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Senator Bush

November 25, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

I hope this note finds you well. With the General Assembly’s fall session having come and gone, I wanted to update all of you on our efforts in Lake County and in Springfield. With a new session year upon us, I am also eager for your input. Please take a moment to complete my 2014 legislative survey so that I can continue to do my best representing you and your needs in our capitol city. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!

PENSIONS

 

In the beginning of December, I cast a vote against the most recent version of pension reform, Senate Bill 1. I continue to be disappointed by this process and would like to take a few moments to elaborate on why I cast my vote.

 

The ‘pension reform solution’ reached by the pension conference committee was meant to be a compromise between both parties and both chambers. Unfortunately, it is my belief that this pension bill fails to address the one bi-partisan requirement that we have stressed since the beginning of pension reform negotiations — that is, fair treatment for those who were already retired.

 

Through numerous pieces of legislation and meetings with stakeholders, like many of my colleagues I have held fast to a position that in addition to the dire fiscal component of pension reform, there is a dire human component that cannot be ignored. READ MORE

 

MARRIAGE EQUALITY

 

Sen. Bush at signing ceremonyOn Wednesday, November 20th, in front of thousands of supporters, the governor signed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. The act made Illinois the 16th state to award legal marriage status and corresponding federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples.

 

Illinois continues to stand for human rights and fairness, assuring all of its citizens that they have equal protection under the law. Once again this state is on the right side of history. Click here to hear more about my thoughts on marriage equality. READ MORE

 

EDUCATION FUNDING ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

Education CommitteeThe Advisory Committee on Education Funding has now met four times. We have heard testimony from the Illinois State Board of Education regarding the current state funding formula for school districts and the inequity involved in the distribution of state and local funds.

 

The committee has also looked to other states for solutions to our education funding problems. We will be wrapping up our work in January and will present our findings to the General Assembly in February. If you would like to help reform education funding in Illinois, please sign my petition here.

 

DECODING DYSLEXIA

 

Dyslexia MeetingThis past summer, I began meeting with local parents from Antioch and Grayslake that were concerned about Dyslexia awareness in our schools. During fall session, I had the pleasure of hosting a meeting at the State Capitol with these parents, staff from the Governor’s Office and the Illinois State Board of Education to discuss policy-driven ways to help schools identify Dyslexia sooner. Stemming from these meetings, I introduced and passed legislation identifying the last week in October as Dyslexia Awareness Week in Illinois.

 

That was just a start. In the coming weeks, Decoding Dyslexia and the Illinois State Board of Education will continue a series of meetings that will determine what policy changes are needed.

 

As many of you know, I talk a lot about how important it is to reach out to your legislators – and how some of the best legislation is borne of those conversations. Thanks to concerned parents who never quit, and Lake County legislators willing to listen, we have the best chance we have had in years of improving the lives of those with Dyslexia. This is a great reminder to all of us that civic participation is the backbone of our democracy. READ MORE

 

 

IN THE DISTRICT

 

FORECLOSURE PREVENTION

 

Even though our economy is improving, Lake County continues to have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the State of Illinois.

 

In collaboration with the Attorney General and the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, our office co-sponsored a foreclosure prevention event on November 2. Nearly 50 families in our area received mortgage relief assistance at the event. Experience shows that when homeowners faced with foreclosure meet face-to-face with their lenders and foreclosure-prevention experts, good things can happen. If you were unable to attend the event but are interested in more information on foreclosure prevention, please call the Attorney General’s Homeowner Helpline at 1-866-544-7151 for assistance.

 

It’s important to remember that help is available, but many times people wait until it is too late. If you, or someone you know, is falling behind on their current mortgage payments, please call the Attorney General’s Homeowner Helpline today – don’t wait until it is too late.

 

HOMETOWN AWARDS

 

Hometown AwardsDuring the last week of fall session, Governor Quinn held his annual Hometown Awards Ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.

 

At the ceremony, the governor recognized elected officials and volunteers from Round Lake Beach for their contributions and dedication to their village.

 

The Village of Round Lake Beach celebrated its 75th anniversary of incorporation in 2012. The Village Board commemorated the occasion with various community activities and celebrations. READ MORE

 

LIHEAP REGISTRATION

 

With the cold weather now upon us, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) registration has officially opened for all income-eligible households. LIHEAP can provide a one-time benefit to eligible households to be used for energy bills. The amount of the payment is determined by income and household size. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis until they are exhausted. For questions on the LIHEAP program or to determine eligibility, please visit the North Shore Gas website.

 

TORNADO ASSISTANCE

 

On November 17, tornadoes devastated a number of communities in Illinois. While we sympathize with those who lost loved ones or suffered property damage, we can also lend a helping hand in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy. The Salvation Army has established a way to give immediately; you can contribute by texting STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Find out more ways to help here.

 

HELPING HANDS

 

Lake County provides many ways to give or receive assistance over the holidays.

 

You can visit www.findhelplakecounty.org and search simple words like “clothing,” or “food,” to get contact information for agencies across the county.

 

You can also visit the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s website for agency lists and information about fighting hunger.
How to volunteer, or donate food and / or money
Comprehensive list of Northern Illinois agencies and food pantries

 

Thank you to all who have called and emailed thoughts and concerns over the past few months. I am proud to represent you, and promise to continue to do my best for the good of Lake County and all of Illinois. I encourage you to contact me at any time with any state or local matters.

 

 

Sincerely,
Senator Bush
Senator Melinda Bush
31st District – Illinois

 

 

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:
121C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-7353

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