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New opioid laws designed to address growing crisis

bush 042518SPRINGFIELD – Three proposals passed by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) aimed at addressing Illinois’ growing opioid crisis were signed into law this week.

The first, House Bill 4707, will create a Prescription Drug Task Force to study the extent of over-prescription of opioids to patients.

"Opioid overdoses are a massive epidemic in Illinois, and over the past few years the situation has only continued to worsen," Bush said. “The opioid epidemic is a serious and complicated issue, but I remain hopeful that the task force can uncover effective, long-lasting solutions to this crisis.”

The task force will consist of state lawmakers, health care professionals, members of law enforcement and parents who have lost children from drug overdoses. In addition to studying the over-prescribing of opioids, the task force will make recommendations to the General Assembly on actions that can be taken at the state level.

Bush’s second proposal, Senate Bill 3023, allows law enforcement agencies to develop and implement deflection programs that offer alternatives to jail for individuals suffering with substance abuse. In Lake County, an already established diversion program helps an average of 12 individuals per month.

The third proposal, Senate Bill 2951, creates a pilot program to treat youth and young adults with substance use disorders.

With opiate abuse continuing to take lives across Lake County, Bush has made combatting the crisis a top priority in Springfield. She is a member of the Lake County Opioid Initiative that was formed in response to the crisis and is working with local stakeholders to develop a comprehensive opioid prevention strategy for the county.

“We know the factors surrounding opioid abuse are multilayered and complex,” Bush said. “And that is why there is not one magic solution to end this epidemic.”

All three new laws take effect immediately.

Bush calls on Rep. Sauer to resign

bush 051018SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released the following statement this morning after serious criminal allegations were made public against State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington), a member of the House Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force:

“Rep. Nick Sauer should resign from his office immediately. For far too long in Springfield, sexual harassment and abuse from those in positions of power has gone unchecked. I applaud this woman for coming forward and telling her story. Women must have confidence that when they come forward with stories of abuse that the systems in place will hear them and believe them. Without accountability there can be no change.”

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.”

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).