SPRINGFIELD – A no-contact order typically instructs a defendant not to have any in-person contact with a victim. However, a law championed by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) will no longer allow them to hound their accuser via text message, email or social media.

Bush SB 1677

“When a person pursues a no-contact order against someone, there is nothing stopping the perpetrator from sending threatening texts or leaving harassing voicemails,” Bush said. “In the age of technology and online dating, far too many people have experienced unwarranted communications after drawing the line.”

Electronic contact – which includes texting, emailing and calling – will now be considered a violation of a person’s stalking no-contact order under Bush’s law. If a person were to break the order, they would face the same repercussions as they would for in-person contact.

Under previous law, electronic contact is not considered means of correspondence. Without the clarification found within Senate Bill 1677, a stalker could contact someone virtually and harass them without facing consequences. 

“Once a no-contact order is in place, no one should have to worry about hearing from their abuser,” Bush said. “As technology evolves, so too must the measures we take to help people feel safe.”  

Senate Bill 1677 was signed into law Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

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GRAYSLAKE – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is encouraging local businesses to apply for the second round of broadband grants to help mend the digital divide throughout Lake County.

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“No student should have to miss out on learning, no parents should have to miss out on work, and no person in general should have to miss out on all the benefits broadband offers on a daily basis,” Bush said. “The COVID-19 pandemic further showed us how important internet is for a person’s daily well-being.”

The Office of Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) program is designed to increase access, adoption and use of high-speed internet access through the lens of digital equity and inclusion. To further these efforts across all ten economic development regions of the state, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Broadband is launching the next READY notice of funding opportunity, with another $250,000 available for grants.

The Broadband READY program is part of a comprehensive Digital Equity Package to boost broadband capacity while addressing existing broadband equity gaps. The READY program and other investments to enhance community planning and equitable implementation will complement the Connect Illinois program, a $400 million plan to deliver universal access to high-speed internet statewide.

Funding can be used to expand immediate broadband connectivity, conduct outreach and engagement to identify current digital inequities, and establish next steps forward. Its aim is to create a digital inclusion ecosystem through regional collaboration among institutions of higher education, planning councils, community and economic development organizations, schools, libraries, health care and local leaders, and other related stakeholders.

“We must work to ensure no one falls behind solely because they lack internet access,” Bush said. “I encourage organizations across the 31st District to apply for a grant to help us bridge the digital divide.”

The application deadline for the second round of READY grants is Oct. 4, 2021. Visit the Illinois Office of Broadband website for information on eligibility criteria or application assistance.

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SPRINGFIELD – A steadfast advocate of a woman’s right to choose, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement after Mississippi’s attorney general asked the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade to restrict abortion access:

“There’s a war against women and their right to choose going on across the country, and it’s appalling how many public officials are contributing to it.

“Abortion is just like every other medical procedure and must be treated as such. Women’s right to make personal and fundamental choices about their bodies must be protected. It is an essential right of health equality, equity and justice.

“I am in complete dismay of the actions and words of the Mississippi attorney general. While I know I can go to sleep each night knowing women in Illinois will always be protected from having their rights stripped away, it pains me to know all women across our country don’t have the same freedoms.”

Bush championed a law in 2017 that ensures Illinois women would still have access to safe and legal abortions should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. She also led the monumental 2019 Reproductive Health Act, which repealed outdated abortion laws that have been blocked by the courts and ensured that reproductive health care is treated like all other health care and not as a crime.

 

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SPRINGFIELD – Women – especially those with limited financial resources – will soon be able to receive hormonal birth control without visiting a doctor, thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).

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“Birth control is a basic health care service and should be treated as such,” Bush said. “Providing greater access to contraceptives is providing a more equitable health care system.”

Many women struggle to access hormonal contraceptives, which historically have only been prescribed through a physician. They may not know where to go, or are unable to afford doctor’s appointments. Pharmacists, however, are typically much more accessible than a physician.

To give women easier, more affordable access to birth control, Bush championed a new law to allow pharmacists to issue hormonal contraceptives, including oral tablets, vaginal rings and topical patches.

Pharmacists who wish to participate would have to meet several educational requirements to provide them with the best tools to help patients complete a self-screening risk assessment. Once the assessment is finished, the pharmacist would provide counseling and education on all methods of contraception, then help the patient choose a form of birth control. 

Currently, 16 states and Washington, D.C. allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense self-administered hormonal birth control.

“It’s simple: Birth control saves lives and prevents unplanned pregnancy,” Bush said. “Family planning and reproductive health care is a personal choice that should not be limited by economic or social status.”

Bush has been a steadfast advocate for women’s reproductive rights since first joining the General Assembly. She has spearheaded a number of measures to protect women’s health, including the monumental 2019 Reproductive Health Act, which repealed outdated abortion laws that have been blocked by the courts and ensured that reproductive health care is treated like all other health care and not as a crime.

The law was signed by the governor Thursday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

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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