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The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today that February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will be funded through the end of February, but they will be issued to Illinois customers on or before January 20th. Typically, benefits are issued in the first few days of the month.

“We want to reassure our customers that SNAP benefits are funded through the end of February,” IDHS Secretary James Dimas said. “However, we need to spread the word as quickly and widely as possible that these benefits will be issued earlier than usual.”

SNAP is a federal program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and distributed through IDHS in Illinois. January and February SNAP benefits will not be affected by the current lack of federal appropriations. Because of the way the USDA has funded February SNAP benefits, they must be issued on or before January 20th. This is about a week and half earlier than usual for customers.

There is no need for customers to visit the local IDHS offices or call their caseworkers. IDHS staff will be working in the upcoming days to implement the necessary changes so customers see no disruption in their benefits. SNAP customers will receive the normal amount of monthly SNAP benefits on their Link cards, the debit-like cards used to spend SNAP benefits and other cash assistance.

IDHS will be working to communicate the early issuance to SNAP customers in the upcoming days through the IDHS website, Link website and customer service phone line, a social media campaign and community outreach. Click here to view additional information. 


SPRINGFIELD. . .State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) was sworn into office to begin his fifth term serving the 54th Legislative District of Illinois.

A special inauguration ceremony held at the University of Illinois at Springfield marked the official start of the 101st General Assembly. Representative Morrison joins 43 other Republican members of the caucus, which will resume legislative session on January 29th in the House of Representatives.

Representative Morrison is ready to get to work on some of the State’s biggest challenges, including the ongoing fiscal problems Illinois faces. “I am ready to move our state forward and will be working collaboratively with my colleagues in the House to file legislation that will make Illinois a better state,” said Morrison.

Morrison’s 54th Legislative District is located in Cook County and includes parts of Palatine, Inverness, Arlington Heights, Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, and portions of the City of Rolling Meadows. Illinois residents and constituents of the 54th District can follow Rep. Morrison’s legislation throughout the course of the 101st General Assembly at ilga.gov. 

With the arrival of the New Year comes a series of new laws enacted by the State of Illinois. This year, 253 new laws have taken effect as of January 1, 2019.

Click here to view a comprehensive list of these new laws. For more information on all the bills in the General Assembly, visit www.ilga.gov.

State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) has been named a “Friend of Manufacturing” by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) for his votes that impacted the manufacturing sector in 2017-2018.

Illinois State Representatives were scored on their votes on 23 different bills that were brought to the House floor for a vote during the 100th General Assembly, and those receiving a score of 80% or higher received the award. Morrison scored an 85% through the IMA legislative ratings.

“The best way to improve Illinois’ financial standing is to support those who create jobs and drive our state’s economy,” said Morrison. “Job growth is the easiest way to provide overall tax relief to Illinois’ citizens, and it is an honor to be recognized for my work in this area.”

Upon announcing the award recipients, IMA Vice President & CEO Mark Denzler said, “While we often hear from lawmakers that they are concerned about jobs and economic development, the IMA’s Legislative Voting Scorecard will actually show what elected officials support Illinois job creators. The IMA appreciates those lawmakers that have a strong record of support for the manufacturing sector.”

The IMA is a not-for-profit trade association for Illinois manufacturers. Founded in 1893, it is the oldest and largest statewide manufacturing trade association in the United States. The IMA’s mission is to strengthen the economic, social, environmental and governmental conditions for manufacturing and allied enterprises in the state of Illinois, resulting in an enlarged business base and increased employment.

Click here to view the full scorecard and a list of bills that were judged.
State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) announced today that the Governor’s office on Management and Budget (GOMB) has signed off on the release of State funds to assist William Hainey Harper College with heating system repairs throughout the 200-acre Palatine campus.

According to Morrison, the existing steam and condensate piping, valves and supports are failing and require replacement to maintain the integrity of the heating system that provides heat and hot water to the entire campus. “A failure of this system would result in the campus being closed until repairs are completed,” said Morrison. “With cold weather right around the corner, it is imperative that the repairs take place without delay.”

The total project cost is estimated at $1,057,083 and the college has agreed to pay $436,013 while the State pays the remaining $621,070.

The Harper College project allocation is part of $11.3 million in project funds that were released for use this week by community colleges throughout Illinois. Last week the State announced a $900,000 allocation to Harper College for improvements to the Engineering and Technology Center. Additional funds for other community college capital projects are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Approximately 50 taxpayers from the 54th Legislative House District attended a free property tax forum in Palatine on Thursday that was sponsored by State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine). Those in attendance learned about the tax assessment process and how to challenge an assessment that is believed to be inaccurate.

Morrison was joined at the event by Cook County Board of Review member Dan Patlak and Palatine Township Assessor Terry Kelly. Together they spoke to residents and explained the process that ties the value of their homes to the eventual tax bill that arrives in their mailboxes. The community leaders also outlined the exemptions that can be used to lower assessments and the steps required for appealing an assessment. Following the presentation, Morrison, Patlak and Kelly took questions from audience members.

“It was a pleasure to partner with Dan Patlak and Terry Kelly for this successful event,” said Morrison. “The procedure utilized to create assessments and tax bills can be confusing, and I was glad to offer a program where people could learn about the process, ensure they are receiving all eligible exemptions, and have their other questions answered. Everyone left with a better understanding of the process.”

Morrison said he would be hosting another property tax forum this fall.
Up to $900,000 in in capital funding has been released to benefit William Rainey Harper College in Palatine as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 capital budget approved by lawmakers in late May. The capital program was appropriated as part of the current Fiscal Year 2019 state budget.

“William Raney Harper College is known nation-wide for their excellence in education,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “This capital investment will help the college to build a state of the art, world class Engineering and Technology Center that will draw the best and brightest students. It is another example of how we are investing more in higher education to better prepare our students for the 21st century economy.”

The funds allocated to Harper College will be used for renovations and other improvements to the community college’s Engineering & Technology Center. The Center opened in 2014 and houses enhanced facilities to accommodate the growing demand for career training programs that lead directly to jobs such as manufacturing, welding, architectural technology, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), maintenance technology, law enforcement and fire science.

“These dollars are key investments in the infrastructure of Illinois' institutions of higher education. Harper's Engineering and Technology Center is leading the way down a relatively new path in keeping Illinois' cutting-edge and top-notch workforce,” said State Senator Tom Rooney (R-Rolling Meadows). “The state fulfilling its commitment to Harper is an important step in serving the students, residents, and businesses of the 27th District.”

“Industry in the Northwest suburbs needs qualified, capable employees, and this resource center helps provide the necessary training for people to fill these jobs and grow the Illinois economy,” said State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine). “This area pays a lot in income and property taxes, and I am pleased to see nearly a million dollars in State funds coming back to an institution that serves so many families in the 54th District and beyond.”

Having been approved, the Comptroller now has authority to release the funding to Harper College to complete improvements to the Engineering & Technology Center once costs begin to be incurred.

The Fiscal Year 2019 capital initiatives appropriated in the final budget included $100 million to address needs of higher education facilities, including the funding necessary to complete ongoing construction and repair projects, as well as financing to begin new maintenance and infrastructure improvement projects.