Sen. Bush with Chelsea Laliberte and Chief Craig Sommerville in testimonyAn initiative that would expand access to emergency, life-saving medication will proceed to a vote in the Illinois Senate, State Sen. Melinda Bush announced.

“Heroin use among our youth is a serious problem in the suburban areas I represent,” Bush said. “Since first responders have been equipped with and trained in the use of emergency drugs like naloxone hydrochloride, they have been able to act quickly to save the lives of people overdosing on heroin. By making opioid antidotes like Narcan available by prescription at pharmacies, we would give families the chance to save a life.”

Naloxone hydrochloride, sometimes sold under the brand name “Narcan,” is an opioid antagonist drug. Delivered via a nasal injection, the fast-acting drug blocks the effects of narcotics like heroin on the brain. When administered quickly enough it can counteract the effects of a narcotics overdose. Medical professionals report little to no negative side effects in the event it is used in error.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD — Seeking to expand the availability of emergency medication that has already saved lives in Lake County, State Sen. Melinda Bush took up legislation that would make opioid antagonist drugs like Narcan available at pharmacies.
 
“Just a few days ago, Mundelein Police saved a man’s life because they were equipped with and trained in the use of naloxone hydrochloride, a drug that counteracts the effects of a narcotic overdose,” the Grayslake Democrat said. “Heroin use, particularly among our youth, has become a serious problem in Lake County and the suburban cities I represent. By making opioid antagonist drugs like Narcan available by prescription at pharmacies, we give families access to a safe, easy-to-use drug that could save lives.”
 
Naloxone hydrochloride, sometimes sold under the brand name “Narcan,” is an opioid antagonist drug. Delivered via a nasal injection, the fast-acting drug blocks the effects of narcotics on the brain. When administered quickly enough, it can counteract the effects of a narcotics overdose. Medical professionals report little to no negative side effects in the event it is used in error. Bush is sponsoring the legislation, crafted by state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, as it proceeds to discussion in the Senate Public Health Committee.
 
Eric Guenther, Chief of the Mundelein Police Department, said mere minutes can mean the difference between life and death in the cases of narcotics overdoses that Narcan can prevent.
 
“This is a remarkable drug that is available, and it’s relatively simple,” Guenther said. “It’s been available to citizens in general through not-for-profit agencies for a while and it’s just becoming more mainstream and known. I think it’s good to have those families who know they need it to have it there to save a family member.”
 
Bush said she has heard concerns about the drug’s availability in households possibly enabling narcotic use, but, she said, the potential to save lives can’t be ignored.
 
“People didn’t start driving more recklessly because cars suddenly added seatbelts,” Bush said. “Nobody goes out looking to OD. This just gives a trusted person the ability to save somebody who is overdosing in the precious minutes available.”
 
Guenther said he understands such concerns, but that having Narcan available to those who have been screened and prescribed it could give somebody a second chance.
 
“My response to that is: Look, this is someone’s son, someone’s daughter. If we can give them one more chance at life and one more chance to get it right, aren’t we obligated as public safety professionals to do that?”
 
The legislation is Senate Bill 1466. It proceeds to the Senate Public Health Committee for debate.

Category: Press Releases

The governor’s proposed budget reduces state funding to the Local Government Distributive Fund, which provides a share of income taxes to local governments. Here’s how much individual cities in the 31st District would lose.

bush-budget

Category: Latest

Lake County News-Sun - Feb. 18, 2015

By Jim Newton

Indications in Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget address Wednesday that his proposal would include major cutbacks to municipal funding drew quick and harsh reactions from several Lake County leaders.

"Instead of fixing the state, he's coming after local governments," Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said Wednesday afternoon. "I'm not happy at all. Gurnee has its house in order — we have a AAA bond rating, no local property tax and exceptional services. I don't know why he's decided to pick on us."

Rauner's budget, Kovarik said, would force Gurnee to consider cutting staff, resulting in service declines and a possible increase in emergency response time.

"I was very hopeful about the new governor. I'm so disappointed," she said. "He's ignoring everything at the state level and coming after the local guys."

State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, said she expected a backlash from municipalities when she heard Rauner planned to ask for a 50 percent reduction in the Local Government Distribution Fund, which collects money from several sources and is redistributed back to local governments.

"It could cause property taxes to go up. If you're getting less from the state, then you have to cut services," Bush said. "He's talking about cutting these funds in half from last year."

Bush also expressed concerns about potential cuts to "the working poor and mentally ill people, those who don't have a voice."

"I was hoping to hear something more like the (former Republican Gov.) Jim Edgar style of speech, more holistic," Bush added. "This was just about cuts."

State Sen. Julie Morrison, D-29, of Deerfield, said some aspects of the governor's budget plan are "simply unacceptable."

"I know Illinois is experiencing a budget crisis, but DCFS has been underfunded for years," she said. I'm gravely disappointed Gov. Rauner did not make abused and neglected children a higher priority. Cutting the agency's budget by more than 10 percent is simply unacceptable."

Bush said she doesn't see anything in the governor's plan that would require contributions from the wealthy, middle class or blue-collar workers.

"Everybody knows there is trouble (with the state's financial condition)," Bush said. "I don't disagree with that. But we have to meet in the middle."

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Category: In The News

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