Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Zion would be able to apply for tax breaks for housing nuclear waste under a measure from State Senator Melinda Bush that passed unanimously out of the Senate today.

“For years, Zion has shouldered the burden of housing spent nuclear waste—a burden that has led to a loss of jobs and tax revenue and 100 acres of lakefront property that has remained undeveloped,” Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “By adding spent nuclear waste sites to the list of qualifications for an enterprise zone, Zion can apply for tax breaks and incentives that can help attract new businesses to the area and make up some of the lost revenue.”

House Bill 156 adds inactive nuclear powered electrical generation sites as one of the possible three criteria that an area must meet to be certified as an enterprise zone, which would allow Zion to qualify for tax exemptions.

“It’s been 20 years since the Zion Nuclear Power Station was shut down, and the effects have been devastating for the community,” Bush said. “It’s time to provide some relief to Zion and help spur economic development in the area.”

Because the Zion nuclear plant is inactive, it does not qualify for tax exemptions for power-generating facilities. Currently, the plant in Zion is the only nuclear power plant in the state that’s no longer operating.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush called for an end to price-gouging tactics used by pharmaceutical companies during a press conference this morning in Springfield.

“In recent years, we’ve heard horror stories of prices of lifesaving drugs skyrocketing overnight, leaving those who need them to survive facing financial ruin,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “This isn’t just a problem for individuals who rely on these drugs to survive. Price gouging for prescription drugs is incredibly costly for consumers and taxpayers. When drug companies raise their prices, the state pays more.”

Bush is the Senate sponsor of House Bill 4900, which would ban price-gouging practices by
prescription drug manufacturers and allow the attorney general to investigate price increases and take action if a drug company is found to have engaged in price gouging.

“By cracking down on outrageous price gouging by pharmaceutical companies, we have a chance to save taxpayer dollars while ensuring Illinoisans have access to the medication they often need to survive,” Bush said. “Not only is this the right thing to do, it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do.”  

A federal study by the Government Accountability Office looked at 1,441 generic drugs and found that more than 300 had seen prices at least double between 2010 and 2015.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released the statement below following Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of House Bill 1468.

“The governor had a rare chance today to take a meaningful step in reducing the gun violence epidemic by creating a 72-hour cooling-off period before allowing an individual to purchase an assault weapon. Instead, he chose to inject politics into what should be a common-sense safety issue.

“While I would support many of the proposals suggested by the governor, he has expanded the scope of the original legislation, which flies in the face of our state constitution. If the governor seeks to have serious negotiations on how we can eradicate gun violence, I welcome him to the conversation.”

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush presents a bill during a committeeSPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush is urging Wisconsin leaders to consider the serious environmental and public health concerns that may threaten Illinoisans as a result of the planned Foxconn Technology Company plant in Racine.

“The decisions from Wisconsin leaders and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to allow Foxconn to skirt environmental protections are irresponsible and short-sighted,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “The environmental impacts don’t stop at the Wisconsin border. Lake County residents will be affected, but because Foxconn is exempt from environmental regulations, we don’t know the full impact.”

As part of the deal passed by the Wisconsin General Assembly, Foxconn can discharge dredged materials or fill wetlands without a permit. Racine County, the Foxconn site and Lake County all sit in the Des Plaines watershed. Flooding in the Des Plaines River watershed and throughout Lake County has caused billions of dollars in damage in recent years, including record flooding last July.

“The fact that Wisconsin leaders are willing to sacrifice the health of humans and the environment for jobs is unacceptable,” Bush said. “Lake County residents deserve better. I hope Wisconsin leaders will put people before profits and reconsider the Foxconn deal.”

SR 1600, which passed out of the Senate Environment Committee today, also asks Illinois agencies to take whatever actions possible to protect against the loss of water, potential flooding and other ecological impacts that might result from the Foxconn deal.

“With this resolution, Illinois commits to protecting people over profits, by not waiving similar environmental regulations for projects coming into our state,” said Colleen Smith, Legislative Director, Illinois Environmental Council.

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Category: Press Releases

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