Welcome!

Welcome to my legislative website! I am proud to serve as the State Senator from Illinois' 29th District, representing portions of the North Suburbs of Chicago in Lake and Cook Counties.

It is truly my honor to represent you in Springfield. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions or ways I can better serve you.

Sincerely,

Julie Morrison

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) passed a measure to provide law enforcement officers with additional tools and training opportunities to help keep communities safe. morrisonpolice

“One message that I frequently hear across the district is that public safety and a rise in crime continue to be a major concern,” Morrison said. “Yet staffing shortages are hindering police from best protecting their communities.

Morrison is the Senate sponsor of House Bill 3863, which would create the Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Fund to support departments through the hiring and training processes and help with retention strategies.

The measure would provide grants to law enforcement agencies for hiring and retention of officers. Funds could also be used for mental health care for officers, safety equipment and training, or improvements in jails. Mental health services for inmates could also be funded through this grant.

“The measures I have introduced can help keep our communities safer,” Morrison said. “These efforts support the valuable work that law enforcement does in our communities and in our state every day and every hour.”

Morrison is also supporting a number of other measures this session to help law enforcement officers. Body cameras are critical for keeping officers safe as well as improving evidence quality and reducing liability for agencies. House Bill 4608 would for video retention for evidentiary value and allows grant funds to be used for data storage costs.

In an effort to improve the correctional system and reduce recidivism, House Bill 4364 would create the Mental Health and Substance Use Prevention Fund which would allow the Department of Human Services to offer grants and programs in county jails for incarcerated individuals or people who have been recently released.

Morrison’s House Bill 3863 passed the Senate Thursday.

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One message that I consistently hear across the district is that Public Safety and a rise in crime continues to be a major concern.  As the spring legislative session nears its end, I wanted to share with you some measures that I have introduced to help police keep our communities safer, either through better and more advanced tools related to their jobs, or to retain them in our communities.

 

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1) SB3754 (Morrison) would create the Protect Our Communities grant program. It aims to help hire and retain officers. It can also be used for mental health care for officers, safety equipment and training, or improvements in jails. Mental health services for inmates could also be funded through this grant.

2) SB4067 (Morrison) would provide $4 million to the Illinois State Police for equipment called NIBIN. The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network Program allows gun cartridge cases found at the scene of a crime in Illinois to be matched with other cartridges from across the nation, giving law-enforcement a huge advantage in solving crimes.

3) To encourage more law enforcement officers to continue in this important work, I have introduced SB4183 (Morrison), a homestead exemption deducted from the property’s value for any member of the law enforcement community.

4) I also am supporting a measure in the budget that would provide a signing bonus for all Illinois State police cadet graduates to receive upon successful completion of the training academy.

5) Locally, in Lake County, SB3779 (Morrison), I introduced a bill for that would create a pilot program for text messaging to victims and the surviving family members of crime to inform them about upcoming court dates.

Combined with other measures before the General Assembly, I believe these are measures that can help keep our community safer and support the valuable work that law enforcement does in our community and in our state, every day and every hour.

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SPRINGFIELD – Drivers with autism or other disabilities that impede effective communication would have the peace of mind that an officer would recognize their condition during a traffic stop, 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 measure would create the opportunity for drivers to disclose a medical condition or disability that could impede effective communication with a police officer.

The space provided on an application for a vehicle registration would 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 would 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 properly 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 medical 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.  

"I often worry about what would happen if lights and sirens lit up behind him. Would he move his arms rapidly as an officer approached the car? Would he avoid eye contact when asked for his license? How would a police officer react to his unexpected or perhaps even inadvertently non-compliant responses," Henry said. "Since autism is a hidden disability, how would an officer ever know that my brother is communicating the best that he can? In short, I am afraid that some of the very behaviors that help my brother cope with high-stress situations could be tragically misinterpreted." 

House Bill 4825 passed the Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk.

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SPRINGFIELD – To recognize the agency’s 100 years of service to residents across the state, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) supported an initiative declaring April 2022 as Illinois State Police Centennial Month. 

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“Our men and women in uniform make the ultimate sacrifice each day to serve and protect our communities,” Morrison said. “By recognizing the Illinois State Police throughout the month of April, we will show support to those who go above and beyond to support us.”

Under the Public Works and Buildings Department, the Illinois State Police was created on April 1, 1922. The agency was initially responsible for enforcing road weight laws. At the beginning, there were only eight patrolmen, and their equipment included World War I uniforms, motorcycles and portable scales for weighing trucks.

Now, with leadership from Director Brendan Kelly, ISP operates 21 patrol districts, eight investigative zones, six forensic science laboratories, and five regional crime scene service centers. The agency works to promote public safety, assist local law enforcement departments, decrease roadway crashes and reduce crime across the state.

“We are forever indebted to those who work around the clock to protect every corner of our state,” Morrison said. “I can’t thank each of these honorable men and women enough.”

Senate Resolution 934 was adopted by the Senate Tuesday.

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