Senator Melinda Bush speaks at a committee hearingSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is demanding answers about the deadly impact of ethylene oxide emissions from two Lake County plants. Victims and experts spoke about potential effects of ethylene oxide being emitted from Chicago-area plants during the Senate Environment and Conservation committee hearing today.

“Public safety has to be the top priority,” Bush said. “Today’s hearing made it clear that business interests are being prioritized over the health and safety of Illinoisans. And that’s not acceptable.”

The hearing came after the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report showing that the areas around Sterigenics in DuPage County and Medline in Lake County have increased rates of cancer due to ethylene oxide emissions.

“Ethylene oxide might be the cheapest option for businesses sterilizing medical equipment, but it’s the most costly for Illinoisans’ health,” Bush said. “Air permits for companies emitting these cancer-causing toxins need to be reviewed immediately and substitute sterilization methods need to be considered.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently changed its assessment of ethylene oxide from “probably carcinogenic to humans” to “carcinogenic to humans,” concluding that the cancer risk of inhaling the gas is 30 times higher than normal.

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Category: Press Releases

05302018CM0043RSPRINGFIELD – Three proposals passed by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) aimed at addressing Illinois’ growing opioid crisis were signed into law this week.

The first, House Bill 4707, will create a Prescription Drug Task Force to study the extent of over-prescription of opioids to patients.

"Opioid overdoses are a massive epidemic in Illinois, and over the past few years the situation has only continued to worsen," Bush said. “The opioid epidemic is a serious and complicated issue, but I remain hopeful that the task force can uncover effective, long-lasting solutions to this crisis.”

The task force will consist of state lawmakers, health care professionals, members of law enforcement and parents who have lost children from drug overdoses. In addition to studying the over-prescribing of opioids, the task force will make recommendations to the General Assembly on actions that can be taken at the state level.

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Category: Press Releases

02282018CM0952RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush’s (D-Grayslake) legislation to overhaul the process of investigating ethics complaints at the Capitol was signed into law this morning by the governor.

“This is a vitally important first step in ensuring claims of sexual harassment and discrimination are taken seriously and investigated properly,” said Bush, Co-Chair of the Senate Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force. “We know our current culture won’t change overnight. But unless we take a stand and say ‘Time’s Up’, nothing will change in Springfield.”

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush presents her bill in committeeSPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to overhaul the process of investigating ethics complaints at the Capitol advanced out of the Senate with strong bipartisan support.

“This is about changing the process of how ethics complaints are handled so that we can guarantee that any person who comes forward and files a claim with the legislative inspector general knows that their complaint is being reviewed in an independent, transparent and timely manner,” said Bush, Co-Chair of the Senate Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force.

“Time’s up in Springfield,” said Bush. “No one should have to experience sexual harassment and discrimination, but if it occurs under the dome, their claims needed to be taken seriously and perpetrators need to be held accountable.”

House Bill 138 makes several changes to the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Legislative Inspector General, including but not limited to:

•    Allow the Legislative Inspector General to investigate claims independently, without first getting approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission    
•    Better defined and transparent reporting of complaints at the Commission and before the Inspector General;
•    Requirements that the Commission shall appoint an Acting Inspector General with 45 days;
•    Creates a backstop so that if an extended vacancy occurs in the office of the LIG, the Inspector General for the Auditor General would have jurisdiction over the complaints;
•    Creates a search committee comprised of former judges and prosecutors who will search for and recommend inspector general candidates to the Ethics Commission;
•    Requires a public hearing and opportunity for public input before the adoption of any new commission rules;
•    Allows the Inspector General for the Secretary of State, through the Attorney General, to file complaints with the Executive Ethics Commission regarding lobbyist sexual harassment;
•    Allows the EEC to suspend the registration of a lobbyist or lobbying entity for which the lobbyist is employed for up to 3 years if the lobbyist violates the sexual harassment prohibition;
•    Extends statute of limitations for filing a discrimination or sexual harassment claim with the Department of Human Rights from 180 days to 300 days.


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Category: Press Releases

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