Zion nuclear storage siteLake County Chronicle - October 10, 2017 | original article

By Gregory Harutunian

Since 1998, when the Zion Nuclear Power Plant was decommissioned, the city has suffered through financial hardships in lost property tax revenues and the stigma of storing hazardous spent nuclear fuel rods on its lakefront.

In March 2016, an intergovernmental agreement was struck between the city, Zion Township, the Zion Park District, the Zion-Benton Township High School District 126, and the Zion-Benton Public Library District seeking the removal of the waste or funding for storage.

At that time, it was disclosed that legislation was being developed to address the issues. The STRANDED (Sensible, Timely Relief for America’s Nuclear Districts’ Economic Development) Act, the proposed legislation, was announced during an Oct. 1 press conference which brought U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-10th), state Sen. Melinda Bush (D-31st) and Zion Mayor Al Hill to the plant site.

The pending bill will be introduced in the Senate by Duckworth, and the House by Schneider, although no timetable has been set for submission and consideration.

“It will be presented soon,” said Steve Kirsch, communications director for the Schneider office. “We’re having very productive discussions with Republicans to build bi-partisan support. The legislation is written, and it is aimed at economic relief.”

The bill would provide communities such as Zion with $15 per stored kilogram of stored nuclear waste in the form of impact grants, of which, Zion has 65 casks containing 1,020 metric tons in spent fuel rods that equates to nearly $15 million per year. The bill would also create a task force to identify assets in the designated community, provide incentives such as tax credits for existing “New Markets” credit eligibility, and reviving an expired tax credit for first-time homebuyers purchasing a home there.

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Category: In The News

Representative Schneider, Senator Duckworth and Mayor Hill announce the STRANDED ActPatch - October 2, 2017 | original article

By Jonah Meadows

Local, state and federal representatives joined Zion Mayor Al Hill Sunday in Hosea Park to announce a new plan to deal with the impact of storing nuclear waste in communities like Zion. U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) and Senator Tammy Duckworth announced the Sensible, Timely Relief for America’s Nuclear Districts’ Economic Development (STRANDED) Act, which aims to provide incentives for economic development in places that are storing waste and federal assistance to offset the cost of storage.

The Zion Nuclear Power station operated from 1973 to 1998. There are 1,020 metric tons of nuclear waste from the plant stored on Zion's lakefront. The STRANDED Act would pay $15 per year, per kilogram of nuclear waste to communities storing such waste, meaning Zion could receive $15 million from the program annually.

“Zion and communities like it have been unfairly saddled with storing our nation’s stranded nuclear waste – forced to shoulder the burdens of storage with no compensation in return,” said Schneider. “The federal government needs to make right by these communities. This bill I’m introducing with Sen. Duckworth would bolster Zion’s economic development by finally compensating the city for its storage of the waste, offering tax incentives to encourage private investment and homeownership, and better ensuring access to all available federal resources. Addressing this issue is a matter of basic fairness for the communities paying the price for our government’s failure to find a permanent solution for spent nuclear fuel.”

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Category: In The News

trafficDaily Herald - September 27, 2017 | original article

By Mick Zawislak

Getting through Grayslake on Route 120 can be tough at times, and the going may be a little tougher beginning today with the expected start of a project aimed at making travel smoother.

Weather permitting, the Illinois Department of Transportation will begin a $1.66 million project to connect and synchronize traffic signals and make other upgrades between Route 134 in Hainesville to Route 45 in Grayslake.

Daytime lane closures on Route 120 and on Route 45 south to Winchester Road in Libertyville are expected. Traffic will be reduced to one lane with flaggers when necessary, according to IDOT.

The work in the Route 120 corridor also includes a right-turn lane from westbound Route 120 to Hainesville Road. The project had been delayed by utility conflicts but is back on track.

Signal work will be coordinated through Lake County PASSAGE, a real-time traffic management system based in Libertyville.

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Category: In The News

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

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