Senator Bush

October 16, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

My job does not end when the General Assembly wraps up legislative session in Springfield. Throughout the year my office and I are busy serving the residents of Lake County. From constituent outreach to economic development work, I am always looking for ways to make life better for people in our communities.

 

With summer now officially over and fall in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about some of the community service events I hosted over the course of the last few months.

 

Summer Outreach

 

Senior FairThis summer, I organized two senior fairs designed to give seniors access to diverse, vital services in one convenient location. My hope was that making these services readily available would provide seniors a better understanding of the many resources available to them. Attendees were able to receive free health screenings and obtain information on reduced cost health services, as well as information on senior driving and disability parking, senior fraud, senior transportation and veteran services.

 

I also hosted my second annual Zion Hiring Event in mid-August. Nearly 300 hopeful job-seekers had a chance to connect with over 50 prospective employers through electronic resume matching and on-site interviews. This year I was proud to partner with Congressman Schneider, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Jobs Center of Lake County – their participation helped make the hiring event a great success.

 

Many of the best legislative ideas come from the very people living in the communities we represent. Each year I spend time travelling the district for town hall events, and this summer I was able to hold four “Senator in Your Corner” town halls throughout the month of August. This type of communication is vital to my success representing you – the informal town hall meetings give you the opportunity to voice your thoughts, concerns and ideas about state and community issues. I look forward to hosting many more town hall meetings in the coming year.

 

While we do our absolute best to inform you in advance of these events, we are always looking for new outlets with which to share our information. Please submit any ideas you may have here.

 

Economic Development

 

AKHANEarlier this year Gurnee Mayor Krysti Kovarik contacted me looking for assistance bringing an important economic development opportunity to Lake County.

 

AKHAN Semiconductor, a global leader in diamond semiconductor technology, is currently expanding its domestic and international operations. AKHAN listed Gurnee as one of several sites it was considering to relocate and expand its corporate and manufacturing headquarters.

 

This is a very exciting opportunity for Lake County. Semiconductors have practical applications in nearly every electronic device and a move to Gurnee would provide a new source of high-paying jobs and 21st century technology to the Lake County economy. If Akhan comes to Gurnee, Lake County would be the site of the first commercial production of cutting-edge diamond semiconductors anywhere in the world.

 

Over the last several months I helped build a bi-partisan working group aimed at competing with other states to bring Akhan Semiconductor here to Lake County. After much work with Mayor Kovarik, Governor Quinns’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor and many other state and local officials, I am very hopeful we have the necessary tools in place to help bring this project over the finish line.

 

I firmly believe economic development is the key to solving many of the problems we face here in Lake County and throughout the State of Illinois. When an opportunity presents itself to keep an Illinois company in our state, we should jump on it. Lake County leaders know that retaining and attracting business is an important part of my strategic plan, and I will work hard to better the Lake County economy.

 

Education Funding Reform Update

 

EFACThere has been a great deal of conversation over the course of the last few weeks on the education funding reform legislation known as Senate Bill 16. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain my position, given its projected effect on many school districts in our communities.

 

As your State Senator, I represent 16 Lake County school districts. Some of these school districts, such as Wauconda and Woodland, stand to lose up to 80 percent of their state funding under the proposal. Regrettably, these factors create a whole new level of disparity and inequity that is unacceptable and unsustainable for these and many other communities.

 

While I still stand in strong support of the concept of education funding reform in Illinois and of all of the work done by the Education Funding Advisory Committee to address funding inequity, I was wholly unable to support this particular plan that so adversely affects many of our Lake County school districts. READ MORE

 

Farm Bureau

 

Farm BureauThis month I was fortunate to participate in the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Adopt-A-Legislator Program.

 

The Adopt-A-Legislator Program was developed with the purpose of educating urban state legislators about the needs of farmers across the state, as well as educating farmers about the needs and concerns of urban districts. The program pairs an urban legislator with farmers in a county across the state, facilitating educational tours and meetings in both locales.

 

I was adopted by farmers in Randolph County, who were both extraordinarily welcoming and very interested in the issues facing residents in Lake County. The Randolph County Farm Bureau spent a few days in Lake County touring organic farms and Lake County agribusinesses, while also learning about our economic development concerns and meeting with local elected officials.

 

The Lake County events allowed the Randolph County Farm Bureau to analyze our issues and begin planning meetings and tours in Randolph County. When I traveled to Randolph County I was able see several of their agribusinesses inside and out, gaining valuable insight on how farming contributes both to the Randolph County and Illinois economies. This type of perspective is extraordinarily important when making legislative decisions that impact economies throughout the State of Illinois.

 

The Randolph County Farm Bureau couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming. Ultimately I found that while we have differing opinions informed by our local perspectives, we have much in common. It's when we take the time to listen to each other that we can learn, better understand, and sometimes find a way to a middle ground.

 

 

District Office

34121 US Highway 45, Suite 224 • Grayslake, IL 60030

847-548-5631 (Phone)

 

Springfield Office

M122 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-7353 (Phone)

 

www.SenatorMelindaBush.com/

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Contact Me

Springfield Office:
218 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-7353

District Office:
10 N. Lake St., Suite 112
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: (847) 548-5631