GRAYSLAKE – The country’s top court ruled Wednesday that employers can opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate over religious and moral objections. However, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is reminding women it will not impact Illinoisans, thanks to last year’s passage of the Reproductive Health Act.

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I am disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision to allow employers to dictate a woman’s access to contraception,” Bush said. “Employers can’t deny access to antibiotics for someone who has a sexually transmitted disease for moral reasons. How can they deny access to birth control?”

The Supreme Court made it more difficult for women to get access to birth control through their employer’s insurance, should their employer have a moral or religious objection to contraceptives.

The opinion upheld an administrative rule from President Donald Trump that significantly cut back on the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for insurers to provide coverage of preventative care and screenings without any cost sharing requirements as part of most health care plans.

However, thanks to the Reproductive Health Act, spearheaded by Bush, the court’s ruling does not supersede Illinois law. The Reproductive Health Act ensures reproductive health care is treated like all other health care in Illinois, guaranteeing women continued access to contraceptives.

“Today’s ruling further shows the importance of the Reproductive Health Act passed by the Illinois General Assembly last year,” Bush said. “The monumental measure affirms women, not politicians nor employers, can and should make their own decisions.

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GRAYSLAKE – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is encouraging local small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 to apply for the Lake County Small Business Assistance COVID-19 Grant Program.


“Small business owners in Lake County and throughout the state experienced unforeseen financial difficulties that will be difficult to bounce back from without help,” Bush said. “While reopening has been beneficial to many businesses, they are still constantly facing financial obligations to keep their stores clean and their employees protected.”


Lake County created the grant program in an effort to assist small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Starting Tuesday, July 7 at 8 a.m., county businesses can apply online for up to $30,000. The funds can be used to cover up to four months of occupancy – which includes rent, mortgage and utilities – and expenses incurred due to the pandemic – including, but not limited to, plexiglass, masks, sanitation and employee training.


The grant program will be administered by Lake County Partners with the final approval and fund dispersal performed by Lake County. Preference will be given to businesses that have not yet received federal assistance. Lake County Partners is a private, non-profit organization that focuses on economic development in Lake County.


“From rent assistance to training employees on how best keep themselves and their community safe, the grants will provide financial relief businesses so desperately need,” Bush said. “I encourage any small business in Lake County that has dealt with financial challenges to apply immediately.”


Local small businesses can apply starting Tuesday at lakecountyil.gov/4444/Lake-County-Forward. Applications will be open until July 20 at 11:59 p.m.

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GRAYSLAKE — In an effort to help people focus on their finances after months of economic disparities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Melinda Bush (Grayslake) is highlighting a number of free credit reporting websites.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic put unforeseen financial burdens on many families,” Bush said. “Credit reporting websites can be expensive, but it’s important to know your credit score. However, there are many free resources available, and I encourage people to take advantage of them.”

As Illinoisans across the state have experienced negative economic impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bush is encouraging everyone to check their credit scores and be aware of their finances. Everyone is now eligible to receive their weekly credit report for free through Equifax, Experian and TransUnion until April 2021. For more information, please visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

“Regularly checking your credit can allow you to take control over your finances and lead you to financial freedom,” Bush said. “As we continue to live through these hard and unprecedented times, the best thing we can do is make sure we come out of it stronger.”

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GRAYSLAKE —State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) applauded local government agencies for creating a testing plan to address the continuing issue of ethylene oxide air pollution in Lake County. 

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“No one should have to worry about the air they breathe being safe from harmful chemicals,” Bush said. “Thanks to efforts from the Lake County Health Department, area residents will soon know the truth about their air quality.”

Due to concerns surrounding ethylene oxide emissions from Medline Industries in Waukegan and Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Gurnee, the Lake County Health Department, Village of Gurnee and City of Waukegan created a multi-phase ethylene oxide testing plan. The plan — which collected air samples to be analyzed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry — was finalized last week. 

The agency will produce a health risk assessment report, and the Illinois Department of Public Health will perform a cancer incidence study. The findings of both reports will allow Bush and others to understand how the chemical is impacting residents’ health and roll out a more comprehensive plan on how to tackle the health risks. 

Bush has been a steadfast supporter of combatting the ethylene oxide health crisis. Last year, she successfully passed a law that established the strictest limits in the nation on ethylene oxide emissions. She also spearheaded a law that requires Vantage Specialty Chemicals, a Lake County manufacturer that uses ethylene oxide in its products, to put in place several environmental safeguards in order to continue operating.

“While the measures we passed last year were major steps forward to ensure the air we breathe is safe, we needed to do more,” Bush said. “The data from these reports will give us the information we need to best protect our community from the harmful effects of ethylene oxide.” 

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