Senator Bush on Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – A downstate woman's second chance at life is the latest success stemming from a 2015 state law giving police tools to literally bring overdose victims back from the dead. According to the Springfield Journal-Register, “Less than a week after being issued Narcan kits to save the life of someone overdosing on heroin or another opiate, a Springfield police officer has successfully used the drug in the field for the first time.”

Since being elected in 2012, Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) has made fighting opioid addiction and reducing opioid-related deaths major priorities. In 2015, Senator Bush championed “Lali’s Law,” which expanded access to Narcan and made it more accessible and affordable for law enforcement agencies like the Springfield Police Department.

“Narcan has the ability to reverse overdoses and save lives,” Bush said. “If the Springfield police officer had not had a Narcan kit, this person would have likely died of overdose. This is why it is so important to increase access to Narcan, and it’s why I fought to make it easily accessible and affordable for Illinoisans.”

Over the past few decades, opioid addiction has become a major problem throughout the state of Illinois. As of last year, Illinoisans were dying of heroin overdoses at twice the rate they were in 1999. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2014 to 2015 the opioid-related death rate in Illinois increased 120 percent.

Senator Bush will continue fighting to reduce opioid addiction and increase access to lifesaving treatments.

Read the full Journal-Register article here: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20170224/springfield-polices-narcan-program-saves-first-life

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Bush headshotSPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) voted for legislation to end the state’s budget impasse, fund education and important human service programs and allow local governments to consolidate. The legislation is part of a compromise between Senate leaders from both parties to end the state’s nearly two-year budget impasse.

“Today, the Illinois Senate did what the governor and House leaders have failed to do, put the people of Illinois ahead of political games,” Bush said. “Senators from both parties came together in an effort to end the budget impasse and finally move Illinois forward.”

Senate Bill 6 provides spending authorization for the second half of FY2017. The stopgap budget expired on Jan. 1, leaving human services organizations and higher education without funding.

“For nearly two years, Illinois has not had a full budget. The cost of inaction is great. Every day that goes by without a budget, $11 million is added to the state's bill backlog,” Bush said. “This is unacceptable. We should be funding domestic violence shelters, addiction treatment programs and higher education, not wasting money and adding to the state’s debt.”

The plan to restore funding is part of the Senate’s budget and reform package of legislation, which includes Senator Bush’s local government consolidation proposal.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address Wednesday:

“The point of the governor’s budget address is to allow the governor to present a balanced budget to the General Assembly,” Bush said. “It is the governor’s constitutional responsibility to propose a balanced budget, and for the third year in a row, Governor Rauner failed to provide a plan.”

“With every day that goes by without a budget, another $11 million is added to the state’s bill backlog. And while I thought the governor presented a nice vision for Illinois, he failed to provide any actual solutions for how to achieve his goals. If there was one takeaway from the address, it’s that Governor Rauner will not be taking the lead to end the budget impasse. It’s up to the Senate to fix the state’s budget mess.”

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – A local government consolidation measure passed in the senate with bipartisan support. Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) championed Senate Bill 3, which allows voters to abolish or consolidate local townships, reducing bureaucracy and saving taxpayer dollars.

“Local government consolidation is long overdue,” Bush said. “With the senate’s passage, we are now one step closer to allowing voters to decide what type of government can best serve the needs of their communities.”

Illinois has more than 1,400 townships. Currently, only three Illinois counties have a framework to consolidate, absorb or eliminate local townships. Because of Senator Bush’s past work on local government consolidation, Lake County is one of the three counties that allows for consolidation.

Senate Bill 3 allows all 102 Illinois counties to consolidate local townships with voter consent. Senator Bush championed the same legislation last session as SB 388, but the measure died in the House.

“Consolidating local governments will be good for Illinois. It will save taxpayer money and reduce government bureaucracy—two things Illinois desperately needs,” Bush said. “I urge the Illinois House to follow the senate’s lead and vote to allow local governments to consolidate.”

Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate by a vote of 36-14. The legislation now awaits passage of the remaining bills tied to it.

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Category: Press Releases

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