HIGHWOOD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) released the following statement after the nation’s top court overturned Roe v. Wade, stripping millions of women across the nation from their right to choose.

“Today’s decision by the nation’s top court is devastating – a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body should be a basic health care standard. By stripping women of that right, women are being told their rights don’t matter – despite it being 2022.

“I am grateful the General Assembly took the necessary precautionary steps years ago to ensure abortion remains legal in Illinois. Yet my heart breaks for the millions of women across the nation whose rights have been taken from them.”

 

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CHICAGO – Survivors of rape often don’t seek medical care out of fear a parent or abuser could find out. State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) championed a newly signed law to provide survivors with greater safety and peace of mind.

040722HAO00593“The trauma associated with sexual assault is already profound – the last thing survivors need is the added stress of a lack of privacy and confidentiality,” Morrison said. “This law will allow people to feel more secure in seeking a rape exam.”

Morrison’s law allows sexual assault survivors to access to related health care services free-of-charge for 180 days after their initial medical forensic exam – allowing them to forgo billing their private insurance. Many survivors fear receiving medical help following a sexual assault because they’re worried their insurance policy holder – a parent or spouse, for example – will find out.

Far too often, people in abusive relationships are assaulted by their spouse or guardian, who happens to be the primary insurer. Without a guarantee of confidentiality and fearing insurance records would disclose the exam, many survivors don’t seek assistance.

“Immediate access to medical forensic services is not only key to helping victims of sexual assault and abuse seek justice. Perhaps more importantly, they allow survivors to receive care and access the resources needed to heal physically and emotionally,” Attorney General Raoul said. “I appreciate Sen. Morrison’s efforts in passing this vital legislation that will move Illinois forward in assuring that all survivors have access to the care and support that will help them recover from trauma.”

Senate Bill 3023 was signed into law Thursday.

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SPRINGFIELD – To put the state on a path toward increased sustainability, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) championed a law signed Friday to cut back on single-use plastic being sent to landfills.

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“It’s simple: Eliminating plastic use at our parks is a small step we can take to make a big difference,” Morrison said.

Morrison’s law will require state agencies to only contract with vendors that do not use single-use plastics for food services at state parks and natural areas starting in January 2024. Rather, compostable or recyclable foodware will need to be utilized – except plastic straws upon request only.

Nearly 47% of plastic waste in the United States is from single-use plastic and packaging. Limiting plastic products can significantly reduce plastic pollution. Further, more than 85% of the trash picked up in Great Lakes beach cleanups is made of plastic.

“We must work together to do all we can to keep our parks clean,” Morrison said. “By implementing more biodegradable and reusable alternatives to plastic, we can put our communities on a path toward sustainability.”

Senate Bill 1915 was signed into law Friday.  

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CHICAGO – To give insulin-dependent diabetics a more effective way to manage their blood sugar levels, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) championed a newly signed law to require insurance plans to cover continuous glucose monitors.

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“This is a development in science that should be available to help people better regulate their diabetes,” Morrison said. “Glucose monitoring systems should be covered the same as other medical equipment.” 

Under Morrison’s law, insurance plans will be required to include coverage for continuous glucose monitors, which are regularly used to help people manages their diabetes through a wearable device rather than pricking their finger. Any person with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes that requires insulin would be provided coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

In Illinois alone, approximately 1.3 million adults have diabetes – about 12.5% of the state’s population –according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago commends Governor Pritzker, Senator Julie Morrison and Representative Suzanne Ness for passing and signing into law legislation that will improve access to Continuous Glucose Monitor devices for Illinois children and families afflicted with diabetes,” said Dr. Naomi Fogel, Medical Director of the Diabetes Program at Lurie Children’s.  “Children and families with access to Continuous Glucose Monitors have improved health outcomes, reducing their risk for Emergency Room visits, hospitalizations and future complications.”

Morrison has been a long-time advocate for people with diabetes, supporting a 2019 measure that capped patients’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply.

Senate Bill 2969 was signed into law Wednesday.

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SPRINGFIELD – Drivers with autism or other disabilities that impede effective communication will have better experiences during routine traffic stops, 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 law signed Friday will create the opportunity for drivers to disclose a medical condition or disability that could impede effective communication with a police officer.

“An important part of inclusive communities is overcoming barriers to communication, especially during potentially stressful interactions,” said Josh Evans, president/CEO of IARF, which represents disability service providers throughout Illinois. “This law is an important step toward inclusion for persons with disabilities and it is a reasonable accommodation to improve interactions with law enforcement to prevent the potential for an unnecessary or unintentional escalation.”

The space provided on an application for a vehicle registration will now 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 will 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 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 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.  

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