The State Journal Register - February 20, 2019 | original article

SPRINGFIELD — Two senators who co-chaired the Senate's sexual discrimination and harassment awareness task force said Tuesday they want an omnibus bill passed this year to combat harassment in the workplace.

Sens. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, and Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, said Senate Bill 1829 will address a wide range of issues to combat sexual harassment, including:

  • Limits on employers requiring non-disclosure agreements, forced arbitration clauses and non-disparagement agreements of employees when it comes to sexual harassment
  • Require employers to have sexual harassment prevention training
  • Require large employers to report on numbers of sexual harassment settlements against them
  • Prohibit court orders that cover up acts of harassment
  • Provides unpaid leave from work for victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence.

A dozen bills were passed by Illinois lawmakers last year after the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace -- including in the Illinois Capitol -- got national attention.

"We know there's a lot more work to be done in this arena and we plan on continuing," Bush said.

In addition to the omnibus bill, bush and Tracy said they want to see enactment of legislation requiring hotels and casinos make panic buttons available to certain employees. The buttons can be used to summon help if the employee feels threatened.

"I do want to say they have already been very proactive and are working to move pieces like that forward in the industry," Bush said.

Category: In The News

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Pritzker’s first budget address:

“After years of unrealistic gimmicks and major cuts to education and human services from the previous administration, it’s refreshing to see a transparent plan from the new governor that is realistic but also recognizes the issues we face as a state,” Bush said. “Social service providers, public schools and universities had their funding gutted for years. I’m pleased that Gov. Pritzker is choosing to invest in our communities and institutions, rather than make them fight to survive.”


###

Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks at a press conference regarding the Senate sexual harassment task forceSPRINGFIELD – Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Co-Chairs State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and State Senator Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) issued a joint statement following the release of the task force’s report:

“The stories from victims of sexual harassment and discrimination that were shared with the task force over the past year were eye-opening experiences that needed to be heard,” Bush said. “As a result of the victims’ bravery, we passed several laws last year that were in response to things we heard and recommendations that were made during task force hearings. We’ve worked hard to pass meaningful legislation to protect victims and prevent harassment and discrimination, but there’s still work to be done. I promise to continue fighting to change our laws, and our culture.”

“This report is a crucial next step, however it is not a final one,” Tracy said. “There is still important work to do, but we remain committed to ensuring that everyone can be assured of a harassment free workplace."

The task force report can be found here.

A list of new laws that deal with sexual harassment and discrimination can be found below, along with a list of bills being considered that are based on recommendations made during task force hearings.

Read more ...

Category: Press Releases

Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart (D-13th District - Lake Bluff) is announcing her support for state legislation proposed by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that would allow for the Lake County Board to remove its own chair.

"I'm pleased to be working with Chair Hart on this good government measure and I look forward to getting this measure passed in Springfield," Bush said. "County board members should be able to hold appointed board chairs accountable if they fail to meet ethical standards or fail to fulfill their responsibilities. That's just common sense."

"We have been through a lot of challenges recently," Hart said. "This board has the responsibility of choosing our own chair and I think it's wholly appropriate that we ask the legislature to change the laws that would allow us to remove an appointed chair if the circumstances ever require it again."

"Chairwoman Hart's proposal will bring much needed accountability to counties throughout the state. We must have confidence that officials responsible for managing taxpayer funds carry out their duties with the utmost integrity, and this initiative is an important step toward realizing that goal," said State Representative Daniel Didech (D-Buffalo Grove).

Last year, Lake County Board members were unable to remove the former chairman from his post after it was revealed that he had used taxpayer dollars for personal expenses. The proposal was added to Lake County's 2019 legislative agenda after receiving bipartisan support of the Lake County Board at its January meeting. Senate Bill 1218 would allow the board to remove a chair from the leadership post, but could not impact that board member's position as an elected board member.

"It's unprecedented that a political leader asks her peers to change the rules so that they could actually take away her position. This is a selfless and appropriate act of leadership by Chairwoman Hart," said board member Adam Didech (D-Buffalo Grove).

The Lake County Board selects its chair from one of the 21 board members elected from districts across the county. Hart became the first Democratic woman to ever hold the post after Democrats gained control of the board for the first time ever in November.


###

Category: Press Releases

opioid crisis button

Contact Me

Springfield Office:
121C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-7353

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