052313br0212RSPRINGFIELD - The Senate passed legislation out of its chamber yesterday that would make it a felony to post sexually explicit videos or photos of another person, without their consent, to an Internet site.

State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is a co-sponsor of the initiative that aims to deter the recent phenomenon known as ‘revenge porn.’

“For any individual to threaten another person in this way and intentionally cause such harm and distress is horrible,” Senator Bush said.

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Category: Press Releases

032113br0327rSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) passed a proposal out of the Senate State Government Committee yesterday that seeks to improve business retention in Illinois counties that border other states.

As a lifelong resident of a border community, Bush knows all too well about the business-poaching practices of the states surrounding Illinois. Her new bill will work to improve the economic conditions of Illinois border communities, keeping them competitive with the states that they border.

“We need to review our policies to ensure the best possible outcomes for businesses retention in border communities,” said Senator Bush.

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Bush

March 13, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

I hope this finds you and your family well. As many of you know, I am the newly elected Senator for the 31st District. I am very proud to represent you, and I will work diligently to address your concerns in Springfield. I hope you’ll find this newsletter to be a useful resource for keeping up to date with what’s happening in our district and in Springfield.

 

It is extremely important to me to understand where you stand on the issues we face. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey of legislative issues, in order to help me better represent you at the Capitol. If you have any questions, please contact me through my website, or by calling my district or Springfield offices. I also encourage you to visit the Senate Democratic Caucus website for additional information.

 

Sincerely,
Senator Bush
Senator Melinda Bush
31st District – Illinois

 

INAUGURATION OF THE 98th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

Swearing InOn January 9th, I was sworn in for my first term as an Illinois State Senator and member of the 98th General Assembly.

 

I am a lifelong resident of Lake County. I first entered public office as a trustee for the Village of Grayslake, serving for four years. I have also been a small business owner and a constant voice for environmental protection.

 

Prior to my election to the Senate, I served on the Lake County Board, fighting for good-paying jobs and a balanced budget. I also worked to pass meaningful ethics reforms and put an end to cronyism and corruption that existed in parts of the county and forest preserve boards.

 

I believe my experience of working with divergent viewpoints will help us tackle and solve the issues Illinois faces.

 

THE NEW 31st DISTRICT

 

As you may recall, at the end of May 2011, the General Assembly re-drew the maps for state legislative and congressional districts to account for population changes. This happens every 10 years in conjunction with the census. The maps were signed into law by Gov. Quinn in June 2011.

 

The map to the left reflects the new 31st Senate District. The district comprises all or parts of Antioch, Beach Park, Fox Lake, Gages Lake, Grandwood Park, Grayslake, Gurnee, Hainesville, Lindenhurst, Lake Villa, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park, Third Lake, Wadsworth, Wauconda, Waukegan, Winthrop Harbor and Zion.

 

You can find a larger version of the map here.

 

CAPITOL WATCH

 

My committee assignments

 

I attended my first Senate committee meetings earlier this month at the start of the 98th General Assembly’s regular session. I will now have a voice and vote on the committees of Higher Education, State Government & Veterans Affairs, Revenue, Appropriations and Environment. These committees represent issues I am deeply concerned with and create opportunities to advocate for Lake County and the people of the 31st Senate District.

 

Pensions and our fiscal mess

 

I also attended the governor’s State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2013. After the address, I issued the following statement regarding my hopes for fiscal solvency.

 

“The thing I was most pleased with the governor for addressing is that we have to fix this pension crisis. If we don’t fix it, we can’t fund education; we can’t fund road projects and do all of the things that are important to move our economy forward. The governor said that we need to have the courage to do the right thing. I believe that most of us here have the courage to do the right thing.”

 

Below is my interview with Blueroom Broadcasting:

Response video

Springfield politicians got us in this mess by taking money from our pension accounts to spend on other programs, leaving them nearly bankrupt. Empty words and promises aren’t nearly enough. The situation demands action.

 

That’s why I’m co-sponsoring Senate Bill 2404 – a measure that will make sure politicians cannot repeat the mistakes that got us into this disaster. That’s also why I turned down a legislative pension. I’m here to fix problems, not become a burden to taxpayers. And that’s why I’m working with others to build a common-sense solution that will actually work.

 

Investment in jobs

 

One of my first major votes was to help pass legislation maintaining the state’s investment in a crucial construction program that has put thousands of people to work improving the state’s roads, bridges and schools in recent years.

 

The legislation also restores severe cuts to the Department of Children and Family Services that threatened to layoff dozens of caseworkers and interrupt services to needy children and their families. It also allows for the continued operations of many mental health facilities that would have otherwise turned away many of our state’s most critically ill, leaving them without adequate shelter or care.

 

The proposal passed both chambers and was quickly signed into law by the governor.

 

Fighting for marriage equality

 

Another issue taken up in the Illinois Senate this month was the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. It provides same-sex couples with the same legal marriage rights currently available to other couples.

 

I see this vote as both a civil rights and human rights issue. I believe in equal protection under the law for all people in Illinois. This legislation is a step closer to attaining that goal.

 

It passed the Senate and is now pending in the Illinois House.

 

Common-sense solutions on concealed carry

 

Illinois has become the only state where carrying a concealed firearm is entirely illegal. In December 2012, a federal appeals court struck down the longtime Illinois ban. The court gave lawmakers 180 days to pass legislation that authorizes concealed carry in some form. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s attempt to have the court reconsider the ruling was denied. Lawmakers are working to meet the court’s deadline on concealed carry and also debating other important gun issues such as an assault weapons ban.

 

I was recently invited to join Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s Firearms Working Group. The working group includes newly elected Democratic and Republican state senators and representatives who represent a diverse group of communities. In our first few meetings, we have learned a great deal more about the varying perspectives on gun ownership and gun control. We have already met with groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the Illinois State Police, hoping to unify perspectives on a common-sense solution that works for all residents of Illinois.

 

With the clock ticking on federal court’s deadline, it is imperative that we make our decisions with as much information as possible. Please share your views by filling out this brief legislative survey.

 

District Events

 

Race for Hunger

 

Race for HungerI was honored to be invited to and participate in the “Race for Hunger,” hosted by the Lake  County Farm Bureau and the Antioch Piggly-Wiggly. The Farm Bureau has organized this event for 15 years, and every year it gives us an opportunity to highlight the needs of food pantries in Lake County. And while that day we were able to bring $3,000 worth of relief to needy families, there is so much more that needs to be done. If you can donate, please visit www.foodpantries.org to find the nearest local food pantry – or contact my office at (847)548-5631 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Additionally, if you or someone you know needs help, please contact my office.

 

Neighborhood partners

 

I plan to stay connected with the people I represent, in part by putting together quarterly advisory meetings with neighbors from across our Senate District. If you are interested in joining one of our advisory committees, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact my office at (847) 548-5631.

 

Community activism

 

Since taking office, I moved quickly to open our centrally located office in Grayslake and have plans to open a second office this summer. I have been meeting with local leaders, such as area superintendents, Illinois Department of Transportation representatives and Chamber of Commerce members to discuss the shared concerns of our communities. I look forward to continuing to communicate with those living and working in Lake County so I can present the best voice on behalf of our communities.

 

Action

 

To stay up to date on community activities, visit www.senatormelindabush.com and sign up for my mailing list. Please contact my district office (847) 548-5631 or Springfield office (217) 782-7353 with any questions or concerns.

 

Stay up to date on all Senate activity by visiting the caucus website, Facebook and Twitter pages as well!

 

Thank you for putting your faith in me to be your voice in Springfield.

 

 

District Office

34121 US Highway 45, Suite 224 • Grayslake, IL 60030

847-548-5631 (Phone)

 

Springfield Office

M122 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-7353 (Phone)

 

www.SenatorMelindaBush.com

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Senator Bush

April 9, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

I want to thank those of you who participated in my recent legislative survey. Your input is vital to serving our district in Springfield. If you have not already participated in the survey, you may do so here.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me either through my website or by calling one of my offices via the contact information at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

Sincerely,
Senator Bush
Senator Melinda Bush
31st District – Illinois

 

The State Budget

 

Budget MeetingI have attended a number of budget hearings since the governor’s budget address. During those hearings, the Comptroller’s Office, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the Civic Federation, the University Of Illinois Institute Of Public Affairs and the Illinois Community College Board updated senators on state finances and made recommendations on moving forward.

 

The various presentations offered a grim look at the state’s financial situation. The Comptroller’s Office is holding over $7 billion in unpaid bills, while state agencies have approximately $2 billion in additional bills they have not yet submitted for payment. Once submitted, these bills can take up to six months to be paid.

 

Fiscal responsibility does not always translate to deep budget cuts. Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposed nearly $400 million in cuts to education. I am a firm believer that cutting spending is necessary; however, deep cuts to vital services are unacceptable.

 

State schools and universities are barely receiving enough money to operate. Some schools are waiting on nearly 80 percent of their state funding for this year. Costs of higher education have skyrocketed, and schools are unable to keep costs down without adequate and consistent funding.

 

Now that session has resumed, the ball is in the Senate’s court to recommend changes to the budget proposal. I am committed to working with my colleagues to find real solutions to dealing with our budget crisis without raiding funding for education, senior services and other programs for those most in need.

 

Infrastructure and Development

 

DistrictMost small business owners are quick to point out that one of the keys to their success – and therefore the success of our economy – is a quality infrastructure. I was thrilled to hear news last week that Lake County will receive nearly $9 million for road and bridge projects this spring. I am optimistic that once completed, these projects will aid our effort to make Lake County a better place for small business.

 

Other Legislation

 

In Lake County the market is unable to meet the demand for affordable housing. Statistics show that housing costs exceed the reach of many residents, be they young aspiring homeowners or seniors struggling with medical bills and layoffs. To help bridge this gap, I have co-sponsored Senate Bill 1244 – which creates a Lake County Affordable Housing Trust Fund designed to help struggling residents purchase affordable homes for themselves and their families.

 

I am also a chief co-sponsor of an initiative that will encourage current and future renewable energy development. By promoting renewable energy in our state’s energy portfolio, we will ensure that renewable resource developers have a stable customer base to finance current and future developments.

 

Update from the District

 

Spending the last two weeks in Lake County meeting with local residents, educators, business owners and public servants reminded me what an inspiring group of men and women you all are. I am continually moved both by your stories and the opportunity to help you succeed. If you would like to schedule a meeting with me or my District Staff to discuss an issue, please either call my office at (847) 548-5631 or send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

To wrap up my latest newsletter, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my staff to you:

Nick MeyerSharon Wilson

Gio GomezSarah Shadnia

I am proud to work with a group of people so dedicated to our shared vision of a better Lake County. It is my hope that with their help, we can make our district a better place for all our residents.

 

 

District Office

34121 US Highway 45, Suite 224 • Grayslake, IL 60030

847-548-5631 (Phone)

 

Springfield Office

M122 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-7353 (Phone)

 

www.SenatorMelindaBush.com/

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Contact Me

Springfield Office:
124 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-7353

District Office:
10 N. Lake St., Suite 112
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: (847) 548-5631