SPRINGFIELD – A no-contact order typically instructs a defendant not to have any in-person contact with a victim. However, unless a measure led by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) becomes law, they could still hound their accuser via text message, email or social media.

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“When a person pursues a no-contact order against someone, there is nothing stopping the perpetrator from sending threatening texts or leaving harassing voicemails,” Bush said. “In the age of technology and online dating, far too many people have experienced unwarranted communications after drawing the line.”

Electronic contact – which includes texting, emailing and calling – would be considered a violation of a person’s stalking no-contact order under Bush’s proposal. If a person were to break the order, they would face the same repercussions as they would for in-person contact.

Under current law, electronic contact is not considered means of correspondence. Without the clarification found within Senate Bill 1677, a stalker could contact someone virtually and harass them without facing consequences. 

“Once a no-contact order is in place, no one should have to worry about hearing from their abuser,” Bush said. “As technology evolves, so too must the measures we take to help people feel safe.”  

The measure passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

 

Category: Latest

SPRINGFIELD – A mother of three is out shopping when the inevitable happens: one of her young boys needs to use the restroom. It’s at that moment when she’s faced with the reality of having to choose between taking her sons into the women’s restroom or taking herself and her daughter into the men’s.

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It’s this kind of everyday situation that led State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to file a measure to allow a multiple-occupancy restroom to become an all-gender restroom

“This proposal simply calls for the needed privacy safeguards to make these restrooms work for anyone,” Bush said.

In January 2020, it became law that all single occupancy public bathrooms in Illinois become gender neutral.

Senate Bill 457 simply expands on that law. However, the legislation is permissive – gender specific multiple-occupancy restrooms are still allowed. Moreover, multiple-occupancy all-gender restrooms will have to meet additional privacy safeguards. Any restroom designated for all genders must have specified signage and floor to ceiling stall dividers.

“People who have disabilities, older adults, or anyone else who needs the help of someone of another gender can receive the assistance they need without having to search for a single occupancy restroom,” Bush said. “Or, think about the moms accompanying young boys, dads with young girls and parents with multiple kids. It’s easy to be unsure which restroom they should use.”

The measure was filed last month and Bush hopes to present it in committee soon.

 

Category: Latest

SPRINGFIELD – Running for elected office calls for a lot of long days, late nights and busy weekends. It can be discouraging for people with children – especially single parents – to chase their desire to serve their communities.

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To enable more women – and all parents – to seek public office, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is leading a movement to allow campaign finances to pay for child care.

“The window is narrow for women who have young children to run – and it’s time to change that,” Bush said. “No one should have to choose between serving their community and being a parent.” 

Senate Bill 536 would allow campaign funds to be used for child care or dependent elder adult care for not only candidates – but also staff and volunteers.

Currently, Illinois campaign finance law does not expressly say whether campaign funds may be used to pay child care expenses. However, there is a common fear among candidates that child care could be considered as a campaign finance violation if deemed a personal expense.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35% of Illinois legislators are women – a number 6% higher than the national average. However, while the number in Illinois is greater than the national average, Bush said she would like to see more female representation in Springfield – and believes that starts with better access to child care.

“I always had a desire to help and serve others, but I couldn’t do so until my son was grown,” Bush said. “We must support parents who want a seat at the table. By prioritizing working moms and dads, we’re prioritizing help for all working families.”  

The measure passed out of Senate Executive Committee Wednesday and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: Latest

SPRINGFIELD — During Governor JB Pritzker’s State of the State and Budget Address, he prioritized funding for older Illinoisans, people with disabilities, and the Illinois Department of Employment Security — all priorities shared by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).

She released the following statement about these pressing matters Wednesday:

“The times we are faced with have made a state budget seem like a nearly impossible feat, yet the governor was able to prioritize our most vulnerable populations. Older Illinoisans and people with disabilities have often felt unheard throughout the pandemic. Today, however, they can know their voices are being elevated.

“Additionally, while I have been frustrated with the issues revolving around the Illinois Department of Employment Security, I feel a sense of hope knowing that additional investments may finally allow people to have their hardships handled.

“We are one step closer to a better and more normal tomorrow.”

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

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