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New Bush law will protect sexual assault survivors during pandemic

bush030920GRAYSLAKE — Survivors of sexual assault will now be able to receive medical forensic exams, also known as rape kits, at federally qualified health centers in addition to hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that was signed into law today.

“The health risks associated with going to a crowded hospital during the pandemic has deterred survivors from seeking help,” Bush said. “Sexual assault survivors should not have to choose between potentially exposing themselves to COVID-19 and seeking justice.” 

Senate Bill 557 allows approved federally qualified health centers to perform rape kit examinations and collection during public health emergencies like COVID-19. 

 “Sexual assaults haven’t stopped during the pandemic,” Bush said. “It’s important that we provide more places that will provide safe and compassionate treatment.”

The law takes effect immediately.

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 (AP); Sub. on Tax Exemptions and Credits; Sub. on Interscholastic Athletics; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

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