SPRINGFIELD – To expand access to birth control – especially for women with limited financial resources – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is championing a measure to allow people to receive contraceptives without visiting a doctor.

051920210588“Birth control is a basic health care service and should be treated as such,” Bush said. “Providing greater access to contraceptives is providing a more equitable health care system.”

Many women struggle to access hormonal contraceptives, which historically have only been prescribed through a physician. They may not know where to go, or are unable to afford doctor’s appointments. Pharmacists, however, are typically much more accessible than a physician.

To give women easier, more affordable access to birth control, Bush is pushing a measure to allow pharmacists to issue hormonal contraceptives, including oral tablets, vaginal rings and topical patches.

Under the proposed legislation, pharmacists who wish to participate would have to meet several educational requirements to provide them with the best tools to help patients complete a self-screening risk assessment. Once the assessment is finished, the pharmacist would provide counseling and education on all methods of contraception, then help the patient choose a form of birth control. 

Currently, 16 states and Washington, D.C. allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense self-administered hormonal birth control.

“It’s simple: Birth control saves lives and prevents unplanned pregnancy,” Bush said. “Family planning and reproductive health care is a personal choice that should not be limited by economic or social status.”

Bush has been a steadfast advocate for women’s reproductive rights since first joining the General Assembly. She has spearheaded a number of measures to protect women’s health, including the monumental 2019 Reproductive Health Act, which repealed outdated abortion laws that have been blocked by the courts and ensured that reproductive health care is treated like all other health care and not as a crime.

House Bill 135 passed the Senate Insurance Committee Wednesday and now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

Category: Latest

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has more lead lines that bring drinking water into homes than any other state. To make sure communities have the money to replace those lines and keep drinking water safe, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) has introduced the Lead Service Line Replacement Notification Act in the Senate.


“Lead service lines are a health threat that poisons our children, undermines our residents’ confidence in our municipal government and costs billions of dollars,” Bush said. “This measure is a feasible and equitable path forward that would require all cities in Illinois to tackle a problem that we know harms Black and Latinx communities the most.”

Bush was joined by House sponsor Representative Lamont J. Robinson (D-Chicago), and representatives from the Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Pipes Trade Association and the Natural Resources Defense Council for a press conference Thursday to discuss how the General Assembly can eliminate toxic lead in drinking water across the state. 

Contained in House Bill 3739, the Lead Service Line Replacement Notification Act requires water utilities statewide to replace all lead service lines and creates a low-income water assistance program to help fund financial assistance and water projects that include lead pipe replacement.

As more cities across the country have seen increased amounts of lead in their drinking water – including Chicago, Aurora, Joliet, Cicero and Rockford – the health risk has also increased. Aside from keeping the harmful chemical out of people’s water, Bush’s measure would create up to 11,000 jobs and $115 billion in economic activity each year.

“Supporting this bill is supporting safer drinking water and more jobs,” Bush said. “It is absolutely critical we get this done now.”

The measure is assigned to the Senate Executive Committee.  

Category: Latest

SPRINGFIELD – More than 20 years ago, a nuclear plant in the district State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) represents shut its door. People lost jobs and the community was eviscerated.


To help provide jobs in areas where coal plants, coal mines or nuclear plants have closed and to foster the development of green energy across the state, Bush passed a measure Thursday to create the Energy Transition Zone Act.

“To protect our environment and stop global warming, we need to close coal plants – that’s not up for debate,” Bush said. “But, as we make strides toward green energy, we can’t forget about the families who rely on these plants to put food on the table or the communities that need their tax dollars to function.”

Under the Energy Transition Zone Act – which would be created if Senate Bill 1747 is signed into law – areas that contain coal energy plants, coal mines, or nuclear energy plants could apply to become “energy transition zones.”

The plants or coal mines in the area must have shut down in the previous 10 years, or the municipality must contain a nuclear plant that was decommissioned but continued storing nuclear waste prior to the effective date of the measure.

Once designated an energy transition zone, green energy enterprises will be able to apply for a number of tax benefits, be exempt from state or local taxes on gas and electricity, and have the ability to purchase certain building materials exempt from use and occupation taxes to be used for green energy projects.

In total, there are 12 closed coal plants – including eight that have shut down in the past 10 years.

“As we continue down this road of no coal and transition away from nuclear natural gas – as we continue to move forward – we need to make sure there’s something to help the communities that coal built,” Bush said. “If we don’t plan now to ensure there are programs available for these communities, we are putting them at a grave disadvantage.” 

The measure passed the Senate Thursday. It now heads to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – To ensure restaurants aren’t being taken advantage of by third-party delivery services, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is sponsoring a measure to prohibit such services from profiting through deceitful means. 


“During a time when restaurant owners are already struggling with a loss of business due to the pandemic, they do not deserve greater loss from perceived bad service,” Bush said. “Mutually beneficial partnerships between delivery services and restaurants is possible, and I hope this legislation will foster an environment where that can happen.”

The measure prohibits a third-party delivery service – such as GrubHub, UberEats or PostMates – from posting or advertising a menu of a restaurant or bar without written consent from the business.

The legislation comes as the use of food delivery services have increased. Some of the services allow customers to order from non-partnered restaurants, and place the orders as if the delivery driver is the customer. Restaurant owners have raised concerns that this allows third-part delivery services to not only use their name and likeness to make a profit, but that it takes advantage of consumers who are trying to support their local dining options through the pandemic.

If there is an issue with delivery, for instance, or a customer notices a price difference between ordering online and ordering at the brick-and-mortar store, a customer may blame the restaurant.

“While third-party delivery services can bring more money in for local restaurants, those same restaurants can be caught off guard by receiving an influx of orders and not having enough staff,” Bush said. “Additionally, it’s simply not fair for other people to receive profits from a business without permission to deliver its items.”

Senate Bill 672 passed the Senate Thursday and now heads to the House for further consideration.  


Category: Press Releases

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