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Bush: Joint ethics commission a good first step toward serious reform

bush 111419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released the following statement regarding the adoption of House Joint Resolution 93, which created the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform to review current Illinois ethics codes:

“We need to seize this opportunity to spur change in our system given the scandals that have shaken the public’s confidence. We took a few small steps forward today regarding lobbying transparency. More needs to happen, and happen fast.

“This joint ethics commission will bring Republicans and Democrats together to study needed changes and come up with recommendations by early next year. The only way we’ll solve this culture problem is to stand unified behind a commitment to real change. And I think this is a good first step. I look forward to helping drive serious reform and working with my colleagues to push through any obstacles we encounter on the way.”

Bush allows Lake County jurors to donate earnings to Children’s Advocacy Center

Sen. Melinda BushSPRINGFIELD – Jurors in Lake County will continue to have the option to donate their compensation to the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), under a bill co-sponsored by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).

A pilot program that currently allows Lake County jurors to donate their wages to the CAC is set to expire at the end of the year. The CAC has requested the program be extended until Jan. 1, 2022, because it has increased revenue and public awareness of children’s advocacy issues. In 2019, jurors contributed nearly $1000 to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

“The Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center helps child abuse victims find their voice and brings offenders to justice,” said Bush. “We should continue to aid their efforts by allowing jurors the option to donate their compensation.”

Bush: Enterprise Zone designation will give Zion crucial economic boost

bush 013019GRAYSLAKE – Zion Benton received approval to be an Enterprise Zone, thanks to efforts by State Senator Melinda Bush.

“It’s been decades since the Zion Nuclear Power Station shut down and the community is still reeling from loss of jobs and tax revenue ,” Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “An Enterprise Zone in Zion is crucial to create jobs, recruit new businesses and boost the local economy.”

The Illinois Enterprise Zone granted Zion Benton designation to help encourage job growth and investment in the area. Enterprise Zones are a locally driven tool that provide financial incentives for companies and organizations seeking to develop or create new jobs in the Enterprise Zone. This can include property tax reductions, sales tax exemptions on qualifying building materials, investment tax credits and utility tax exemptions, among other local incentives. 

In 2018, Bush sponsored House Bill 156 to add 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.

“At its core, this certification is about giving Zion more opportunities for prosperity and growth,” Bush said. “I was happy to be a part of this effort. Our local mayor, economic officials, and village and county officials did a terrific job helping put this proposal together.”

The Enterprise Zone goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Once designated, an Enterprise Zone maintains its designation for 15 years. The Enterprise Zone Board will review the Zone after 13 years to determine a possible 10-year extension of the designation.

Bush measure requiring gender-neutral single-occupancy restrooms signed into law

bush 053019 2SPRINGFIELD – Single-occupancy public restrooms in Illinois will soon be identified as all-gender thanks to a measure from State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that was signed into law today.

“Making single-occupancy restrooms gender neutral is inclusive, but it also just makes sense,” Bush said. “It's a small change that will make a big impact for thousands of Illinoisans.”

Senate Bill 556 requires any single-occupancy public restroom to be identified as all-gender and requires exterior signage that marks the restroom as such.

“This measure will also help cut down on bathroom lines and just make life easier in general,” Bush said. “It's a common-sense measure that will benefit individuals who don't identify as male or female as well as parents and caregivers who have dependents of the opposite sex.”

The bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Sen. Melinda Bush

bush 150

31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education; Environment and Conservation (Chairperson); Government Accountability/Pensions; Revenue; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital.

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).

Associated Representatives:
Joyce Mason
Sam Yingling