Senator Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Voters will soon have the power to consolidate or abolish local townships thanks to a local government consolidation measure championed by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), which was signed into law today.

“Local government consolidation is long overdue,” Bush said. “Voters will soon be able to decide what type of government can best serve the needs of their communities.”

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

The legislation allows all 102 Illinois counties to consolidate local townships with voter consent. Bush championed the same legislation during the 99th General Assembly as SB 388, but the measure died in the House.

“Consolidating local governments is good for Illinois. It saves taxpayer money and reduces government bureaucracy—two things Illinois desperately needs,” Bush said.

Senate Bill 3 was signed into law today. The bill takes effect on January 1, 2018.

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Category: Press Releases

Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD — Illinois is one step closer to reinstating an important incentive program for attracting and retaining businesses, thanks to a measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).

House Bill 162 reinstates the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program, allowing the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to offer tax credits to businesses that invest in Illinois.

“We need every tool possible to attract and retain businesses in Illinois and ensure we can offer incentives that allow us to compete with neighboring states,” Bush said. “I represent an area that borders Wisconsin. It’s important for us to have the EDGE program in place in order to stay competitive.”

The bill requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to recapture the economic development funds if the recipient does not fulfill their end of the bargain. That money would then be disbursed to the local workforce investment area.

The measure extends the EDGE credit program through June 30, 2022.

Having passed both the House and Senate, House Bill 162 now goes to the governor for approval.


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Category: Press Releases

Senator Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD — Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s vote to override the governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1:

“Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 was a short-sighted political move that would be devastating for Illinois schools. The governor intended to harm Chicago, but in reality, poor districts across the state would lose money if his amendatory veto were to take effect.

“Senate Bill 1 is the only plan that ensures no Illinois schools lose funding. Hundreds of superintendents, educators and advocacy groups have come out in support of the SB1 because it's a fair and equitable plan that would provide long-term stability and certainty to our schools.

“I am proud to vote to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1. It’s time to put politics aside and fix Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula once and for all.”


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Category: Press Releases

Senator Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the statement below after Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, a proposal that would give Illinois students a fair, evidence-based funding formula for the first time in two decades. 

"I'm exhausted with the governors constant misinformation and revisionist history regarding events in Springfield. For months, Republicans and Democrats have attempted to work with the governor’s office to come to a compromise for a fair education funding formula. Republicans and Democrats have been working on this particular funding formula for 5 years. Despite his own education secretary saying she agreed with 90% of Senate Bill 1, he still decided he couldn’t support the proposal.

"It's apparent he never intended to negotiate. Instead, he took every opportunity he could to mischaracterize the bill for campaign purposes. Every school district is treated the same in this funding formula and any claim to the contrary is nothing more than misinformation. 

“This brinksmanship needs to end and school funding reform needs to pass. I will continue to work across the aisle to ensure Illinois has a fair school funding formula to benefit all students."

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Category: Press Releases

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