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Bush legislation cracks down on ethylene oxide emitters

bush 053019 2SPRINGFIELD – Residents in Lake County can breathe a sigh of relief after two bills sponsored by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that crack down on the toxic chemical ethylene oxide advanced out of the Illinois Senate today.

“Lake County residents can soon rest assured that the air they’re breathing is safe from ethylene oxide,” Bush said. “These new regulations will allow the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to keep a close eye on Medline and Vantage and make sure they’re meeting these strict environmental safeguards.”

Senate Bill 1852 puts restrictions on facilities like Medline and Sterigenics that use ethylene oxide for sterilization. The measure requires facilities to reduce emissions by 99.9 percent; sets emissions, dispersion and ambient air testing protocols; strengthens seal order implications and prevents future facilities from being built near schools and parks.

Senate Bill 1854 requires Vantage Specialty Chemicals, a Lake County manufacturer that uses ethylene oxide in its products, to put in place several environmental safeguards in order to continue operating. It requires Vantage to have an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency-approved emission monitoring plan and dispersion modeling in order to receive a site-specific permit for ethylene oxide emissions.

Last year, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report showing that the areas around Sterigenics in DuPage County and Medline in Lake County have increased rates of cancer due to ethylene oxide emissions.

“When it comes to ethylene oxide, public safety has to be the top priority,” Bush said. “These new restrictions prioritize the health and safety of Illinoisans while still allowing companies that use ethylene oxide to continue operating so long as they do so in a responsible manner.”

Bush passes Reproductive Health Act out of committee

bush 053019SPRINGFIELD – The Reproductive Health Act, which repeals outdated abortion laws that have been blocked by the courts and ensures that reproductive health care is treated like all other health care and not as a crime, advanced out of the Senate Public Health Committee today.

“There’s a very real possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the next few years,” said State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), sponsor of the bill. “The Reproductive Health Act guarantees that Illinois women have the right to comprehensive reproductive health care regardless of what happens at the federal level.”

Bush, Mason honor fallen State Trooper Gerald Ellis at Capitol

bush 052419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and State Representative Joyce Mason (D-Gurnee) honored the life and sacrifice of fallen Illinois State Trooper Gerald Ellis today at the Capitol.

Bush and Mason welcomed his widow, Stacy Ellis of Antioch, to the Capitol and held moments of silence for Trooper Ellis in both the House and Senate chambers. Both legislators sponsored resolutions in his honor.

On March 30, Ellis was on duty, driving home when he was fatally struck head on by a car driving the wrong way on I-94.

Bush demands action on Reproductive Health Act

bush 051519SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) joined legislators and activists in demanding the House take action to protect women’s reproductive rights by passing the Reproductive Health Act. The move comes a day after the Alabama State Senate voted to ban abortion and criminalize doctors who perform the procedure.

“There’s a very real possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the next few years,” Bush said. “We need to take action now in Illinois to make sure that, regardless of what happens at the federal level, Illinois women maintain the right to a safe, legal abortion.”

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