State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-GrayslakeSPRINGFIELD — Illinois drivers will have an opportunity to support Veterans’ Homes.  Veterans will have more options to seek treatment for addictions and the local veterans’ assistance commissions will have greater ability to partner with drug courts. Veterans seeking treatment will be helped under two new laws sponsored by State Sen. Melinda Bush.

“The men and women who choose to be warriors for our country take on great personal risk and sacrifice,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “Too often, they are at an elevated risk of addiction. This law gives power to our local organizations and drug courts to collaborate and offer our veterans more options for better treatment.”

The new law enacted by Senate Bill 3401 will allow veterans’ assistance commissions to provide mentoring, mental health and substance abuse programs in conjunction with Veteran & Service members Courts, that were specifically created to help veterans facing addiction.

The governor also signed House Bill 6149, which lets Illinois drivers sign up to support veterans’ homes with a new specialty decal under the state’s streamlined universal license plate and decal system. Funds from the specialty decal will go toward the Illinois Veterans’ Home Fund, which supports the organizations that aid and care for veterans with disabilities.

“The new universal license plate with specialty decal will be available for purchase next year. They are a great way to pledge financial support towards a worthy cause,” Bush said. “I encourage any driver who wants to honor those who served and sacrificed to consider the Veterans’ Home specialty decal.”

The provisions under Senate Bill 3401 and House Bill 6149 take effect Jan. 1, 2017. Beginning that day, drivers may sign up for the Veterans’ Home specialty decal by completing the following steps.

  1. Visit:
  2. Scroll down the page and click on “Specialty Request / VSD 702.”
  3. This will bring up a new page. On this new page, print and complete the Specialty License Plate Form. Under the section “Name of Specialty Plate Being Requested,” write “Veterans’ Home Plate.”
  4. Mail the completed copy of the Specialty License Plate Request Form and a $26 check made out to “Illinois Secretary of State” to the address on the form.

Please note that this form has to be mailed to the Secretary of State in Springfield at the office address stated on the form. This cannot be done at your local Driver Services Facility.

Category: Press Releases

State Sen. Melinda BushGovernor signs new legislation by State Sen. Melinda Bush

SPRINGFIELD — To equip police investigators with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to respond to domestic violence as soon as they answer a call, the governor signed a proposal sponsored by State Sen. Melinda Bush that would provide additional training for law enforcement officers.

“Domestic violence is often minimized and under reported, and we need to fight preconceived notions of what an abuse situation looks like,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “More training will assure our officers are better equipped to identify domestic violence situations.”

Current law recommends but does not require police departments to coordinate domestic violence response training with service organizations and develop appropriate arrest procedures. Training under the new legislation is aimed at the prevention of further victimization, focusing on looking beyond the physical evidence of domestic violence and giving officers an understanding of the deeper psychological aspects of abusive relationships.

The legislation was House Bill 5538. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Category: Press Releases

A Monarch butterflyChicago Sun-Times - Aug. 8, 2016 | Original article

A push to get car owners in Illinois to help monarch butterflies took flight Monday.

The once common monarch butterfly is in trouble because of the shrinking availability of the milkweed plants that monarch caterpillars feed on, environmental scientists say.

To help reverse the decline, Illinois plans to plant milkweed on highway median strips under a law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday.

The money will come from new monarch butterfly license plate stickers.

“Monarchs literally cannot survive without milkweed,” state Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, said at a news conference Monday at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Bush has advocated for monarch preservation bills for several years. It wasn’t until a generic, decal-based specialty plate was created last year that her efforts gained traction in Springfield.

The monarch sticker is the first design made for the new plates, said Dave Drucker, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office. A design for the sticker will be finalized only once 2,000 residents pledge to buy it.

The sticker will cost $25 each year, Drucker said. Of that fee, $10 will go toward planting milkweed along highway median strips. The sticker fee is in addition to the $101 renewal for the specialty license plate.

Rare for its southward migration each winter, the monarch butterfly will lay eggs only on the milkweed plant, said Doug Taron, vice president of conservation and research at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Read the full article at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Category: Press Releases

State Sen. Melinda BushSPRINGFIELD — To ensure that women have a wide variety of choices in how they approach their reproductive health, the governor signed into law a plan co-sponsored by State Sen. Melinda Bush that extends insurance coverage to almost all approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products.

“One of the most important aspects of a woman’s health is how she handles reproductive issues,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “This measure brings us in line with federal health reforms and gives women the power to choose without worrying about exorbitant cost. We must have parity in our health care system, and we know that for women to truly have equality, they must have choices.”

In addition to extending coverage to nearly all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices, the new law clarifies existing statute and brings it into compliance with federal coverage standards. Insurance companies must offer at least one product, drug, or device of a particular therapeutic equivalent version with no cost-sharing, and insurance companies would also be required to provide 12 months of contraceptive at one time. Insurers must also provide an expedient and convenient review process to ensure coverage.

The legislation was House Bill 5576. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Category: Press Releases

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