Marriage equality w deskrCHICAGO - Today, in front of an audience of [nearly 25,000 supporters], the governor signed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to award legal marriage status and corresponding federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples.

At a bill signing ceremony at the University of Chicago this afternoon, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), a co-sponsor of the bill, reflected on the work that was done to ensure the successful passage of the landmark legislation.

“Illinois continues to stand for human rights and fairness in assuring all of its citizens have equal protection under the law,” said Senator Bush.  “Once again this state is on the right side of history.”

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Hometown AwardsrSPRINGFIELD - Last Wednesday, Governor Quinn held his annual Hometown Awards Ceremony at the Governor’s mansion in Springfield.

At the ceremony, volunteers from Round Lake Beach were recognized for their contributions and dedication to their village.

“I was proud to witness the Village of Round Lake Beach being recognized for their commitment to the betterment of their community,” Senator Bush said.  “It is rewarding to see dedicated volunteers recognized for their hard work.”

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Decoding DyslexiarSPRINGFIELD - Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) introduced legislation this week naming the last week of October Dyslexia Awareness Week in Illinois. 

Dyslexia affects 70-80% of people with reading difficulties and is more common than autism or attention deficit disorder.

“I think we need to start by doing a better job of identifying dyslexia," Senator Bush said.  First and foremost, we need to increase awareness, but equally important is coming up with funding mechanisms to screen for early detection.”

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WatercraftrLAKE COUNTY - In the last week of August, the Senate held its first Watercraft Safety Committee hearing in Lake County, Illinois. The Committee was formed in an effort to find common-sense solutions to current boating and waterway safety challenges. 

The committee heard testimony from a number of industry professionals, as well as boaters and business owners on the Chain of Lakes in Lake County.  Based on this initial hearing it appears residents are primarily interested in policies that balance safety concerns with the ability of residents to fully enjoy the Chain of Lakes.  Suggestions include:

• Required boat safety training
• Policies to curb problems caused by inexperienced boat renters
• Improved policies to deal with those operating boats while intoxicated
• Better enforcement of existing laws

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