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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.”

New opioid laws designed to address growing crisis

bush 042518SPRINGFIELD – Three proposals passed by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) aimed at addressing Illinois’ growing opioid crisis were signed into law this week.

The first, House Bill 4707, will create a Prescription Drug Task Force to study the extent of over-prescription of opioids to patients.

"Opioid overdoses are a massive epidemic in Illinois, and over the past few years the situation has only continued to worsen," Bush said. “The opioid epidemic is a serious and complicated issue, but I remain hopeful that the task force can uncover effective, long-lasting solutions to this crisis.”

The task force will consist of state lawmakers, health care professionals, members of law enforcement and parents who have lost children from drug overdoses. In addition to studying the over-prescribing of opioids, the task force will make recommendations to the General Assembly on actions that can be taken at the state level.

Bush’s second proposal, Senate Bill 3023, allows law enforcement agencies to develop and implement deflection programs that offer alternatives to jail for individuals suffering with substance abuse. In Lake County, an already established diversion program helps an average of 12 individuals per month.

The third proposal, Senate Bill 2951, creates a pilot program to treat youth and young adults with substance use disorders.

With opiate abuse continuing to take lives across Lake County, Bush has made combatting the crisis a top priority in Springfield. She is a member of the Lake County Opioid Initiative that was formed in response to the crisis and is working with local stakeholders to develop a comprehensive opioid prevention strategy for the county.

“We know the factors surrounding opioid abuse are multilayered and complex,” Bush said. “And that is why there is not one magic solution to end this epidemic.”

All three new laws take effect immediately.

Bush calls on Rep. Sauer to resign

bush 051018SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released the following statement this morning after serious criminal allegations were made public against State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington), a member of the House Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force:

“Rep. Nick Sauer should resign from his office immediately. For far too long in Springfield, sexual harassment and abuse from those in positions of power has gone unchecked. I applaud this woman for coming forward and telling her story. Women must have confidence that when they come forward with stories of abuse that the systems in place will hear them and believe them. Without accountability there can be no change.”

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).