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Bush’s legislation helps vets overcome addiction, supports Veterans’ Homes

Published: Thursday, August 18, 2016 02:49 PM

bush 052516SPRINGFIELD — Illinois drivers will have an opportunity to support Veterans’ Homes.  Veterans will have more options to seek treatment for addictions and the local veterans’ assistance commissions will have greater ability to partner with drug courts. Veterans seeking treatment will be helped under two new laws sponsored by State Sen. Melinda Bush.

“The men and women who choose to be warriors for our country take on great personal risk and sacrifice,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “Too often, they are at an elevated risk of addiction. This law gives power to our local organizations and drug courts to collaborate and offer our veterans more options for better treatment.”

The new law enacted by Senate Bill 3401 will allow veterans’ assistance commissions to provide mentoring, mental health and substance abuse programs in conjunction with Veteran & Service members Courts, that were specifically created to help veterans facing addiction.

The governor also signed House Bill 6149, which lets Illinois drivers sign up to support veterans’ homes with a new specialty decal under the state’s streamlined universal license plate and decal system. Funds from the specialty decal will go toward the Illinois Veterans’ Home Fund, which supports the organizations that aid and care for veterans with disabilities.

“The new universal license plate with specialty decal will be available for purchase next year. They are a great way to pledge financial support towards a worthy cause,” Bush said. “I encourage any driver who wants to honor those who served and sacrificed to consider the Veterans’ Home specialty decal.”

The provisions under Senate Bill 3401 and House Bill 6149 take effect Jan. 1, 2017. Beginning that day, drivers may sign up for the Veterans’ Home specialty decal by completing the following steps.

  1. Visit: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/motorist/licplate.html
  2. Scroll down the page and click on “Specialty Request / VSD 702.”
  3. This will bring up a new page. On this new page, print and complete the Specialty License Plate Form. Under the section “Name of Specialty Plate Being Requested,” write “Veterans’ Home Plate.”
  4. Mail the completed copy of the Specialty License Plate Request Form and a $26 check made out to “Illinois Secretary of State” to the address on the form.

Please note that this form has to be mailed to the Secretary of State in Springfield at the office address stated on the form. This cannot be done at your local Driver Services Facility.

Bill backed by Bertino-Tarrant that protects dementia patients becomes law

Published: Thursday, August 18, 2016 02:24 PM

jbt041415SPRINGFIELD— Legislation co-sponsored by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) that would create minimum training standards for residential and community-based programs that offer dementia care has been signed into law.

Prior to the law, residential and community-based programs could advertise that they specialize in providing dementia care without being adequately trained in how to work with dementia patients.

“People who have dementia deserve the best care possible,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law ensures that staff have been trained, protects patients, and gives families peace of mind.”

This initiative is necessary because some places have advertised that they are experts in dementia care without having the training to back up their claims.

The Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 210,000 Illinois residents are affected by dementia. It is anticipated that there will be a 25 percent increase in dementia patients in nine years due to the aging baby boomer population.

Senate Bill 2301 is effective immediately.

Sen. Bush co-sponsored measure to consolidate local government is now law

Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 03:48 PM

bush pink taxSPRINGFIELD — To continue pushing for more options to consolidate local government, State Sen. Melinda Bush supported a new law signed by Governor Rauner this week that allows two Lake County Sanitary Districts to dissolve and relegate their duties and obligations to county government.

"This legislation, in addition to others I’ve sponsored and supported this year, is an answer to clear calls from the community asking us to provide the means to consolidate local government," said Bush, D-Grayslake. "Property owners are paying taxes on more than 7,000 units of local government throughout Illinois. We don’t need that many, and it’s time to seek commonsense ways to reorganize where we can while still providing quality services."

The new law allows the Round Lake Sanitary District and Fox Lake Hills Sanitary District to enter into agreements with Lake County to dissolve. In doing so, the county would undertake the assets and responsibilities of the sanitary districts. Bush co-sponsored the measure in the Illinois Senate, where it had bipartisan support.

The legislation was House Bill 5584. It is effective immediately.

Cunningham measure to educate about the signs of domestic violence becomes law

Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 11:22 AM

cunningham dom viol 081716CHICAGO—Hair dressers and nail technicians throughout Illinois will now be trained to detect signs of domestic violence or sexual assault and help the victims thanks to legislation sponsored by Senator Bill Cunningham that was signed into law on Friday.

"My wife used to work as a hair dresser and she frequently heard stories from her clients who were victims of domestic violence," Cunningham said. "Unfortunately, she didn't have the knowledge or resources needed to help them. This new law will ensure that hair dressers will be trained to assist their clients who reach out to them for help."

House Bill 4264 would require that cosmetologists, estheticians, nail technicians and hair braiders take a one-hour continuing education class about domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. The class would also provide them with resources to give to their clients.

“I was proud to stand with activists like Chicago Says No More to say enough is enough,” Cunningham said. “Illinois took a proactive step in ensuring that domestic violence and sexual assault is not tolerated in this state.”

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

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