Bush

  • Bush & Curran unveil legislative package offering greater protections from ethylene oxide

    Sen. Melinda BushState Senators Melinda Bush and John Curran, joined by Willowbrook residents, unveiled a package of legislation on Tuesday that seeks to address the public health crisis caused by Sterigenics and their release of ethylene oxide into surrounding communities. The announcement comes after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (ILEPA) issued a seal order against Sterigenics last week, which forced them to cease operations.

    While praising the ILEPA’s decision as an important first step, it was reiterated that lawmakers now need to ensure the proper policies and protections are in place to safeguard Willowbrook and all Illinois communities from the impact of this public health hazard.

  • Bush, Tracy highlight key task force victories, push for more action on sexual harassment

    bush sex har 021919

  • State to provide millions in property tax relief for Lake County homeowners

    bush 013019SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across Lake County will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, schools in the 31st Senate District received $8.5 million in additional state funding.

    “For years, Lake County has had to rely heavily on property taxes to ensure our children have access to the best education possible,” State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “As promised, the new school funding law is changing the way we fund our schools by increasing state support and relieving some of the local tax burden.”

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Zion-Benton Township High School District 126: $1,793,018.36
    • Grayslake Community High School District 127: $2,733,574.72
    • Zion Elementary School District 6: $1,095,379.59
    • Antioch Community High School District 117: $2,890,111.07

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates. 

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • Bush, Harmon discuss gender equity at Gatehouse Media panel

    bush harmon 120618State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) discussed the state’s progress toward gender equity at a panel in Springfield on Wednesday.

    The panel, hosted by the Better Government Association and Gatehouse Media, asked participants to examine the progress made since the start of the #MeToo movement and what else needs to be done. Senator Jil Tracy and Rep. Carol Ammons also spoke.

    Bush said she struggled during her first four years in Springfield, feeling like her thoughts and opinions did not carry as much value as her male colleagues. But, she said, the cultural shift of the past few years has affirmed her value, and she hopes it has for all women.

  • Bush demands answers on deadly ethylene oxide emissions in Lake County

    bush 111418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is demanding answers about the deadly impact of ethylene oxide emissions from two Lake County plants. Victims and experts spoke about potential effects of ethylene oxide being emitted from Chicago-area plants during the Senate Environment and Conservation committee hearing today.

    “Public safety has to be the top priority,” Bush said. “Today’s hearing made it clear that business interests are being prioritized over the health and safety of Illinoisans. And that’s not acceptable.”

  • Senate women urge full support of caucus leaders on ethics reform

    womens caucus 061318SPRINGFIELD – Following last week’s signing of House Bill 138, the women of the senate are calling on the four caucus leaders to fully support and commit to seeking additional ethics reforms. They sent a letter to the legislative leaders underscoring that HB 138 was only the beginning of what needs to be done to ensure there is a truly independent, transparent process for individuals to come forward with complaints of inappropriate behavior.

    “The passing of House Bill 138 represents another vital step in ensuring we have a process that is effective and free from partisan influence to investigate the serious nature of sexual harassment in the Capitol,” said Sen. Bush (D-Grayslake), sponsor of House Bill 138.

  • Bush measure to reform the legislative ethics investigation process signed into law

    Sen. Melinda BushSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush’s (D-Grayslake) legislation to overhaul the process of investigating ethics complaints at the Capitol was signed into law this morning by the governor.

    “This is a vitally important first step in ensuring claims of sexual harassment and discrimination are taken seriously and investigated properly,” said Bush, Co-Chair of the Senate Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force. “We know our current culture won’t change overnight. But unless we take a stand and say ‘Time’s Up’, nothing will change in Springfield.”

  • Bush passes measure to reform the legislative ethics investigation process

    bush 053118SPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to overhaul the process of investigating ethics complaints at the Capitol advanced out of the Senate today.

    “This is about changing the process of how ethics complaints are handled so that we can guarantee that any person who comes forward and files a claim with the legislative inspector general knows that their complaint is being reviewed in an independent, transparent and timely manner,” said Bush, Co-Chair of the Senate Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force.

  • Bush passes measure to help relieve Zion’s burden of housing nuclear waste

    bush 053018SPRINGFIELD – Zion would be able to apply for tax breaks for housing nuclear waste under a measure from State Senator Melinda Bush that passed unanimously out of the Senate today.

    “For years, Zion has shouldered the burden of housing spent nuclear waste—a burden that has led to a loss of jobs and tax revenue and 100 acres of lakefront property that has remained undeveloped,” Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “By adding spent nuclear waste sites to the list of qualifications for an enterprise zone, Zion can apply for tax breaks and incentives that can help attract new businesses to the area and make up some of the lost revenue.”

    House Bill 156 adds 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.

    “It’s been 20 years since the Zion Nuclear Power Station was shut down, and the effects have been devastating for the community,” Bush said. “It’s time to provide some relief to Zion and help spur economic development in the area.”

    Because the Zion nuclear plant is inactive, it does not qualify for tax exemptions for power-generating facilities. Currently, the plant in Zion is the only nuclear power plant in the state that’s no longer operating.

  • Bush: It’s time to crack down on prescription drug price gouging

    bush 051618SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush called for an end to price-gouging tactics used by pharmaceutical companies during a press conference this morning in Springfield.

    “In recent years, we’ve heard horror stories of prices of lifesaving drugs skyrocketing overnight, leaving those who need them to survive facing financial ruin,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “This isn’t just a problem for individuals who rely on these drugs to survive. Price gouging for prescription drugs is incredibly costly for consumers and taxpayers. When drug companies raise their prices, the state pays more.”

    Bush is the Senate sponsor of House Bill 4900, which would ban price-gouging practices by prescription drug manufacturers and allow the attorney general to investigate price increases and take action if a drug company is found to have engaged in price gouging.

    “By cracking down on outrageous price gouging by pharmaceutical companies, we have a chance to save taxpayer dollars while ensuring Illinoisans have access to the medication they often need to survive,” Bush said. “Not only is this the right thing to do, it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do.”  A federal study by the Government Accountability Office looked at 1,441 generic drugs and found that more than 300 had seen prices at least double between 2010 and 2015.

     

  • Cullerton, senators: Don’t use death penalty for politics

    jjc 051418

  • 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.”

  • Senators sport sneakers to raise cancer awareness

    sneakers 050918Senators swapped their wingtips and pumps for sneakers on Thursday during Suits and Sneakers Day at the Capitol.

    Each January, the American Cancer Society teams up with the National Association of Basketball Coaches for Suits and Sneakers Awareness Week, during which the coaches wear sneakers instead of dress shoes on the court. The week’s mission is to increase awareness of the pervasiveness of cancer and promote fundraising and healthy living initiatives.

  • 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.

  • Parks and recreation take center stage in the Capitol (VIDEO)

    parksday ftr

  • Lawmakers join students in Illinois anti-gun violence marches

    march signs

  • Bush: No more business as usual at Ford’s Chicago plants

    ford 030518

  • 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.”

  • Bush advances measure allowing legislative staff to file harassment claims

    bush 022118SPRINGFIELD – Staff members of elected officials would be granted the right to file sexual harassment claims under a measure from Senator Melinda Bush that advanced out of the Senate Executive Committee today.

    “The claims that have come out over the past several months have made it clear that we need to change the way we handle sexual harassment and make sure everyone knows where to go to seek justice,” Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “The fact that staff of elected officials aren’t considered employees and therefore aren’t protected under the Human Rights Act is egregious.”