Proposal calls for funding to offset cost of storing spent nuclear fuel

Bush joins City of Zion to support nuclear waste legislation in CongressZION - Joining members of the Zion community to call on Congress to take action after years of stalling, State Sen. Melinda Bush voiced her support Monday for legislation by U.S. Rep. Bob Dold that would release federal funds to the city as it continues to maintain a decommissioned nuclear reactor.

“The problem of safely storing nuclear waste is not going away. I strongly support this push to hold the federal government accountable and provide compensation to Zion,” said Bush, D – Grayslake. “With nearly 100 casks of nuclear waste on the shores of Lake Michigan, I’m here today to call on Congress to take swift action and compensate Zion as they have indeed become an interim nuclear waste storage facility. This community has been hurt for far too long.”

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Category: Press Releases

Senators Bush, Morrison and Link speak about township consolidation in Libertyville.

LIBERTYVILLE – Local, county and state government officials joined together this morning in Libertyville in support of efforts by State Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) to allow township government consolidation.

“Responsible township consolidation will make local government more efficient and put money back in taxpayers’ pockets,” said Sen. Bush. “I’m proud to put this long-overdue power in the hands of Illinois citizens.”

Bush’s proposal, contained in Senate Bill 388, would allow townships to merge or dissolve, empowering local voters to have the final say in the process. Current Illinois law doesn’t provide a method for township governments to merge or consolidate.

Senate Bill 389, proposed by Senator Morrison, would allow townships to assume the responsibilities of road districts that maintain less than 15 miles of road. Her proposal also removes the cap on the size of townships, allowing for the merging of smaller townships.

“Common sense proposals that would make township government more efficient and more responsive to taxpayers are currently prohibited under state law,” Morrison said. “Local governments would be empowered under this plan to make decisions that are in the best interests of local residents.”

State Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) also attended today’s press conference.

“Many units of local government throughout the state have become outdated and unnecessary,” Link said. “We no longer need over 7,000 units of local government.  Today is about taking steps to creating a more efficient government.”

Both proposals are scheduled for consideration this week in the Illinois Senate.


Category: Press Releases

Bush, Morrison, Murphy call for end to budget impasse

GRAYSLAKE — In response to news that suburban community colleges have cut staff and may cut more in the coming months, State Sens. Melinda Bush, Julie Morrison and Laura Murphy called on the governor to swiftly end the year-long budget impasse and approve a state spending plan.

“The time for arguing over ideological differences is over,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “College of Lake County exists to provide affordable, accessible higher education to students who we want to become tomorrow’s employees. Governor: Show us you want a business-friendly state and pass a balanced budget.”

College of Lake County has cut 20 positions. Speaking Thursday, President Jerry Weber told reporters the school could need to cut as many as 40 more employees and reduce programs and services if the $8 million the state owes the college is not approved by the end of June. The college has dipped into reserve funds to cover the unreleased funds, as well as $800,000 in promised Monetary Award Program grants to students that have also not been released.

“Businesses makes decisions on where to locate and expand their operations based on the availability of highly trained workers,” said Morrison, D-Deerfield. “The longer this impasse continues, the more long-term damage we are inflicting on our educational facilities and our economy.”

William Rainey Harper College in Palatine has also been affected by the ongoing budget impasse. The college has informed 19 full-time employees and 10 part-time employees they will be laid off and is eliminating 62 full-time and part-time positions through other means.

“With the sky-rocketing costs of universities, community colleges like Harper are an affordable option for many students to continue their education after high school. Eliminating these funds has already hurt the long-term job market in Illinois,” said Murphy, D-Des Plaines. “If the governor truly wanted to be a pro-business governor, he would restore the funds he has eliminated to give students the opportunity to go to college and achieve the American dream.”

The General Assembly has repeatedly approved various spending plans, including individual measures to fund MAP grants, colleges and universities, since the budget process in 2015. All have met with vetoes by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The General Assembly reconvenes next week.


Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD — To put an end to an unavoidable tax that unfairly singles out women, State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, put forth legislation that would end the tax on feminine hygienic products like tampons.

“Items like tampons and sanitary napkins are taxed as luxury items, but all women know that periods are not a luxury,” Bush said. “We always talk about making frugal financial decisions, but this ‘pink tax’ unfairly targets women for a product they are literally biologically incapable of avoiding.”

The proposal, which a Senate committee approved today, would also repeal taxes on adult diapers. Illinoisans spend an estimated $14.7 million annually on the products affected by the proposal, according to the Illinois Committee on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

The legislation is Senate Bill 2746. It moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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