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Bush’s opioid legislation saves life of Springfield woman

bush 022817SPRINGFIELD – A downstate woman's second chance at life is the latest success stemming from a 2015 state law giving police tools to literally bring overdose victims back from the dead. According to the Springfield Journal-Register, “Less than a week after being issued Narcan kits to save the life of someone overdosing on heroin or another opiate, a Springfield police officer has successfully used the drug in the field for the first time.”

Since being elected in 2012, Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) has made fighting opioid addiction and reducing opioid-related deaths major priorities. In 2015, Senator Bush championed “Lali’s Law,” which expanded access to Narcan and made it more accessible and affordable for law enforcement agencies like the Springfield Police Department.

“Narcan has the ability to reverse overdoses and save lives,” Bush said. “If the Springfield police officer had not had a Narcan kit, this person would have likely died of overdose. This is why it is so important to increase access to Narcan, and it’s why I fought to make it easily accessible and affordable for Illinoisans.”

Over the past few decades, opioid addiction has become a major problem throughout the state of Illinois. As of last year, Illinoisans were dying of heroin overdoses at twice the rate they were in 1999. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2014 to 2015 the opioid-related death rate in Illinois increased 120 percent.

Senator Bush will continue fighting to reduce opioid addiction and increase access to lifesaving treatments.

Read the full Journal-Register article here: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20170224/springfield-polices-narcan-program-saves-first-life

Senator Bush votes to end Illinois’ budget impasse and fund human services

bush 022817SPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) voted for legislation to end the state’s budget impasse, fund education and important human service programs and allow local governments to consolidate. The legislation is part of a compromise between Senate leaders from both parties to end the state’s nearly two-year budget impasse.

“Today, the Illinois Senate did what the governor and House leaders have failed to do, put the people of Illinois ahead of political games,” Bush said. “Senators from both parties came together in an effort to end the budget impasse and finally move Illinois forward.”

Senate Bill 6 provides spending authorization for the second half of FY2017. The stopgap budget expired on Jan. 1, leaving human services organizations and higher education without funding.

“For nearly two years, Illinois has not had a full budget. The cost of inaction is great. Every day that goes by without a budget, $11 million is added to the state's bill backlog,” Bush said. “This is unacceptable. We should be funding domestic violence shelters, addiction treatment programs and higher education, not wasting money and adding to the state’s debt.”

The plan to restore funding is part of the Senate’s budget and reform package of legislation, which includes Senator Bush’s local government consolidation proposal.

Senator Bush’s local government consolidation legislation passes Illinois Senate

bush 020817 sb3SPRINGFIELD – A local government consolidation measure passed in the Senate with bipartisan support. Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) championed Senate Bill 3, which allows voters to abolish or consolidate local townships, reducing bureaucracy and saving taxpayer dollars.

“Local government consolidation is long overdue,” Bush said. “With the senate’s passage, we are now one step closer to allowing voters to decide what type of government can best serve the needs of their communities.”

Illinois has more than 1,400 townships. Currently, only three Illinois counties have a framework to consolidate, absorb or eliminate local townships. Because of Senator Bush’s past work on local government consolidation, Lake County is one of the three counties that allows for consolidation.

Senate Bill 3 allows all 102 Illinois counties to consolidate local townships with voter consent. Senator Bush championed the same legislation last session as SB 388, but the measure died in the House.

“Consolidating local governments will be good for Illinois. It will save taxpayer money and reduce government bureaucracy—two things Illinois desperately needs,” Bush said. “I urge the Illinois House to follow the senate’s lead and vote to allow local governments to consolidate.”

Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate by a vote of 36-14. The legislation now awaits passage of the remaining bills tied to it.

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

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.

Sen. Melinda Bush

bush 150

31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Sheri Jesiel; Sam Yingling

Committee assignments: Education; Environment and Conservation; Government Reform (Chairperson); Human Services; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Local Government; Revenue.

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).