Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Staff members of elected officials would be granted the right to file sexual harassment claims under a measure from Senator Melinda Bush that advanced out of the Senate Executive Committee today.

“The claims that have come out over the past several months have made it clear that we need to change the way we handle sexual harassment and make sure everyone knows where to go to seek justice,” Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “The fact that staff of elected officials aren’t considered employees and therefore aren’t protected under the Human Rights Act is egregious.”

Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, immediate personal staff of elected officials are exempt from the definition of employee and are therefore unable to report human rights violations, including sexual harassment, to the Department of Human Rights. Senate Bill 576 would delete this exemption.

“It’s clear that the system was set up to protect perpetrators and leave victims with nowhere to turn,” Bush said. “Legislative staffers should’ve never been excluded from the Human Rights Act. This measure will give them the same rights as every other employee in the state.”

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush responds to Governor Rauner's budget plan

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

“Today, the governor proposed a plan to cut retirement incomes, slash important human service programs and shift the state’s financial responsibilities to local governments. It’s a plan that would shift costs to those who can least afford it: property tax payers, seniors and low- and middle-income families.

“The governor touted an increase in funding for Illinois schools, an increase that is required by the school funding bill he vetoed, but he didn’t highlight how much property taxes would go up under his proposal to shift costs from the state to local school districts. Lake County has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. Under Rauner’s plan, Lake County residents would be forced to pay even higher property taxes to maintain school quality.”

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement in response to Governor Rauner’s State of the State address:

“While Governor Rauner has a good record of talking about bipartisanship and the need to work together to turn our state around, his actions over the past three years say otherwise. Since he took office, Rauner has repeatedly refused to compromise and at times blocked bipartisan efforts to move our state forward and pass a balanced budget. Governor Rauner is quick to blame others for our state’s problems, but has failed to provide meaningful solutions. I truly hope that this year the governor takes charge and follows his calls to reach across the aisle.”

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Category: Press Releases

Lake County residents whose property was damaged from the historic floods of July 2017 may be eligible for a Natural Disaster Income Tax Credit thanks to a new law from Senator Melinda Bush.

This income tax credit is for qualified real property that was damaged as a result of the flood event in July 2017. No other events can be considered for this. This credit can be obtained for up to $750, based upon information provided.

  • The property must be the principal residence of the owner
  • If the property is leased, the owner is not eligible for this credit
  • Certain business properties can apply for this credit (details listed on the certificate)
  • Only losses related to qualified real property can be considered for this tax credit
  • Properties that received or will receive a Natural Disaster Homestead Exemption for property taxes do not qualify for this credit

Items a property owner will need to provide to a Township Assessor or the County Assessor as a part of the certification process:

  • A property owner will need to complete a proforma IRS Form 4684, as well a Natural Disaster Income Tax Credit Certificate
  • Property owners will need to provide their Township Assessor or the County Assessor with proof of loss in the form of receipts, estimates, invoices, insurance claims or other validation to claim the income tax credit

Please bring completed forms and proof of loss documentation to your local Township Assessor's Office or the Chief County Assessment Office (CCAO). The information will then be evaluated to:

  • Determine whether the property owner has already received a benefit with a Natural Disaster Homestead Exemption
  • Determine the amount of the credit to be received

The township assessor or CCAO will review the information submitted, and complete and provide you with a copy of the certificate if you qualify for the Natural Disaster Income Tax Credit.

Steps to take after being certified by Township Assessor or County Assessment Office:

  1. Review "PTAX-555 Natural Disaster Certificate" document prior to filing taxes.
  2. Choose to file Illinois Taxes by paper or online at Illinois Department of Revenue's website. https://mytax.illinois.gov/_/
  3. Fill out Schedule 1299-C - Consult page 3 of the "PTAX-555 Natural Disaster Certificate" for instructions
  4. Upon completion of IL-1040 use the "attach document" link to upload the Tax Credit Certificate received from township assessor or county assessment office

Note: You may electronically file your 2017 individual or business income tax return and claim the credit on the respective Schedule 1299. Make sure your certificate number is correct.

If a property owner has questions on the income tax credit, they can call the Illinois Department of Revenue at 1-800-732-8866 or visit their website at tax.illinois.gov.

Forms:

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