SPRINGFIELD – As physical attacks against Jewish individuals and communities increase, and anti-Semitic rhetoric around the globe and in Illinois becomes more wide-spread, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) released the following statement:

“I am extremely troubled by recent events in which the basic right of freedom of religion has been challenged. Anti- Semitic attacks – or acts of discrimination of any kind – have no place in our state or country. All people deserve to freely express their thoughts and practice their religious beliefs without fear of violence or discrimination.

“We need to strive for open dialogue and mutual understanding with all the citizens of our communities. We should all be advocates for peacebuilding and conflict resolution.”  

 

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SPRINGFIELD – Findings from a report requested by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) shows LGBTQ youth in care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services are not being properly identified, placed, tracked or counted. It also found DCFS did not provide training to its contracted service providers, who become responsible for these youth.

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Today, Morrison is calling on the department to adhere to its own policies immediately.

“LGBTQ youth in care are disproportionately likely to become homeless and deal with mental health struggles, yet the very agency that is supposed to protect them is doing them great disservice,” Morrison said. “DCFS fell short. It is not adhering to its own policies put in place to respect LGBTQ children’s identities and the care they need.”

The auditor general investigated how many LGBTQ children were under the care of DCFS and the number of providers deemed “clinically appropriate” for the kids. However, the audit found the agency "does not collect sufficient information regarding whether those in care are LGBTQ."

“We must ensure all children are placed in understanding environments that accept them and supports their authentic selves,” Morrison said.

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HIGHWOOD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is congratulating Highwood Public Library for winning the highest honor a library can achieve from the Institute of Museum of Library Services. 

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“The library is more than books and periodicals. It’s technology for low-income families. It’s a guiding hand during the pandemic when jobs were lost, when schools were closed, and when the pantries were bare,” Morrison said. “It’s a place Highwood residents could count on for acceptance, connection and ongoing support.”

Highwood Public Library was awarded the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It will be presented the award at a virtual ceremony in July.

Highwood Public Library was one of just six award winners nationwide. To receive the medal, libraries must provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of services. Additionally, the libraries must bring change that touches the lives of people and helps the community thrive.

“There is no library more deserving of the honor and recognition than Highwood,” Morrison said. “From educational support to free multicultural and bilingual programs and services, the library is a one-stop shop for all residents’ needs.”

To read more about Highwood Public Library’s recognition, people can visit the Institute of Museum of Library Services’ website.

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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 passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee Tuesday.

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