Bush

  • Bush, international activists support plan to save monarchs (VIDEO)

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  • Bush’s contraceptive coverage plan signed into law

    bush pink taxSPRINGFIELD — To ensure that women have a wide variety of choices in how they approach their reproductive health, the governor signed into law a plan co-sponsored by State Sen. Melinda Bush that extends insurance coverage to almost all approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products.

    “One of the most important aspects of a woman’s health is how she handles reproductive issues,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “This measure brings us in line with federal health reforms and gives women the power to choose without worrying about exorbitant cost. We must have parity in our health care system, and we know that for women to truly have equality, they must have choices.”

    In addition to extending coverage to nearly all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices, the new law clarifies existing statute and brings it into compliance with federal coverage standards. Insurance companies must offer at least one product, drug, or device of a particular therapeutic equivalent version with no cost-sharing, and insurance companies would also be required to provide 12 months of contraceptive at one time. Insurers must also provide an expedient and convenient review process to ensure coverage.

    The legislation was House Bill 5576. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

  • Bush’s drug education plan, court reform proposal signed into law

    bush consolSPRINGFIELD — As part of continuing efforts to address the public health crisis of heroin and opioid painkiller addiction, the governor signed into law a proposal by State Sen. Melinda Bush that would provide more education to those struggling with addiction.

    “Last year, the General Assembly worked with activists, law enforcement officials, and public health authorities to bring sweeping reforms to opioid treatment, but we know these efforts must continue,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “This informational campaign will ensure that those coping with addiction know the risks and the methods for protecting themselves in an emergency.”

  • Shared priorities, common ground yield budget action (AUDIO)

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  • Bush calls for compromise on budget legislation

    bush 050516SPRINGFIELD — To open schools on time, fund universities, maintain road projects and protect the state’s most vulnerable, State Senator Melinda Bush called on the General Assembly and Governor Bruce Rauner to pass stop gap funding measures.

    “The legislation we’re about to debate in Springfield reflects a compromise for both sides,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “We have a choice this week between fighting for ideology or coming together to fulfill our duty to students, businesses and the people who need our help the most. We must make the right choice.”

    A wide-ranging stop gap package includes an increase of $760 million to state schools, including increases to early childhood education at a level proposed by Governor Rauner, $1 billion to higher education to cover operational costs and tuition grants that have gone unpaid during the budget impasse, operational funds for state agencies to ensure facilities such as prisons can remain open, funding for Department of Transportation road projects and $650 million in funding for human services that include programs like autism relief, addiction treatment, and aid to those with mental illness, developmental disability and the blind and aged.

    “It is unfortunate that we’re here at the eleventh hour debating a stop gap measure, but it isn’t too late to do what Illinoisans have been clear in calling on us to do: Our jobs,” Bush said. “I call on the governor to do his.”

    The General Assembly convenes tomorrow to consider the legislation.

  • Bush calls for support for new K-12 funding plan

    bush 050516GRAYSLAKE — State Senator Melinda Bush called on her fellow lawmakers to approve an education package that will increase preschool through 12th grade funding and school poverty grants to levels long recommended by the state.

    “Under this plan, the Lake County schools I represent in Springfield see much-needed funding increases,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “This plan ensures our schools open their doors on time and reflects an area on which the governor and I wholeheartedly agree: We must adequately fund schools. I ask all Springfield lawmakers to give this measure their full support.”

    Slated for consideration Wednesday, Senate Bill 2054 would increase General State Aid to schools by $760 million and include grants to school districts based on need. It also includes a $75 million increase to Early Childhood Education in keeping with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget. Funding would carry Illinois public schools through the remainder of the calendar year as the General Assembly continues to negotiate a 2017 budget.

    Under the new budget plan:

    • Round Lake District 116 would see an increase of $4,862,091.
    • Wauconda District 118 would see an increase of $1,835,817.
    • Grayslake District 46 would see an increase of $1,704,466, and high school District 127 would see an increase of $750,513.
    • Zion District 6 would see an increase of $1,794,422 and Zion-Benton high school District 126 would see an increase of $713,219.
    • Antioch District 34 would see an increase of $982,150.
    • Big Hollow District 38 would see an increase of $802,289.
    • Beach Park District 3 would see an increase of $696,693.
    • Warren Township District 121 would see an increase of $675,903.
    • Woodland District 50 would see an increase of $406,821.
    • Gavin District 37 would see an increase of $223,594.
    • Millburn District 24 would see an increase of $194,927.
    • Winthrop Harbor District 1 would see an increase of $192,118.
    • Emmons District 33 would see an increase of $8,653.
    • Gurnee District 56 would see an increase of $334,845.

    “This is a compromise that’s good for our students,” Bush said. “I’m looking forward to the General Assembly working together to pass it.”

    The Illinois General Assembly reconvenes June 29 to consider the legislation.

  • Bush urges governor to eliminate “pink tax”

    bush interviewSPRINGFIELD — The Illinois General Assembly approved State Sen. Melinda Bush’s plan to repeal sales taxes on feminine hygiene products like tampons and menstrual cups Tuesday.

    “I’m glad to see this plan pass with such clear and overwhelming support. And I’m also glad we’re having conversations now about the unfair ‘pink taxes’ women face as they buy products priced higher than similar ones marketed to men, or in this case, as they have to spend on products that men don’t,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “I’d like to urge the governor to sign this into law and recognize these products as what they are: Unavoidable necessities for women.”

  • More police training on domestic violence passes General Assembly

    bush 052516SPRINGFIELD — To equip police investigators with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to respond to domestic violence as soon as they answer a call, the General Assembly passed a proposal sponsored by State Sen. Melinda Bush in the Senate that would provide for additional training for law enforcement.

    “By requiring more training, we’re sharpening our law enforcement officers’ ability to investigate these crimes. Domestic violence is stereotyped so often, and we need to fight preconceived notions of what an abuse situation looks like,” said Bush, D-Grayslake.

    Currently, the law recommends but does not require police departments to coordinate domestic violence response training with service organizations and develop appropriate arrest procedures. The new training under the legislation is aimed at the prevention of further victimization, focusing on looking beyond the physical evidence of domestic violence and giving officers an understanding of the deeper psychological aspects of abusive relationships.

    “Abusers need to know that our officers know what to look for,” Bush said. “When we make our investigators tougher, we make families safer.”

    The legislation is House Bill 5538, which passed the Senate Wednesday. Having passed both chambers without opposition, it must be signed by the governor to become law.

  • Senate approves stopgap funding for social services (AUDIO)

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  • Bush pushes for more police training on domestic violence

    “Abusers need to know they can’t hide from the law.”

    Bush pushes for more police training on domestic violenceSPRINGFIELD — To ensure more police officers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to respond to domestic violence as soon as they answer a call, State Sen. Melinda Bush advanced a proposal today that would provide for additional training for law enforcement.

    “One of the worst parts of domestic violence is how difficult it is to investigate and prosecute when so many people involved may have totally inaccurate, preconceived notions of what an abuse situation looks like,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “By requiring more training, we’re giving law enforcement more ability to fight this crime.”

    Currently, the law recommends but does not require police departments to coordinate domestic violence response training with service organizations and develop appropriate arrest procedures. The new training is aimed at the prevention of further victimization, focusing on looking beyond the physical evidence of domestic violence and giving officers an understanding of the deeper psychological aspects of abusive relationships.

    “Abusers need to know that our officers know what to look for,” Bush said. “They need to know they can’t hide from the law.”

    The legislation is HB 5538. Having passed the Illinois House 113-0, it is sponsored by Sen. Bush in the Senate. It passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee Wednesday and proceeds to the full Senate for consideration.

  • Bush fights for better drug treatment

    bush 050516SPRINGFIELD — To ensure individuals who are recovering from drug addiction can continue to take the most effective medical treatments available, State Sen. Melinda Bush advanced a proposal that would ensure defendants in drug court still receive prescription medication.

    “We need to shift our efforts toward treating drug addiction like what it is: A devastating health concern that becomes the root cause of other personal and societal ills,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “By ensuring that people going through drug court have access to these proven treatments, we’re fighting to cure an illness, not penalize it.”

  • Bush’s township consolidation plan passes Illinois Senate (AUDIO)

    bush consolVoters would decide whether local governments merge, dissolve

    SPRINGFIELD — Responding to recent calls for more efficiency in local government, the Illinois Senate passed legislation Thursday by State Sen. Melinda Bush that would allow for the consolidation of township government with the approval of local voters.

    “We’ve heard calls for township consolidation for many years,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “It’s important that as we pursue that, we preserve local control. This measure is an important compromise and I urge my colleagues in the House and the governor to make it the law.”

    Senate Bill 388 would, among other things:
    •    allow a township to merge with one or more adjacent townships.
    •    allow a township to be dissolved and absorbed by two townships with which it shares a boundary.
    •    allow a township which shares the same geographical area with a municipality to be dissolved by resolution and its duties adopted by the municipality.
    •    Remove a barrier to the consolidation of townships by allowing counties that eliminate townships countywide via a petition and referendum process to retain their county board form of government, rather than transition to a commission form of government (as under current law).

    Any dissolution or merging of townships would occur only after the township boards in question adopt a resolution calling for the question to be put before voters, and after a majority of voters approve a referendum to that effect at the next election.

    Currently, the law doesn’t provide any method to merge or consolidate township government. Townships have only three statutory functions: Maintaining roads, assessing property and providing general assistance. There are 1,430 townships in Illinois, more than any other state.

    The legislation is Senate Bill 388. It passed the Senate 53-0 and proceeds to the Illinois House for consideration.

    Listen to Sen. Bush on SB 388:

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  • Senator Bush argues for township consolidation

    Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) argues in favor of her proposal on township consolidation.


  • Senate votes to repeal tax on tampons (AUDIO)

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  • Senator Bush speaks against the "Tampon Tax"

    Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) speaks on the Senate floor on SB2746 which would lower the tax rate on feminine hygiene and incontinence products.


  • Spending authority to end the 2016 budget impasse (AUDIO)

    trotter sb2046Today, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that could essentially end the 2016 budget year stalemate.

    Some 90 percent of the state spending plan already is in place because of various court orders, leaving just higher education and many social services, which serve thousands of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens, left unfunded. This afternoon the Senate concurred with the House on Senate Bill 2046 and approved spending authority for the state’s public universities and social services left unfunded during the budget impasse.

  • Suburban senators: Save our community colleges

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  • Senate offers spending authority to governor to honor contracts

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  • Monarch butterfly license plate legislation moves forward

    monarchProposal will be first under new universal specialty plate law

    SPRINGFIELD — To create a program to preserve the monarch butterfly in Illinois, State Sen. Melinda Bush put forth a proposal that would create a new butterfly-themed specialty license plate sticker.

    “What we propose is fairly straightforward: The monarch butterfly needs milkweed plants to lay its eggs and feed itself, and our highway medians are the perfect place to cultivate them,” Bush said. “This lets drivers pledge their support toward preserving our state insect by giving them a little home that’s easy to reach by wing and hard to disturb on foot.”

    The monarch population in Illinois has decreased 90 percent in the past 20 years due to changes in the creatures’ natural habitat.

    A different law passed recently requires new specialty license plates to adhere to a standardized system to make recording plate numbers easier for law enforcement officers. If enacted, the new monarch plate stickers would be the first under that reimagined system.

    “This proposal works in concert with new rules called for by the men and women who patrol our roads and it makes efficient use of our median strips to help preserve an important part and lovely part of our ecosystem,” Bush said. “I urge all my colleagues to support this innovative solution.”

    The legislation is Senate Bill 2882. It passed out of committee yesterday and will be considered before the full Senate.

  • Committee approves Bush’s move to repeal tax on tampons (VIDEO)

    tampontax“Periods are not a luxury.”

    To put an end to an unavoidable tax that unfairly singles out women, State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, put forth legislation that would end the tax on feminine hygienic products like tampons.

    “Items like tampons and sanitary napkins are taxed as luxury items, but all women know that periods are not a luxury,” Bush said. “We always talk about making frugal financial decisions, but this ‘pink tax’ unfairly targets women for a product they are literally biologically incapable of avoiding.”