HIGHWOOD —As the COVID-19 vaccine starts to make its way to Illinois, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is encouraging Lake County Residents to register to be notified when the vaccine is available. 

“The health and safety of Lake County residents is the No. 1 priority,” Morrison said. “I’m pleased a vaccination plan is being spearheaded by our local health department and being lead by experts and scientists.”

The Lake County Health Department announced the creation of the Lake County AllVax Portal Wednesday — which allows Lake County residents to register to be notified when a COVID-19 vaccine is available to them. 

Registration is quick and easy, simply requiring residents to enter basic information and answer a few screening questions. Once registered, people will be notified when the vaccine is available and given the chance to schedule their vaccination appointments through the Lake County clinics and other facilities. The portal also includes answers to frequently asked questions on COVID-19 vaccination.

Initial vaccine supply will be limited, so groups of people who are at higher risk — either due to their wellbeing or job — will be the first people eligible for the vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is helping state and local health departments distribute the vaccine fairly. 

“The portal — and eventually distribution of the vaccine — will help us protect our communities and begin to return to normalcy,” Morrison said. “Do your part for the community and register today.” 

To register, people can visit AllVax.lakecohealth.org or call the Lake County Health Department at 847-377-8130.

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LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — As the cold winter months begin and the COVID-19 pandemic continues, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) and State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) urged Gov. JB Pritzker to establish a new moratorium against utility shut-offs. 

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“The high cost associated with electricity and gas bills during the winter months are already difficult for so many at-risk families — the addition of layoffs stemming from the ongoing public health crisis will make it even harder,” Morrison said. “No one should have to worry about how to keep their family safe and warm. A warm home is a basic human necessity that absolutely no one should have to go without.”

Johnson and Morrison, alongside other members of the Illinois Senate, sent Pritzker a letter Monday, urging him to establish a moratorium against utility shut-offs this winter. Although the Illinois Commerce Commission previously negotiated a voluntary moratorium with some companies — it’s not mandatory, nor have all companies signed on. The members of the Senate who sent the letter told the governor Illinois residents need assurances that they will continue to have heat, even if the pandemic causes them financial hardship. 

“Families are already coping with the stress of potentially becoming ill from COVID-19. We must alleviate further potential illness stemming from a lack of proper heat,” Johnson said. “We, as Illinoisans, must continue to be nationwide leaders who show that we will prioritize every person’s needs — regardless of financial background, race or ZIP code.” 

Morrison and Johnson urge Pritzker to immediately create a utility moratorium plan.

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DEERFIELD — State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is congratulating four schools in the Northern Suburbs for earning National Blue Ribbon Schools honors. 

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“I am always proud to represent a district full of extraordinary schools that put our students first,” Morrison said. “This recognition has made me even prouder — showing that teachers and administrators are working tirelessly to help our students achieve high test scores and close achievement gaps among student groups.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a U.S. Department of Education Award Program designed in 1982 to recognize high achieving schools on a yearly basis in two categories — Exemplary High Performing Schools and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools. Throughout the state, 21 schools have received recognition this year — four of which are in the district Morrison represents. 

Field Middle School and Indian Trail Elementary School were both awarded the in the Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools category for their efforts to close the achievement gaps between their subgroups and all students over the past five years. 

The School of Saint Mary and Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart both received recognition in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category. Schools that received the commendation scored at the highest performance level on tests referenced by the national norms in the most recent year tested.

The U.S. Secretary of Education will honor the 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools in a virtual ceremony Nov. 12 and 13. 

“Every staff member, parent and student should be proud of their hard work to receive such a prestigious honor,” Morrison said. “We will continue to see the benefits of this work for years to come as our children grow to become our future leaders.” 

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DEERFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is congratulating Maryville Academy in Des Plaines on receiving a $200,000 state grant for a six bed expansion to serve at-risk adolescent females.

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“Maryville and the other recipients of this grant have the critical job of serving the most vulnerable of our youth,” said Morrison, who has worked for years to improve the quality of care received by youth served by the Department of Children and Family Services. “It’s great that this grant will allow them to serve more young women.”

These DCFS-awarded Residential Capital Improvement Grants were funded by the General Assembly to increase bed capacity and program funding for medically complex youth and youth with severe mental health issues. 

“Expanding residential homes like Maryville means that girls and young women of Illinois get the help they need,” Morrison said. “With the ongoing public health crisis, supporting these populations is more important than ever.” 

Six residential and group homes were awarded grants, totaling $866,000, to help replace some of the more than 500 residential beds the state has lost in recent years.

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DEERFIELD — As more parents return to in-office work, they are relying on child care providers — many of which have struggled to keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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However, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) applauds the Business Interruption Grant program for prioritizing the needs of these facilities. 

“A large number of parents turn to child care providers for help, and if those facilities aren’t open, many families can’t return to work during a time of increased need,” Morrison said. “Child care facilities were some of the hardest hit businesses this year — but also some of the most essential.” 

More than $150 million in grants were awarded to 4,686 child care providers across 95 counties. Nearly half of the funds was given to providers in areas disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

Additional care facilities have continued to face financial hardships, leading the state to open a second round of BIG grants. During the second wave, $114 million will be available for child care centers and family child care homes which are licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services and are currently open. 

Applications for the Child Care Restoration Grants are available until Oct. 15 and can be found here. 

All other businesses can apply for BIG grants here. 

“Any small business in Illinois — no matter the type or location — should take advantage of this program,” Morrison said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and economy, and I hope to see them continue to succeed.” 

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