dry cleaner 104.7 WLMD Macomb - August 23, 2017 | original article

By Veronica Carter

It soon will no longer be OK in Illinois to charge women more than men for services such as dry cleaning and salon appointments. Legislation that increases transparency in pricing among some service providers and exposes gender-based price discrimination has been signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, said most folks assume that this type of discrimination would have disappeared by now - but it hasn't. She said women have long been charged more for certain services - which doesn't make it right.

"Women pay more for dry cleaning, and you'll also see it in some hair salons, where women will pay more for the same services, and tailors," she said. "So, it's just trying to make sure that women do know what the prices are, so that they can ask, 'Is there a reason for a price difference?' "

Bush sponsored Senate Bill 298, which requires hair salons, barbers, dry cleaners and tailors to provide customers with a price list for services upon request. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

Last year, the same senator's "pink tax" legislation repealed state sales tax on feminine hygiene products. She said it's another part of the effort to remove economic barriers for Illinois women.

"My hope is that the law will make service providers take a second look at what they charge women," she said, "because what women pay, you know, these are dollars that are coming out of our family."

Bush said gender inequity is a problem across the country. In a study published in late 2015, New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs compared nearly 800 products of more than 90 brands and found, on average, products for women and girls cost seven-percent more than similar products for men and boys.

Category: In The News

Crain's Chicago Business - August 11, 2017 | original article

It looks like Illinois is finally getting back its most important job-creating incentives tool.

More than three months after Edge program—Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits—expired, caught up in the partisan warfare over the state budget, lawmakers on Aug. 13 are set to take final action to restore the program. And I'm told that everybody involved, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, is on board.

Scheduled for a vote in the Senate is a measure sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Chicago, that would somewhat reduce the value of the payroll tax credit and focus the program more on helping bring new jobs to impoverished area, but still put the development tool back in the state's toolbox.

The bill passed the House on a 102-5 vote, but stalled in the Senate. That caused some embarrassment a couple of weeks ago when it became apparent Illinois couldn't even begin to compete for the big new Foxconn plant that's going to southeast Wisconsin, because it had no incentives it could offer.

Sponsor Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, who is handling the bill with GOP colleague Sen. Pam Althoff of Crystal Lake, tells me the weekend vote is on and all signals are go.

"It's a damned miracle," Bush said, verbally shaking her head at how long it took to get this far. "We really needed to do this in the regular legislative session," which ended June 30, "but with all the focus on the budget, all the (legislative) oxygen was used up."

Sources tell me Rauner, who'd wanted changes in the old policy, is now happy enough that he'll sign the bill.

In fact, Bush said the GOP governor got everything he wanted except a clause allowing recipients to sell or transfer Edge credits to someone else. "We certainly can work that out at a later time," she said.

Bush emphasized that she'll be running a "clean" bill, one that's identical to the version already approved by the House. So Senate action should be final.

"We need Edge credits in place," said Bush, whose district is not too far from where the Foxconn plant will be. "We need to do everything we can to be competitive."

Category: In The News

Senator Melinda Bush - photo credit: Daily HeraldDaily Herald - July 27, 2017 | original article

By Kerry Lester

An already expensive four-day legislative special session underway in Springfield could have cost taxpayers $56,740 more if it hadn't been for the efforts of a suburban lawmaker.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Wednesday signed legislation, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Melinda Bush of Grayslake, that freezes lawmaker pay rates and reimbursements as they travel down to Springfield to negotiate over a bill that would free up state funding for schools.

Bush's bill, which goes into effect immediately, caps all 177 General Assembly members' per diem rates at $111 per session day; lawmakers who travel more than 50 miles to the capitol would continue to be reimbursed 39 cents per mile. It would also eliminate a 2.1 percent cost of living adjustment to their annual salary, which has a base pay of $67,636 before stipends for leadership and committee roles. Without the legislation, per diems were set to rise to $142 per day, and mileage to 53 cents per mile, based on federal rates.

Senate President John Cullerton's office estimates that a special session costs roughly $48,000 per day -- and would have cost an added $14,185 daily without the bill for the session, which started Wednesday.

Bush, in a statement, encouraged the governor "to go one step further in saving money for Illinois taxpayers by disclosing his plans for his school funding veto and meeting with legislative leaders to negotiate a plan instead of wasting Illinois tax dollars on unnecessary special sessions."

Read the full article...

Category: In The News

WICS Channel 20 - July 24, 2017 | original article

Senator Bush on HB 643

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) — Democratic State Senator Melinda Bush is calling on Governor Rauner to sign a bill to save money on special session.

The House Bill would stop mileage reimbursement and per diem rates from going up.

In a statement Bush says in part “The governor’s special sessions are needlessly expensive, costing taxpayers upwards of $48,000 each day. If the governor doesn’t sign this bill, the special sessions he’s demanding become even more expensive.”

The bill was sent to the governor’s desk in June.

Category: In The News

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