Senator Bush

March 13, 2013

Dear Friends,


I hope this finds you and your family well. As many of you know, I am the newly elected Senator for the 31st District. I am very proud to represent you, and I will work diligently to address your concerns in Springfield. I hope you’ll find this newsletter to be a useful resource for keeping up to date with what’s happening in our district and in Springfield.


It is extremely important to me to understand where you stand on the issues we face. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey of legislative issues, in order to help me better represent you at the Capitol. If you have any questions, please contact me through my website, or by calling my district or Springfield offices. I also encourage you to visit the Senate Democratic Caucus website for additional information.


Senator Bush
Senator Melinda Bush
31st District – Illinois




Swearing InOn January 9th, I was sworn in for my first term as an Illinois State Senator and member of the 98th General Assembly.


I am a lifelong resident of Lake County. I first entered public office as a trustee for the Village of Grayslake, serving for four years. I have also been a small business owner and a constant voice for environmental protection.


Prior to my election to the Senate, I served on the Lake County Board, fighting for good-paying jobs and a balanced budget. I also worked to pass meaningful ethics reforms and put an end to cronyism and corruption that existed in parts of the county and forest preserve boards.


I believe my experience of working with divergent viewpoints will help us tackle and solve the issues Illinois faces.




As you may recall, at the end of May 2011, the General Assembly re-drew the maps for state legislative and congressional districts to account for population changes. This happens every 10 years in conjunction with the census. The maps were signed into law by Gov. Quinn in June 2011.


The map to the left reflects the new 31st Senate District. The district comprises all or parts of Antioch, Beach Park, Fox Lake, Gages Lake, Grandwood Park, Grayslake, Gurnee, Hainesville, Lindenhurst, Lake Villa, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park, Third Lake, Wadsworth, Wauconda, Waukegan, Winthrop Harbor and Zion.


You can find a larger version of the map here.




My committee assignments


I attended my first Senate committee meetings earlier this month at the start of the 98th General Assembly’s regular session. I will now have a voice and vote on the committees of Higher Education, State Government & Veterans Affairs, Revenue, Appropriations and Environment. These committees represent issues I am deeply concerned with and create opportunities to advocate for Lake County and the people of the 31st Senate District.


Pensions and our fiscal mess


I also attended the governor’s State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2013. After the address, I issued the following statement regarding my hopes for fiscal solvency.


“The thing I was most pleased with the governor for addressing is that we have to fix this pension crisis. If we don’t fix it, we can’t fund education; we can’t fund road projects and do all of the things that are important to move our economy forward. The governor said that we need to have the courage to do the right thing. I believe that most of us here have the courage to do the right thing.”


Below is my interview with Blueroom Broadcasting:

Response video

Springfield politicians got us in this mess by taking money from our pension accounts to spend on other programs, leaving them nearly bankrupt. Empty words and promises aren’t nearly enough. The situation demands action.


That’s why I’m co-sponsoring Senate Bill 2404 – a measure that will make sure politicians cannot repeat the mistakes that got us into this disaster. That’s also why I turned down a legislative pension. I’m here to fix problems, not become a burden to taxpayers. And that’s why I’m working with others to build a common-sense solution that will actually work.


Investment in jobs


One of my first major votes was to help pass legislation maintaining the state’s investment in a crucial construction program that has put thousands of people to work improving the state’s roads, bridges and schools in recent years.


The legislation also restores severe cuts to the Department of Children and Family Services that threatened to layoff dozens of caseworkers and interrupt services to needy children and their families. It also allows for the continued operations of many mental health facilities that would have otherwise turned away many of our state’s most critically ill, leaving them without adequate shelter or care.


The proposal passed both chambers and was quickly signed into law by the governor.


Fighting for marriage equality


Another issue taken up in the Illinois Senate this month was the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. It provides same-sex couples with the same legal marriage rights currently available to other couples.


I see this vote as both a civil rights and human rights issue. I believe in equal protection under the law for all people in Illinois. This legislation is a step closer to attaining that goal.


It passed the Senate and is now pending in the Illinois House.


Common-sense solutions on concealed carry


Illinois has become the only state where carrying a concealed firearm is entirely illegal. In December 2012, a federal appeals court struck down the longtime Illinois ban. The court gave lawmakers 180 days to pass legislation that authorizes concealed carry in some form. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s attempt to have the court reconsider the ruling was denied. Lawmakers are working to meet the court’s deadline on concealed carry and also debating other important gun issues such as an assault weapons ban.


I was recently invited to join Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s Firearms Working Group. The working group includes newly elected Democratic and Republican state senators and representatives who represent a diverse group of communities. In our first few meetings, we have learned a great deal more about the varying perspectives on gun ownership and gun control. We have already met with groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the Illinois State Police, hoping to unify perspectives on a common-sense solution that works for all residents of Illinois.


With the clock ticking on federal court’s deadline, it is imperative that we make our decisions with as much information as possible. Please share your views by filling out this brief legislative survey.


District Events


Race for Hunger


Race for HungerI was honored to be invited to and participate in the “Race for Hunger,” hosted by the Lake  County Farm Bureau and the Antioch Piggly-Wiggly. The Farm Bureau has organized this event for 15 years, and every year it gives us an opportunity to highlight the needs of food pantries in Lake County. And while that day we were able to bring $3,000 worth of relief to needy families, there is so much more that needs to be done. If you can donate, please visit to find the nearest local food pantry – or contact my office at (847)548-5631 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Additionally, if you or someone you know needs help, please contact my office.


Neighborhood partners


I plan to stay connected with the people I represent, in part by putting together quarterly advisory meetings with neighbors from across our Senate District. If you are interested in joining one of our advisory committees, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact my office at (847) 548-5631.


Community activism


Since taking office, I moved quickly to open our centrally located office in Grayslake and have plans to open a second office this summer. I have been meeting with local leaders, such as area superintendents, Illinois Department of Transportation representatives and Chamber of Commerce members to discuss the shared concerns of our communities. I look forward to continuing to communicate with those living and working in Lake County so I can present the best voice on behalf of our communities.




To stay up to date on community activities, visit and sign up for my mailing list. Please contact my district office (847) 548-5631 or Springfield office (217) 782-7353 with any questions or concerns.


Stay up to date on all Senate activity by visiting the caucus website, Facebook and Twitter pages as well!


Thank you for putting your faith in me to be your voice in Springfield.



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)


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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