Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Residents in Lake County can breathe a sigh of relief after two bills sponsored by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that crack down on the toxic chemical ethylene oxide advanced out of the Illinois Senate today.

“Lake County residents can soon rest assured that the air they’re breathing is safe from ethylene oxide,” 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.”

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.

“When it comes to ethylene oxide, public safety has to be the top priority,” Bush said. “These new restrictions prioritize the health and safety of Illinoisans while still allowing companies that use ethylene oxide to continue operating so long as they do so in a responsible manner.”

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released the following statement regarding the Senate’s vote to legalize adult-use cannabis:

“My belief has always been that if we’re going to legalize adult-use cannabis, we need to do it right. This is a comprehensive piece of legislation that’s years in the making. I believe this measure promotes equity and justice while providing law enforcement with the resources they need to adapt to this new standard of law.”

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Category: Press Releases

State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and State Representative Joyce Mason (D-Gurnee) honored the life and sacrifice of fallen Illinois State Trooper Gerald Ellis today at the Capitol.

Bush and Mason welcomed his widow, Stacy Ellis of Antioch, to the Capitol and held moments of silence for Trooper Ellis in both the House and Senate chambers. Both legislators sponsored resolutions in his honor.

On March 30, Ellis was on duty, driving home when he was fatally struck head on by a car driving the wrong way on I-94.

Senator Melinda Bush introduces Stacy Ellis while honoring the life of Trooper Gerald Ellis

Senator Melinda Bush, State Representative Joyce Mason and Stacy Ellis in the well of the Senate chamber

Senator Melinda Bush speaks with State Representative Joyce Mason and Stacy Ellis

Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks at a press conference on the Reproductive Health ActSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) joined legislators and activists in demanding the House take action to protect women’s reproductive rights by passing the Reproductive Health Act. The move comes a day after the Alabama State Senate voted to ban abortion and criminalize doctors who perform the procedure.

“There’s a very real possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the next few years,” Bush said. “We need to take action now in Illinois to make sure that, regardless of what happens at the federal level, Illinois women maintain the right to a safe, legal abortion.”

The Reproductive Health Act 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.

“The Reproductive Health Act protects Illinois women’s access to health care and sends a clear message that we believe reproductive health care should be treated like all other health care,” Bush said. “It’s time for the Illinois House to stand up for women and pass the Reproductive Health Act.”

The Reproductive Health Act:
• Repeals felony penalties imposed on doctors for offering abortion care and some contraceptives
• Removes out-of-step regulations on health care clinics that provide abortions with protocols that reflect modern medical standards
• Lifts disciplinary penalties adopted decades ago aimed solely at physicians who perform abortions
• 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

House Bill 2495 is currently in the House Rules Committee.

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Category: Press Releases

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