Senator Bush

September 20, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

I hope this note finds you well. Now that our summers have flown by and we’re heading towards our busy fall seasons, I wanted to take some time to update all of you on our efforts in Springfield and in Lake County. From advocating for education funding reform to hosting a job fair in the 31st District, we prefer there is never a lull in the work that we do.

 

EDUCATION FUNDING ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

Sen. Bush in committeeDue to overall state budget constraints, a bipartisan group of state Senators and I have created an Education Funding Advisory Committee charged with taking a hard look at all aspects of education funding and disparity in Illinois. I write this to you having just returned from our second official meeting.

 

There is no question that our schools have a funding problem. For years, Illinois has been unable to fully fund its required contribution to our public school system. While this is disgraceful, I believe it is only a symptom of the larger problem – how we fund our education system in Illinois. Read More

 

PENSIONS

 

As the pension conference committee moves closer to a final recommendation, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a brief update.

 

I know that many people are as frustrated as I am at the length of time it’s taken to reach a pension reform compromise. As much as I would have preferred the House of Representatives simply call SB 2404 for a vote back in May, the fact remains that they did not. Since May, the conference committee members have carefully deliberated all suggestions through a thorough and credible actuarial evaluation of every proposal. Read More

 


WATERCRAFT SAFETY COMMITTEE

 

Sen. Bush in Watercraft Safety HearingIn the last week of August, the Senate held its first Watercraft Safety Committee hearing in Lake County. As a member of the Committee I am exploring common-sense solutions to current boating and waterway safety challenges.

 

The committee heard testimony from a number of industry professionals, as well as boaters and business owners on the Chain of Lakes in Lake County. Based on this initial hearing it appears residents are primarily interested in policies that balance safety concerns with the ability of residents to fully enjoy the Chain of Lakes. Suggestions include: Read More

 

IN THE DISTRICT

 

TOWN HALL

 

Town HallIn July, more than 40 district residents joined me for an evening of candid conversation about the issues facing the State of Illinois and Lake County. We participated in a back-and-forth discussion on a broad range of topics, including pension reform, highway construction, college affordability and gaming expansion. Read More

 

JOB FAIR

 

In collaboration with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Jobs Center of Lake County and over 40 employers, my office hosted a job fair in August that nearly 350 Lake County residents attended. Thanks to the hard work of all involved, we were able to provide instantaneous ‘best fits’ between job-seekers and on-site employers.

 

As folks made their way through the crowded gymnasium, they handed out a total of 443 resumes to potential employers, which led to 154 on-the-spot hires and 178 total job offers. Read More

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

At the end of September, we will be continuing our program of monthly “coffee stops” – where you can visit a nearby coffee shop and sit down with me to discuss issues that are important to you.

 

Zion Coffee Shop Stop – the It’s All Good Café
Saturday, September 28th
10-11:30am
2708 Sheridan Road, Zion, IL 60099
Please continue to check our website for information on two important future events:
- Lake County Mortgage Relief Fair
- Lake County Affordable Care Act Presentation and Workshop

 

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

 

This summer, our office was fortunate to have two of the most impressive young people I have ever worked with serve as members of our communications team – Natalie Aguilar (Round Lake Beach) and Alejandra Mesa-Martinez (Waukegan). Both young ladies were an inspiration to our team, and will be greatly missed as they return to school for their Fall semesters.

 

Natalie Aguilar is beginning her first year as a law student at Valparaiso University in Indiana. Alejandra Mesa-Martinez is finishing her final year at Stanford University in California, where she is studying to be a mechanical engineer.

 

We wish you all the best in the coming school year!

 

WRAP-UP

 

Thank you to all who have called and emailed thoughts and concerns over the past few months. I am proud to represent you, and promise to continue to do my best for the good of Lake County and all of Illinois. You are encouraged to contact me at any time with any state or district matters.

 

 

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

 

 

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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Category: E-Newsletters

Senator Bush

November 25, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

I hope this note finds you well. With the General Assembly’s fall session having come and gone, I wanted to update all of you on our efforts in Lake County and in Springfield. With a new session year upon us, I am also eager for your input. Please take a moment to complete my 2014 legislative survey so that I can continue to do my best representing you and your needs in our capitol city. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!

PENSIONS

 

In the beginning of December, I cast a vote against the most recent version of pension reform, Senate Bill 1. I continue to be disappointed by this process and would like to take a few moments to elaborate on why I cast my vote.

 

The ‘pension reform solution’ reached by the pension conference committee was meant to be a compromise between both parties and both chambers. Unfortunately, it is my belief that this pension bill fails to address the one bi-partisan requirement that we have stressed since the beginning of pension reform negotiations — that is, fair treatment for those who were already retired.

 

Through numerous pieces of legislation and meetings with stakeholders, like many of my colleagues I have held fast to a position that in addition to the dire fiscal component of pension reform, there is a dire human component that cannot be ignored. READ MORE

 

MARRIAGE EQUALITY

 

Sen. Bush at signing ceremonyOn Wednesday, November 20th, in front of thousands of supporters, the governor signed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. The act made Illinois the 16th state to award legal marriage status and corresponding federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples.

 

Illinois continues to stand for human rights and fairness, assuring all of its citizens that they have equal protection under the law. Once again this state is on the right side of history. Click here to hear more about my thoughts on marriage equality. READ MORE

 

EDUCATION FUNDING ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

Education CommitteeThe Advisory Committee on Education Funding has now met four times. We have heard testimony from the Illinois State Board of Education regarding the current state funding formula for school districts and the inequity involved in the distribution of state and local funds.

 

The committee has also looked to other states for solutions to our education funding problems. We will be wrapping up our work in January and will present our findings to the General Assembly in February. If you would like to help reform education funding in Illinois, please sign my petition here.

 

DECODING DYSLEXIA

 

Dyslexia MeetingThis past summer, I began meeting with local parents from Antioch and Grayslake that were concerned about Dyslexia awareness in our schools. During fall session, I had the pleasure of hosting a meeting at the State Capitol with these parents, staff from the Governor’s Office and the Illinois State Board of Education to discuss policy-driven ways to help schools identify Dyslexia sooner. Stemming from these meetings, I introduced and passed legislation identifying the last week in October as Dyslexia Awareness Week in Illinois.

 

That was just a start. In the coming weeks, Decoding Dyslexia and the Illinois State Board of Education will continue a series of meetings that will determine what policy changes are needed.

 

As many of you know, I talk a lot about how important it is to reach out to your legislators – and how some of the best legislation is borne of those conversations. Thanks to concerned parents who never quit, and Lake County legislators willing to listen, we have the best chance we have had in years of improving the lives of those with Dyslexia. This is a great reminder to all of us that civic participation is the backbone of our democracy. READ MORE

 

 

IN THE DISTRICT

 

FORECLOSURE PREVENTION

 

Even though our economy is improving, Lake County continues to have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the State of Illinois.

 

In collaboration with the Attorney General and the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, our office co-sponsored a foreclosure prevention event on November 2. Nearly 50 families in our area received mortgage relief assistance at the event. Experience shows that when homeowners faced with foreclosure meet face-to-face with their lenders and foreclosure-prevention experts, good things can happen. If you were unable to attend the event but are interested in more information on foreclosure prevention, please call the Attorney General’s Homeowner Helpline at 1-866-544-7151 for assistance.

 

It’s important to remember that help is available, but many times people wait until it is too late. If you, or someone you know, is falling behind on their current mortgage payments, please call the Attorney General’s Homeowner Helpline today – don’t wait until it is too late.

 

HOMETOWN AWARDS

 

Hometown AwardsDuring the last week of fall session, Governor Quinn held his annual Hometown Awards Ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.

 

At the ceremony, the governor recognized elected officials and volunteers from Round Lake Beach for their contributions and dedication to their village.

 

The Village of Round Lake Beach celebrated its 75th anniversary of incorporation in 2012. The Village Board commemorated the occasion with various community activities and celebrations. READ MORE

 

LIHEAP REGISTRATION

 

With the cold weather now upon us, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) registration has officially opened for all income-eligible households. LIHEAP can provide a one-time benefit to eligible households to be used for energy bills. The amount of the payment is determined by income and household size. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis until they are exhausted. For questions on the LIHEAP program or to determine eligibility, please visit the North Shore Gas website.

 

TORNADO ASSISTANCE

 

On November 17, tornadoes devastated a number of communities in Illinois. While we sympathize with those who lost loved ones or suffered property damage, we can also lend a helping hand in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy. The Salvation Army has established a way to give immediately; you can contribute by texting STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Find out more ways to help here.

 

HELPING HANDS

 

Lake County provides many ways to give or receive assistance over the holidays.

 

You can visit www.findhelplakecounty.org and search simple words like “clothing,” or “food,” to get contact information for agencies across the county.

 

You can also visit the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s website for agency lists and information about fighting hunger.
How to volunteer, or donate food and / or money
Comprehensive list of Northern Illinois agencies and food pantries

 

Thank you to all who have called and emailed thoughts and concerns over the past few months. I am proud to represent you, and promise to continue to do my best for the good of Lake County and all of Illinois. I encourage you to contact me at any time with any state or local matters.

 

 

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

 

 

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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Category: E-Newsletters

020414 js 0450rSPRINGFIELD – As the foreclosure crisis spread over the last few years, the unincorporated areas outside of cities and towns became home to more and more abandoned properties.  Businesses closed their doors and warehouses, storage facilities and industrial buildings were deserted.

This week, Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) began to move legislation that would give Lake County the ability to collect the cost of bulldozing or refurbishing an abandoned property when that property is eventually sold.

 “Cities and towns have always been awarded this right, but counties have not,” Senator Bush said.  “This plan simply gives counties the same ability to reclaim the funds that they’ve previously invested in keeping citizens safe from dilapidated properties.”

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Contact Me

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