection possible is pertinent.”

Under the measure, survivors of domestic violence who have an order of protection would be granted a “Hope Card” to carry as official documentation of the order. The driver’s license-sized, laminated card could be distributed to people who may need to be aware of the order in an easier and more convenient way than traditional paper copies. 

Morrison’s legislation would require the Illinois Supreme Court to implement the Hope Card program for any person under a preliminary order of protection. The card would contain a photograph, case number, active dates of the order of protection and other pertinent information. Survivors would be able to get multiple Hope Cards to pass out to coworkers, teachers and administrators at a child’s school, or anyone else who might need to be aware of the order of protection.

“The Hope Card will equip survivors with a much easier way to communicate their situation with others,” Morrison said. “Passing this measure is showing survivors we see them and we are here to help.”

House Bill 3485 has passed both chambers.  

Category: Latest News

SPRINGFIELD – To ensure people with gluten intolerances aren’t unknowingly consuming gluten in the medications they take, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) sponsored a measure to require oral drugs to carry proper warning labels.

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“Restaurants and grocery stores have increased their gluten-free offerings and have become far better equipped to properly label and handle items for people with dietary restrictions,” Morrison said. “People with Celiac and other gluten intolerances should feel just as protected when visiting a pharmacy.”

Under the legislation passed Thursday, any prescription or over-the-counter drug that contains gluten but is not labeled as such would be considered misbranded. Because most medications do not contain gluten, consumers are often under the assumption none do unless otherwise specified. Therefore, if a drug does contain gluten and is not accurately labeled, a person with Celiac or other gluten intolerances could take it and be surprised with harmful health issues.

Celiac disease affects nearly three million American who must follow a fully gluten-free diet. Many more struggle with gluten sensitivity.

“The measure will make it easier and safer for people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to make informed purchases of necessary medications,” Morrison said. “We expect the food we purchase to be properly labeled, so why shouldn’t we expect the same from the medications we take?”

House Bill 279 has now passed both chambers.

Category: Latest News

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