SPRINGFIELD – To further reduce opioid abuse, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) passed a measure to ensure every medication prescriber, including e-prescribers, has access to the same database.

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“Every prescriber should have access to the prescription database, so they can keep better track of which patients received medications and when they received them,” Bush said. “Checking when someone last received a medication will crack down on overprescribing and doctor shopping.”

The Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program collects information on controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in Illinois. The PMP website allows prescribers and dispensers to view a current or prospective patient's prescription history.

The ultimate goal of the PMP is to assist prescribers and dispensers in the effective treatment of patients seeking medical care. However, currently not every prescriber has access to the database. 

House Bill 2488, sponsored by Bush, would tackle that issue. The measure would ensure every person who has prescribing authority has access to the PMP.

In 2017, Bush passed a law to require prescribers of controlled substances to check the PMP to see if a patient has been prescribed a controlled substance by another doctor prior to writing an initial prescription. That can’t be done if some prescribers don’t have access to the database.

“This commonsense measure is the next step in fighting the ongoing opioid crisis,” Bush said. “I won’t stop working to protect the people of Illinois until this crisis has ended.”

Bush passed the measure out of the Senate Sunday.  

Category: Press Releases

GRAYSLAKE – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is urging Lake County residents to shop small this holiday season to support local businesses that have been struggling throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Small businesses are a part of our communities. They invest in our economy, employ our friends and neighbors and support local events,” Bush said. “It’s now our turn to support them and invest in all they have to offer.”

As people begin their holiday shopping, Bush is reminding them frequent to small businesses throughout the area. For every dollar spent at a small business, 67 cents stays in the community.

Bush has talked to many small business owners, who say they need the community’s help now more than ever. Supporting small, however, doesn’t just mean going to brick and mortar stores. Residents can support small businesses through online sales, ordering carry out from a locally owned restaurant or buying a gift card for a friend.

Additionally, if money is tight due to the pandemic, people can still support local businesses by following their social media, recommending to friends and leaving positive reviews.

“I encourage you to support small businesses in any way you can,” Bush said. “The pandemic has been especially tough on them, and as cases continue to rise, we must show them that the community is there to help.”

Bush would also like to remind struggling small business that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has launched the second round of the Business Interruption Grant program, which will distribute $220 million to small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic, including movie theaters, event venues, hotels and more. Learn more and apply on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Category: Press Releases

GRAYSLAKE – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to accentuate inequalities in access to technology throughout Lake County and the entire state, Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is highlighting that 15 Lake County-based schools have been selected to receive part of $80 million to close the digital divide.

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“No student should have to miss out on learning because they don’t have the proper technological resources to participate in e-learning,” Bush said. “I am pleased to learn 15 Lake County schools have received funds to close the digital divide and give every student a chance to succeed – regardless of financial situation.”

Nearly 500 schools across the state received a total of more than $80 million to help ensure all students have reliable access to the technology they need for remote learning. The money comes from the Digital Equity Formula Grant, which was funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The grant allocated funding to the highest-need communities in the state to provide important e-learning resources to low-income families.

Schools can use the grant to purchase additional devices and connectivity or to cover purchases made since the onset of the pandemic on March 13.

For more information about COVID-19 and education, visit isbe.net/covid19.

Category: Press Releases

GRAYSLAKE – To help small business owners dealing with the devastating financial impact of COVID-19, State Senator Melinda Bush is encouraging them to apply for the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

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“Small businesses make Lake County such a great place to live. Seeing so many forced to close their doors has been heartbreaking,” Bush said. “I am pleased the state has prioritized this much-needed financial relief and hope business owners will take advantage of the assistance.”
The BIG Program has allocated $220 million in the second round for movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues and more to help them stay afloat through this time of crisis and ensure they have the resources to open safely in the coming months.

BIG funds may be used to help businesses cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic.

To ensure funds are distributed across the state and across business types, $60 million has been specifically allocated for heavily distressed industries, including indoor recreation facilities and amusement parks, and another $70 million has been set aside for businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas, or low-income areas that have experienced high rates of COVID-19. Businesses located in the 60099 ZIP code of Zion and the 60087 ZIP code of Waukegan qualify for part of the $70 million. For a full list of eligible ZIP codes, click here.

During its first round of funding earlier this year, the program granted more than $49 million to small businesses across the state. More than 20 business in the district Bush represents received a combined $400,000 earlier this year.

Applications open Thursday, Sept. 17 and can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website alongside a full list of criteria.

Category: Press Releases

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