Bush

  • Senate Dems react to governor's Fiscal 2019 budget address

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  • Senators react to governor's State of the State speech

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  • Bush co-chairs first meeting of Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment

    Sen. Melinda BushSPRINGFIELD – The Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention held its first meeting yesterday in Chicago. The task force was created by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), who also serves as a co-chair.

    “For far too long, victims of sexual harassment and discrimination have been ignored and intimidated by a system that has allowed perpetrators to go unchecked,” Bush said. “This task force intends to rectify that.”

    The task force was created in response to the recent wave of harassment allegations in Illinois and throughout the country. The group will conduct a comprehensive review of the legal and social consequences of sexual harassment and discrimination, and will make recommendations on how to combat them in Illinois.

  • New law from Bush aims to reduce opioid abuse, prevent doctor shopping

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  • Lake County flood victims could see tax relief under measure from Bush, Yingling

    bush 110917 2GRAYSLAKE, IL – Lake County property owners who were impacted by July’s floods could receive a $750 income tax credit thanks to a measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and Representative Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake).

    “The Flood Victim Tax Credit will help provide relief to the countless Lake County residents who are still trying to rebuild their homes and businesses,” Bush said. “While some residents have received insurance reimbursements, many are still waiting to rebuild. This tax credit will help ease the financial burden and help local residents get back on their feet.”

    Senate Bill 403 allows a natural disaster income tax credit of up to $750 in counties where a state disaster proclamation was issued in July. Individuals must own property and must have reported property damage to the appropriate authority in order to qualify for the tax credit.

    Individuals who received a reimbursement from an insurance company are not entitled to the tax credit.

    “As property taxes have continued to unfairly impact my constituents, I will continue to fight for them in Springfield to bring them much needed relief,” said Yingling. “The Flood Victim Tax Credit provides immediate relief this tax year for families and small businesses who are rebuilding their lives and their livelihoods.”

    The measure applies to the following counties: Lake, McHenry, Kane, Cook, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson and Whiteside.

    Having passed the Senate and the House, the measure now goes to the governor for approval.

  • Bush measure to reduce opioid abuse, prevent doctor shopping passes legislature

    bush 110917SPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to reduce opioid abuse and “doctor shopping” advanced out of both legislative chambers with unanimous support.

    Senate Bill 772 would require prescribers of controlled substances to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database to see if a patient has been prescribed a controlled substance by another doctor prior to writing an initial prescription. This would make it harder for individuals to obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors, a practice known as doctor shopping.

    “Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States,” Bush said. “The prescription monitoring program can help curb opioid addiction and overdose by reducing the problem of overprescribing, but it will only be successful if prescribers actually check the database before writing a script.” 

    In 2015, Bush sponsored the legislation that required pharmacies to file daily reports of all controlled substances they dispense. Under the current law, however, prescribers of controlled substances are not required to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database before writing prescriptions. Studies show that as few as 14 percent of physicians always check the database before prescribing controlled substances.

    “Checking the prescription monitoring program database before writing a prescription is easy for doctors and an essential step in combatting the opioid epidemic in Illinois,” Bush said. “This measure will help curb doctor shopping, prevent overdoses and save countless lives.”

  • Bush measure would provide tax relief to Lake County flood victims

    bush 102517SPRINGFIELD – Lake County residents whose property was damaged during July’s floods could receive an income tax credit of up to $750 under a measure introduced today by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).

    “The flooding that occurred this summer cost Lake County residents thousands of dollars,” Bush said. “While some individuals have received insurance reimbursements, many are still waiting on the money they need to rebuild. This tax credit would provide much-needed relief to flood victims who have lost so much.”

  • Bush: Expanded access to overdose reversal drug will save lives

    NalaxoneSPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement in response to the release of the Illinois Naloxone Standing Order:

    “Naloxone, or Narcan, is a lifesaving drug that is able to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, which have been occurring at an alarming rate in Illinois,” Bush said. “In 2015, I championed legislation to make Narcan more accessible and affordable for law enforcement agencies. Since taking effect, Narcan has been used by officers to save lives of Illinoisans across the state. I am pleased that the governor issued an order that will make it even easier for first responders and law enforcement officers to administer Narcan and save lives.”

    Under current law, a prescription is needed to dispense naloxone. The Standing Order issued yesterday acts as a prescription and allows pharmacists, pharmacies and opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution programs like law enforcement agencies, health departments and community-based organizations to acquire and distribute naloxone.

  • Companies will have more incentive to invest in Illinois under Bush’s new law

    bush 052517SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ most important economic development tool has been reinstated, thanks to a measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).

    House Bill 162 reinstates the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit program, allowing the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to offer incentives to businesses that create new full-time jobs, retain existing jobs and make capital investments in Illinois.

    “It's important for us to have every tool available to attract and retain businesses in Illinois and ensure we can offer incentives that allow us to compete with neighboring states,” Bush said. “I represent an area that borders Wisconsin. The EDGE program is essential in helping border communities like mine stay competitive.”

    The bill requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to recapture the economic development funds if the recipient does not fulfill its end of the bargain. That money would then be disbursed to the local workforce investment area.

    House Bill 162 was signed into law today. It extends the EDGE credit program through June 30, 2022.

  • Automatic voter registration initiative becomes law (VIDEO)

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  • Bush’s measure to expose gender-based price discrimination becomes law

    Sen. Melinda Bush

    SPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush’s (D-Grayslake) measure to increase transparency in pricing among service providers and expose gender-based price discrimination was signed into law today.

    Senate Bill 298 requires hair salons, barbers, dry cleaners and tailors to provide customers with a price list for services upon request, giving consumers the resources necessary to make educated choices when deciding which businesses to frequent.

    “Women have been unfairly charged more than men for the same services for far too long,” Bush said. “Transparent pricing among service providers will help women know whether they are getting a fair deal for services.”

  • Senate overrides governor's veto of Senate Bill 1

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  • Bush’s measure ensures taxpayers won’t have to pay more for Rauner’s special sessions

    bush 053117SPRINGFIELD – Special session costs won’t increase thanks to a measure sponsored by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that freezes reimbursements and salaries for General Assembly members.

    The measure was signed into law today after Bush publicly called on the governor to save taxpayer dollars and sign the legislation.

    “The special sessions the governor has demanded are expensive, costing taxpayers upwards of $48,000 each day,” Bush said. “I am pleased that the governor signed my measure to prevent his special sessions from becoming even more expensive.”

  • Bush urges Rauner to sign legislative pay freeze to avoid higher special session costs

    wagefreezeSPRINGFIELD – Special session could cost taxpayers more money if the governor fails to sign legislation to freeze reimbursements.

    “There’s a bill sitting on the governor’s desk that would freeze pay rates and reimbursements for legislators. It’s been on his desk since June 29,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), sponsor of the legislation. “The governor’s special sessions are needlessly expensive, costing taxpayers upwards of $48,000 each day. If the governor doesn’t sign this bill, the special sessions he’s demanding become even more expensive.”

  • Bush and Yingling urge Rauner to declare a state of emergency for Lake County

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    GRAYSLAKE, IL – Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and Representative Sam Yingling (D-Round Lake Beach) issued a joint statement in response to the governor’s visit to Lake County to tour flood sites:
     
    “Lake County residents have been working to pick up the pieces after major flash floods hit the area. The governor has not declared a state of emergency for Lake County, so residents with devastating property damage and no flood insurance have been unable to get access to low-interest loans that help people rebuild.
     
    “Today, the governor will be in Lake County touring flood sites. The devastation experienced by our constituents over the last few days needs to be seen to be understood. Clean up from this historic flooding is going to take all of us working together.
     
    “With more flooding expected to occur this weekend, we urge Governor Rauner to do what Governor Walker has already done, declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard to provide much-needed relief to flood victims. Lake County residents need this help immediately.”

  • Bush: 31st District schools stand to gain nearly $12 million under education funding reform proposal

    bush 040617SPRINGFIELD –The latest school funding reform numbers show that a fake news group backed by Gov. Bruce Rauner was indeed pedaling misinformation regarding public school funding in Illinois in the weeks leading up to approval of a historic education finance overhaul.

    “The State Board of Education’s analysis of Senate Bill 1 proves what proponents have been saying all along—no school districts in Illinois would lose money under the new formula,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “The Lake County Gazette – conservative political propaganda disguised as a newspaper, funded by hyper-partisan WIND talk show host Dan Proft – tried to mislead Illinoisans by using an analysis of a completely different school funding reform bill from last year and claiming that the numbers in that analysis were from Senate Bill 1.”

    An analysis only recently made public by Rauner’s education agency shows that no school districts in Illinois would lose money under the plan lawmakers recently approved. In fact, schools in the 31st District are estimated to gain $11,539,070 in state funding under the Senate’s plan. Supporters had said holding the line on funding was key to getting support for the overhaul that does away with the current, antiquated funding system and instead targets new state dollars to schools facing the toughest economic and educational challenges.

    “Republicans are going around the state pushing fake information and making up excuses because the truth is they voted against a bill that would help their local schools,” Bush said.

    The new plan seeks to maintain funding for schools that are doing well while increasing support for those that are struggling. It’s a reform more than two decades in the works and one that still faces major political obstacles.

    Gov. Rauner was already threatening to veto the historic education overhaul even before lawmakers had given it final approval. As a result, the Senate is delaying sending the paperwork to the governor’s desk in hope cooler heads will prevail and the governor will recognize he’s getting a win on a key policy he’s wanted.

    Rauner promised to change the school funding system and put his hand-picked education secretary in charge of an elite taskforce. But that taskforce failed to deliver an actual plan. Lawmakers stepped in to finish the job of not just drafting the plan, but then approving it.

    In the midst of this work, a fake news site began spreading erroneous numbers, saying schools across the state were going to lose money. These numbers appeared on political news sites such as the Lake County Gazette. 

    It was later revealed that the so-called latest numbers were actually pulled out of a different plan from more than a year ago. Unfortunately, Rauner and his education secretary never warned public school administrators and the taxpaying public to set the record straight on public school funding.

    “Dan Proft and the Lake County Gazette are attempting to misinform readers by pretending to be a real, objective newspaper and pushing fake news to unsuspecting readers,” Bush said. “The Lake County Gazette’s attempt to intentionally misinform Illinoisans is absolutely disgraceful. Illinoisans deserve to know the truth.”

  • Bush supports fair school funding, property tax relief for Lake County school districts

    bush 022817SPRINGFIELD – Lake County school districts, some of which have been shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, will see a significant influx of funding under a landmark school funding reform measure that passed in Springfield last week.

    “All children should have access to a quality education regardless of their zip code,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “With Senate Bill 1, we created a more equitable school funding formula to aid school districts desperately in need of additional dollars, while ensuring that at a minimum we guaranteed current funding levels for every school district.”

    Senate Bill 1 has strong support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. Illinois’ school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property wealth.

    “Senate Bill 1 not only ensures schools will be funded more equitably, it also provides property tax relief for high tax school districts,” Bush said. “Lake County has some of the highest property taxes in the country. I urge Governor Rauner to provide property tax relief for Lake County residents by signing Senate Bill 1 into law.”

    Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – released an analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures last week. The analysis showed potential funding increases for local school districts under Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

    It also provides extra support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding, and it offers property tax relief.

    Again, no school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

    The estimated overall gain some area school districts would experience under the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis of SB1 based on FY17 funding levels:

    • Round Lake Area School District 116 – $5.52 million
    • Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 – $1.95 million
    • Zion Elementary School District 6 – $1.62 million
    • Beach Park Community Consolidated School District 3 – $645,463
    • Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46 – $353,068
    • Grayslake Community High School District 127 – $307,304
    • Warren Township High School District 121 – $282,621
    • Big Hollow School District 38 – $230,977
    • Wauconda Community Unit School District 118 – $215,152
    • Woodland Community Consolidated School District 50 – $192,036
    • Antioch Community Consolidated School District 34 – $90,190
    • Gavin School District 37 – $62,538
    • Millburn Community Consolidated School District 24 – $40,925
    • Winthrop Harbor School District 1 – $22,473

    In addition, under Senate Bill 1, those that live in the school districts with the highest property taxes would be eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. The following districts are projected to qualify for property tax relief:

    • Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46 – $3.96 million
    • Round Lake Area School District 116 – $3.61 million
    • Grayslake Community High School District 127 – $2.71 million
    • Beach Park Community Consolidated School District 3 – $2.27 million
    • Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 – $1.82 million
    • Zion Elementary School District 6 – $1.05 million
    • Wauconda Community Unit School District – $109,162

    These estimates are based on the funding levels proposed by the Illinois House of Representatives. As a result, these numbers may be higher than what the school districts will receive. To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.

  • Bush moves to prevent pay increase for legislators

    bush 053117SPRINGFIELD – Illinois legislators will not receive a planned, automatic increase in mileage reimbursements or per diem rates thanks to a measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that passed in the Illinois Senate today.

    “Today marks the 700th day since the state of Illinois has had a budget,” Bush said. “At a time when human service providers are being forced to shut their doors, state universities are laying off professors and administrators are wondering if schools will be funded and be able to open in the fall, it would be inexcusable for legislators to receive a pay increase.”

    House Bill 643 freezes the Illinois General Assembly's mileage reimbursement and per diem rates for the upcoming year. In addition, the initiative eliminates the planned FY 18 cost of living adjustment for the members of the legislature and other offices set by the Compensation Review Board. The Comptroller's Office states that the FY 18 cost of living adjustment would be 2.1% without the passage of a freeze.

    “Middle-class and working families rarely see pay raises, let alone automatic pay increases,” Bush said. “There is no reason that legislators should receive automatic cost of living adjustments.”

    Having passed both chambers with bipartisan support, House Bill 643 now goes to the governor’s desk.

  • Senate Democrats Balanced Budget vs. Rauner's Rhetoric (VIDEO)

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  • Bush moves to reduce opioid abuse, prevent doctor shopping

    bush 052517SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to curb opioid abuse and “doctor shopping” advanced out of the Illinois Senate today with unanimous support.

    Senate Bill 1607, sponsored by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), would require prescribers of controlled substances to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database to see if a patient has been prescribed a controlled substance by another doctor prior to writing a script. This would make it harder for individuals to obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors, a practice known as doctor shopping.