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Senate women urge full support of caucus leaders on ethics reform

womens caucus 061318SPRINGFIELD – Following last week’s signing of House Bill 138, the women of the senate are calling on the four caucus leaders to fully support and commit to seeking additional ethics reforms. They sent a letter to the legislative leaders underscoring that HB 138 was only the beginning of what needs to be done to ensure there is a truly independent, transparent process for individuals to come forward with complaints of inappropriate behavior.

“The passing of House Bill 138 represents another vital step in ensuring we have a process that is effective and free from partisan influence to investigate the serious nature of sexual harassment in the Capitol,” said Sen. Bush (D-Grayslake), sponsor of House Bill 138.

Bush measure to reform the legislative ethics investigation process signed into law

Sen. Melinda BushSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush’s (D-Grayslake) legislation to overhaul the process of investigating ethics complaints at the Capitol was signed into law this morning by the governor.

“This is a vitally important first step in ensuring claims of sexual harassment and discrimination are taken seriously and investigated properly,” said Bush, Co-Chair of the Senate Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force. “We know our current culture won’t change overnight. But unless we take a stand and say ‘Time’s Up’, nothing will change in Springfield.”

Bush passes measure to reform the legislative ethics investigation process

bush 053118SPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to overhaul the process of investigating ethics complaints at the Capitol advanced out of the Senate today.

“This is about changing the process of how ethics complaints are handled so that we can guarantee that any person who comes forward and files a claim with the legislative inspector general knows that their complaint is being reviewed in an independent, transparent and timely manner,” said Bush, Co-Chair of the Senate Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force.

Bush passes measure to help relieve Zion’s burden of housing nuclear waste

bush 053018SPRINGFIELD – Zion would be able to apply for tax breaks for housing nuclear waste under a measure from State Senator Melinda Bush that passed unanimously out of the Senate today.

“For years, Zion has shouldered the burden of housing spent nuclear waste—a burden that has led to a loss of jobs and tax revenue and 100 acres of lakefront property that has remained undeveloped,” Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “By adding spent nuclear waste sites to the list of qualifications for an enterprise zone, Zion can apply for tax breaks and incentives that can help attract new businesses to the area and make up some of the lost revenue.”

House Bill 156 adds inactive nuclear powered electrical generation sites as one of the possible three criteria that an area must meet to be certified as an enterprise zone, which would allow Zion to qualify for tax exemptions.

“It’s been 20 years since the Zion Nuclear Power Station was shut down, and the effects have been devastating for the community,” Bush said. “It’s time to provide some relief to Zion and help spur economic development in the area.”

Because the Zion nuclear plant is inactive, it does not qualify for tax exemptions for power-generating facilities. Currently, the plant in Zion is the only nuclear power plant in the state that’s no longer operating.

Sen. Melinda Bush

bush 150

31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Sheri Jesiel; Sam Yingling

Committee assignments: Education; Environment and Conservation; Government Reform (Chairperson); Human Services; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Local Government; Revenue.

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).