SPRINGFIELD – A steadfast champion of Illinois laws to keep harmful tobacco products away from young people, State Senator Julie Morrison expanded upon her work passing a measure to ban e-cigarettes inside public places. 032223CM0177

“A tobacco epidemic continues in our state,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “We have made great progress, but the surge of use of e-cigarettes has threatened that progress and lured more people toward a deadly addiction.”

Passed in 2007, the Smoke Free Illinois Act prohibited smoking in public and within 15 feet of entrances, and required “no smoking” signs to be posted on the prohibited public place. However, this law took effect when people primarily smoked cigarettes and cigars.

In recent years, the use of e-cigarettes – like vapes – has increased tremendously, leading Morrison to work to add such products to the Smoke Free Illinois Act through Senate Bill 1561.

“By including e-cigarettes and vaping in Illinois’ comprehensive smoke-free law, the State is taking an important step to keeping our workplaces free from the toxins and carcinogens in secondhand smoke,” said Joel Africk, president and CEO of Respiratory Health Association.

Morrison has been an advocate for putting an end to tobacco use by teens since entering the General Assembly. In 2019, she successfully passed a law that increases the age to legally purchase tobacco to 21 and last year passed a measure to place a number of restrictions on marketing e-cigarettes to children.

“We applaud Senator Morrison for her leadership in strengthening our state’s smoke-free law by passing SB1561 to protect people from harmful secondhand exposure to e-cigarettes in virtually all indoor public places,” said Kristina Hamilton, Illinois advocacy director, American Lung Association. “On behalf of patient advocacy organizations across the state, we look forward to our continued work together to pass this measure in the full Senate and ultimately in the Illinois General Assembly.”

Senate Bill 1561 passed the Senate Thursday. It now heads to the House for further consideration.

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison released the following statement after the Illinois Department of Human Services released a comprehensive plan to improve care at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in Anna.

“The state must take an aggressive approach to unravel and fix the ongoing issues at Choate. The quality of life of people with developmental disabilities has been ignored. We can no longer sit back and allow cruelty, abuse and poor care to overrun the facility.

“The multi-faceted plan rebalances the population served by moving some residents into less restrictive settings, such as Community Integrative Living Arrangement facilities. Hiring at least 160 new and professionally-trained staff and renovating the site for those residents who cannot live in the community are positive steps I support.”

“The plan outlined by the Department of Human Services is a good start. It is vital immediate action is taken to double down on safety precautions to ensure no other person is mistreated.”

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DEERFIELD – As a legislator, it is State Senator Julie Morrison’s top priority to take feedback from the community and turn it in to positive change. Morrison is pleased to announce a new express services lane at the Deerfield driver’s services facility, cutting down long lines and extensive wait times. DeerfieldExpressLane

“My office gets phone call and emails about completely unacceptable wait times. Renewing your driver’s license or changing your address should not be burdensome,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “Secretary Giannoulias and I visited the Deerfield location and saw first-hand just how stressful and agonizing the experience was for the community. These new services will be a major change.”

Morrison and Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias toured the Deerfield facility recently. After seeing for themselves the long lines and delays, they knew they had to do something to improve customer experience. Secretary Giannoulias created an express services program, which will allow people to renew or replace a lost driver’s license or ID card or updating their address.

The new express service is available next to the Deerfield facility, 405 Lake Cook Rd. in Deerfield. It is open Tuesday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“People – especially seniors – should not have to stand in long lines or spend half their day to simply update their driver’s license. Thanks to the new express service program, wait times will be cut exponentially,” said Morrison. “I thank Secretary Giannoulias for his commitment to taking residents’ concerns to heart and making change.”

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For the first time in years, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee met – this time with State Senator Julie Morrison serving as the chair.


“Every day we benefit from the sacrifices and hard work of our veterans, and I simply cannot thank them enough for what they do,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “It is our civic duty as elected officials to support these local heroes by ensuring they have access to the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives,"

Morrison will serve as chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee throughout the 103rd General Assembly. Morrison was a steadfast advocate on restarting the committee after hearing from many veterans in the community that they needed an advocate in Springfield. Morrison’s district includes the military facilities of Fort Sheridan and Great Lake Naval Training Base.

The committee will meet regularly throughout the legislative session to discuss matters relating to veterans and how the General Assembly can better provide for them.

“Veterans are forgotten heroes that should be remembered and supported,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “They put their lives on the line for our freedom and safety and deserve the utmost respect and assistance when they return home.”

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