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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.

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.

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.

Sen. Melinda Bush

bush 150

31st Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Environment and Conservation; Revenue; State Government & Veterans Affairs; Committee of the Whole; Human Services; Commerce and Economic Development (Vice-Chairperson); Education.

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).