Route 120 signGRAYSLAKE – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released the following statement in response to the Illinois Tollway Board’s decision to cut funding for the Route 53 environmental impact study:

“The future of the Route 53 project may be uncertain, but it doesn’t change the fact that Lake County residents need transportation solutions that improve public safety, and provide congestion relief while protecting our environment,” said Bush. “It's time we fixed the existing Route 120. It's a feasible, cost-effective solution that will provide tangible benefits to Lake County commuters. The State of Illinois needs to build on the work of our local mayors and implement the 120 Corridor Capacity Plan, including the grade level separation at 120 and the 83 railroad crossing.”

Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorGRAYSLAKE – Illinois will now have the strictest limits in the nation on ethylene oxide emissions thanks to legislation from State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that was signed into law today.

“This is a major step forward to ensure the air we breathe is safe,” Bush said. “Ethylene oxide emitters will now have to follow stricter guidelines and will be required to be better stewards of the environment.”

Senate Bill 1852 puts restrictions on facilities like Medline and Sterigenics that use ethylene oxide for sterilization. The measure requires facilities to reduce emissions by 99.9 percent; sets emissions, dispersion and ambient air testing protocols; strengthens seal order implications; and prevents future facilities from being built near schools and parks.

Senate Bill 1854 requires Vantage Specialty Chemicals, a Lake County manufacturer that uses ethylene oxide in its products, to put in place several environmental safeguards in order to continue operating. It requires Vantage to have an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency-approved emission monitoring plan and dispersion modeling in order to receive a site-specific permit for ethylene oxide emissions.

Last year, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report showing that the areas around Sterigenics in DuPage County and Medline in Lake County have increased rates of cancer due to ethylene oxide emissions.

“Thank you to Gov. Pritzker for signing this legislation to keep Lake County residents safe,” Bush said. “These new regulations will allow the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to keep a close eye on Medline and Vantage and make sure they’re meeting these strict environmental safeguards.”

These laws have an immediate effective date.

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks at the Reproductive Health Act bill signingSPRINGFIELD – The Reproductive Health Act, which repeals outdated abortion laws that have been blocked by the courts and ensures that reproductive health care is treated like all other health care and not as a crime, was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker this morning.

“The Reproductive Health Act sends a clear message that we trust women to make their own decisions,” said State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), chief sponsor of Senate Bill 25. “Women can now rest assured that regardless of what happens at the federal level, they will have access to comprehensive reproductive health care here in Illinois.”

The Reproductive Health Act provides a critical update and modernization to Illinois’ outdated law. It codifies regulations that reflect current standards of medical practice and repeals state laws that are not in effect and not enforced because of court rulings.

“Women across the country are seeing their rights taken away,” Bush said. “Thank you to Gov. Pritzker for being a fierce advocate of reproductive rights and for taking this final step in guaranteeing the right to an abortion in the state of Illinois.”

The Reproductive Health Act:
• repeals felony penalties imposed on doctors for offering abortion care and some contraceptives
• removes the requirement that a married woman be required to get her husband’s consent to an abortion
• lifts disciplinary penalties adopted decades ago aimed solely at physicians who perform abortions
• protects assisted reproductive techniques like in-vitro fertilization
• treats the cost of abortion like all other medical expenses
• requires insurance companies (not multi-state plans) to provide coverage for abortions without cost-sharing requirements


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Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Private sector workers who experience sexual harassment and discrimination will have greater protections under the law thanks to a major piece of legislation from State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that passed out of the Illinois Senate today.

“This bill gives victims of workplace harassment and discrimination more protections and ensures they are able to seek justice,” Bush said. “We’re not only changing the law—we’re changing the culture. We’re standing with victims and saying enough is enough.”

Senate Bill 75 also includes major reforms to the state’s ethics investigation process, including making the process more transparent and giving additional rights to victims of harassment and discrimination who file ethics complaints.

Bush introduced the measure after hearing from victims, advocates and members of the business community during the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention’s hearings last year. She served as co-chair of the task force.

“Preventing sexual harassment and discrimination and ensuring our workplaces are safe is not only good for workers—it’s good for business,” Bush said. “With these measures in place, workers will have more protections under the law, and employers will be more proactive about educating employees and preventing these situations.”

Senate Bill 75 is an omnibus bill, which:
• Limits the use of contract provisions intended to prevent an employee from reporting sexual harassment, such as non-disclosure agreements, arbitration clauses and non-disparagement clauses for cases involving harassment, discrimination and retaliation
• Makes harassment against contract employees illegal (currently, these employees do not have legal protection against sexual harassment)
• Clarifies that it is illegal to discriminate against an employee if they are perceived to be part of a protected class (i.e. gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity), even if they are not
• Allows victims of gender-related violence to take unpaid leave from work to seek medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning and other assistance
• Prevents a union representative from representing both a victim of sexual harassment and the alleged harasser in a disciplinary proceeding
• Requires hotels and casinos to provide employees who work in isolated spaces with panic buttons for use if they are sexually harassed or assaulted
• Requires the Department of Human Rights to make a sexual harassment training program available for employers to provide to their employees and a separate sexual harassment training program specifically for restaurants and bars
• Gives victims of sexual harassment, discrimination, or harassment statutory rights regarding investigations by the Executive and Legislative Inspectors General
• Requires state officials, employees, and lobbyists to complete annual training on harassment and discrimination prevention in addition to sexual harassment
• Requires local governments to report and provide an independent review of allegations of sexual harassment made against local elected officials

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Category: Press Releases

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