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Bush urges Wisconsin to reconsider Foxconn deal, asks Illinois agencies to protect against loss of water, flooding

bush 051018SPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush is urging Wisconsin leaders to consider the serious environmental and public health concerns that may threaten Illinoisans as a result of the planned Foxconn Technology Company plant in Racine.

“The decisions from Wisconsin leaders and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to allow Foxconn to skirt environmental protections are irresponsible and short-sighted,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “The environmental impacts don’t stop at the Wisconsin border. Lake County residents will be affected, but because Foxconn is exempt from environmental regulations, we don’t know the full impact.”

Bush moves to create task force to study Illinois’ opioid epidemic

bush 050818SPRINGFIELD – A task force would study the extent to which opioids are being overprescribed in Illinois under a measure from Senator Melinda Bush that advanced out of a Senate committee today.

"There's no easy way to solve the opioid crisis in Illinois," said Bush (D-Grayslake). "In order to really get to the root of the problem, we have to take a well-rounded approach and come at the problem from all angles."

HB 4707 creates the Prescription Drug Task Force to study the extent of over prescription of opioids to patients and make recommendations to address the issue. The Task Force will consist of legislators, the Department of Human Services, health care organizations, law enforcement and parents.

"This task force will allow us to hear from experts across the state and come up with the best-possible legislative approaches to ending the opioid epidemic in Illinois," Bush said.

Bush advances bill expanding mental health and addiction treatment for young adults

bush 042518SPRINGFIELD – Young people struggling with addiction or severe mental illness may soon see additional options for treatment thanks to a bill from Senator Melinda Bush that passed out of the Senate today.

“Early detection and treatment can often determine whether or not a person is able to pursue their goals, stay in the workforce, and lead a healthy, productive life,” Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “This pilot creates a youth-focused, community support program that’s intended to treat mental illness early on and stabilize young people.”

Seventy-five percent of severe mental health disorders manifest in young people and adolescents, but it takes on average 10 years for a person to be properly diagnosed.

“Untreated mental illnesses and addiction can completely sideline a person, leaving them less likely to pursue school or participate in the workforce,” Bush said. “Early investments in treatment and community-support programs will save money in the long run and will help individuals struggling with mental illness and addiction stay on track.”

Senate Bill 2951 creates the Early Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Act and requires the Department of Health and Family Services to create two pilot programs for Medicaid beneficiaries. The first pilot program provides community-based services for treatment of mental health conditions in youth and young adults. The second pilot program is the Assertive Engagement and Community-Based Clinical Treatment Pilot Program to treat youth and young adults with substance use disorders.

Bush measure allowing legislative staff to file harassment claims passes Senate

bush 022818SPRINGFIELD – Staff members of elected officials are one step closer to being able to file sexual harassment claims thanks to a measure from Senator Melinda Bush that passed in the Senate unanimously.

“The sexual harassment allegations that have come out in recent months made clear the need to re-examine our policies, work to change the culture in Springfield and do everything possible to make sure all victims are able to seek justice for sexual harassment,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “The fact that staff of elected officials are not protected under the Human Rights Act is extremely problematic and needs to be changed.”

Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, “immediate personal staff” of elected officials are exempt from the definition of employee and are therefore unable to report human rights violations, including sexual harassment, to the Department of Human Rights. Senate Bill 576 would delete this exemption.

Bush, who chairs the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention, introduced the measure after hearing testimony from employees of the Illinois Department of Human Rights during a recent task force meeting. Representatives from the department testified that because of the lack of clarification as to who constitutes “immediate personal staff” of elected officials, the department does not know how to handle those claims.

“Legislative staffers should have never been excluded from the Human Rights Act in the first place,” Bush said. “This bill will give legislative staffers the same rights as all other employees in the state – the right to seek justice and report human rights violations and sexual harassment in the work place.”

Sen. Melinda Bush

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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