State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, in her local downtown Grayslake office Monday. (Jim Newton /News-Sun)Lake County News-Sun - May 15, 2018 | original article

By Jim Newton

A new Illinois Senate resolution, sponsored by Sen. Melinda Bush of Grayslake, asks the Wisconsin state legislature to reconsider the state’s abandonment of multiple environmental regulations to pave the way for the planned Foxconn plant near Racine.

Bush, a Democrat, said Monday Wisconsin’s actions raise major concerns about flooding and air and water quality. For example, she said she’s heard from several residents in Gurnee concerning the project’s potential to worsen local flooding along the Des Plaines south of Racine.

“Obviously air quality is really important, but my biggest concern with this, if built, is that it will be able to skirt federal and state requirements and we will have more flooding,” Bush said in her Grayslake office Monday.

Of considerable local concern is that part of the deal passed by the Wisconsin General Assembly allows Foxconn to fill wetlands without a permit, a reversal of longstanding multi-jurisdictional efforts to utilize wetlands located within the Des Plaines River watershed as a major tool to reduce river flooding.

Racine County, the Foxconn site and Lake County all sit in the Des Plaines watershed, Bush said, and flooding in the Des Plaines River watershed and throughout Lake County has caused billions of dollars in damage in recent years, including record flooding in 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.”

The Senate resolution, passed by Illinois senators last week, 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.

Mike Warner, executive director of the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, said that group is keeping a close eye on the Foxconn approval and development process.

“The Foxconn development site is in the headwaters of the Des Plaines River, so any impact (such as wetland filling) without mitigation would eventually come down into Lake County and affect us,” Warner said Monday.

The resolution urges Wisconsin leaders to put more thought into the “serious environmental and public health concerns that may threaten Illinoisans” as a result of the planned Foxconn Technology Co. plant planned for Mount Pleasant, near Racine.

“The decisions from Wisconsin leaders and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to allow Foxconn to skirt environmental protections are irresponsible and short-sighted,” Bush, a Democrat, said. “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.”

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Category: In The News

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

Senator Melinda Bush presents her bill during a Senate committee hearingSPRINGFIELD – A task force would study the extent to which opioids are being overprescribed in Illinois under a measure from Senator Melinda Bush that advanced out of a Senate committee today.

"There's no easy way to solve the opioid crisis in Illinois," said Bush (D-Grayslake). "In order to really get to the root of the problem, we have to take a well-rounded approach and come at the problem from all angles."

HB 4707 creates the Prescription Drug Task Force to study the extent of over prescription of opioids to patients and make recommendations to address the issue. The Task Force will consist of legislators, the Department of Human Services, health care organizations, law enforcement and parents.

"This task force will allow us to hear from experts across the state and come up with the best-possible legislative approaches to ending the opioid epidemic in Illinois," Bush said.

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Category: Press Releases

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