State Senator Melinda BushLake County News-Sun - May 27, 2016 | Original article

By Megan Jones

Community members from Waukegan, Peoria and Vermilion teamed together this week to promote changing the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's rules regarding coal-ash pond removal.

The Illinois Pollution Control Board is considering state rules, but the activists are asking for stronger, more enforceable procedures.

Coal ash is the waste left over from burning coal, which contains arsenic, selenium and mercury that can impact the air and drinking water of the communities, said Jessica Dexter, staff attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center. According to the Sierra Club, most ponds are lined in hopes that the ash does not contaminate the groundwater, but the IEPA found contaminated groundwater at every site tested.

State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, spoke at the Springfield conference and said she questions what the plant's effects are to residents who live near the pollution.

"Frankly, we have air-quality issues in Lake County, and having a coal plant certainly adds to that," she said. "We have higher rates of asthma and allergies with those irritations in the air."

Read the full article at the Lake County News-Sun here.

Category: In The News

KHQA ABC 7 News, Quincy, Ill. - May 11, 2016 | Original report

By Camille Smith

(KHQA) -- In Illinois, feminine hygiene products are taxed in the same category as your shampoo.

Women in Illinois pay a 6.25 percent sales tax every time they buy tampons, pads or menstrual cups.

That's because the state classifies those products as "luxury items."

"I'd like to think every woman knows being on their period is no luxury, certainly shouldn't be taxed like one," Illinois Senator Melinda Bush said.

Senator Bush said it is time to end what she calls an unfair tax on women.

She's introduced Senate Bill 2746, which would eliminate the tax once and for all.

"What we're really talking about here is a bigger global issue and that's that women have been paying more for things throughout their lives and maybe don't even know it," Bush said.

Read the full report here.

Category: In The News

Sen. Bush reacts to Sen. Toi Hutchinson's statement in support of repealing the tampon taxAssociated Press - April 21, 2016 | Original article

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — Illinois lawmakers are advancing proposals that would make feminine hygiene products and contraception more affordable for women.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure on Thursday that would exempt feminine hygiene products from the state sales tax. The plan heading to the House is a part of a national movement to eliminate the so-called "pink tax."

The average statewide sales tax is 6.25 percent but can be as high as 10.25 percent in Chicago.

House lawmakers narrowly approved a plan that would make it easier and more affordable for women to access birth control by a 61-52 vote. Bill sponsor Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook said the plan puts the state in line with the Affordable Care Act.

Category: In The News

State Sen. Melinda BushChicago Tribune - March 18, 2016 | Original article

By Tribune news service

A new bill proposing a special Illinois license plate to help preserve the monarch butterfly has been proposed in the Illinois state Senate.

The plan by state Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, is to allow motorists to pay a surcharge for stickers to indicate their support for the monarch, the offical insect of Illinois.

The monarch population in Illinois has decreased 90 percent in the past two decades because of changes in habitat.
Illinois state symbols

Take a look at some of Illinois' state symbols, as identified on the state's official website.

Bush says monarchs need milkweed plants to lay eggs and feed. Interstate highway medians could be developed with the plant so the butterfly could visit the milkweeds with little outside distraction.

Read the full article here.

Category: In The News

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