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.”

Category: Press Releases

GRAYSLAKE — A number of students in the district State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) represents will have a chance to learn out in nature, thanks to the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Grant Program.

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“Hands-on learning, especially when children can see the change they’re making, is some of the best learning,” Bush said. “Students who benefit from this grant funding will be able to gain a sense of responsibility and learn more about the beautiful world around us, all while making a difference in the community.”

Lakes Community School and Prairie Crossing Charter School received nearly $1,500 in total to create pollinator gardens to teach students while supporting the outdoor life of their schoolyards and communities. 

The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Conservation Fund to support the development or enhancement of wildlife habitat on the school grounds or other public places. Projects funded by these grants are meant to teach children that their actions can make a difference in the world while increasing the use of native plants in Illinois. 

Funding for the program is provided through donations to the ICF. More than $329,000 in Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant funding has been distributed since the programs inception. 

Applications for the next round of Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Grants will be open soon, with an application deadline of Nov. 30, 2021. More information on applying for the next round of grants can be found on the IDNR website

Category: Press Releases

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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