Senator Melinda BushGRAYSLAKE – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) introduced a package of legislation giving more power to the Legislative Inspector General to weed out corruption.

“I’ve been working with advocates for the last three years to clean up corruption and finally hold people accountable,” Bush said. “In light of the recent revelations involving former members of the General Assembly, we can’t allow this shameful behavior to continue. The only way to stop it is to give our watchdogs more power to investigate and take independent action.”

The package of legislation contains three bills, Senate Bills 2488, 1426, and 74, each targeting a different loophole in the ethics code. The first bill calls for the immediate removal of a member of the Senate from any leadership position upon being charged with a crime. Currently there are no conditions which specify when or if a sitting member of the General Assembly should face such restrictions.

The second extends the deadline for filing an ethics complaint to 12 months after the Legislative Inspector General begins an investigation. Currently, a complaint can only be filed within 18 months after the most recent alleged violation. The third gives the Inspector General the power to begin an investigation without prior approval of the ethics commission.

“This state’s ethics record is appalling and that is due in large part to the inaction of self-serving and apathetic lawmakers who are unwilling to fight for what’s right,” Bush said. “We need to do better and my legislation is just the beginning. We need to overhaul the system and clean up Illinois.”

Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda BushSPRINGFIELD – Property taxes will be lowered for many home and business owners in Lake County this year thanks to the Property Tax Relief Grant.

The Property Tax Relief Grant is a state grant program designed to provide financial relief for school districts that are heavily taxed and to help level the playing field to for school districts.

School Districts account for more than 60% of property tax bills. “I helped create this grant, because it will provide needed property tax relief to families who reside in communities in high tax-rate school districts” State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) said.

Local school districts that are eligible for the grant include:
• Grayslake Community High School District 127
• Round Lake Area Schools Community Unit School District 116
• Zion Elementary School District 6
• Zion-Benton Township High School District 126

Eligible districts must submit an abatement resolution – a local taxing district’s approved plan to reduce property taxes – to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education will then distribute the grants to each eligible district after receiving the Certification of Abatement Form from the county clerk.

“Regardless of where they live, every child in Illinois deserves a quality education and opportunity to succeed, but the State of Illinois must continue to explore and find ways to reduce the burden born by property taxes,” Bush said.

More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement today in response to Governor Pritzker’s State of the State address:

“My constituents are on the front lines of the property tax crisis. I hear stories every day about outrageously high property taxes and how they bring fiscal upheaval to families. I will continue to fight for and pass legislation that consolidates and eliminates ineffective units of government to curb the flow of wasteful government spending, and am excited our governor shares those concerns. Further, we must end the practice of incentivizing local governments to max out their levies. It is an important step to empower both local governments and taxpayers to be more fiscally responsible and efficient. 

“I will work with the Pritzker administration and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight big utility companies from further profiting off families that are already being crushed by their high taxes. We need to finally develop a comprehensive plan to bring property tax relief to the people of Illinois and show them that we are on their side.

“I also fully support the governor’s efforts to end the days of corrupt self-serving politicians profiting off of their positions. Over the past several years I have made it a priority to hold elected officials in Illinois to the highest ethical standards, both via legislation and by calling out members of both parties for breaking their oath to Illinoisans. Our state’s history of corruption is a stain that will not easily be wiped away. Illinoisans deserve much better, and I will demand a more open and transparent state government and not stop until we have succeeded.”

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Melinda BushGRAYSLAKE – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) congratulated the Commonwealth of Virginia for making history by becoming the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

“This is a significant victory for advocates of women’s rights and their efforts to enshrine the equality of all women in the U.S. Constitution,” Bush said. “I congratulate the Commonwealth of Virginia for being yet another state to recognize the full, fundamental and equal rights of women under the law.”

The original ERA was introduced to Congress in 1972. To approve the amendment, a three-quarter majority, or 38 states, was needed for ratification. States were given until 1982, but only 35 had ratified it. That deadline has long since expired, making Virginia’s actions largely symbolic.

In 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to approve the E.R.A., and Illinois quickly became the 37th state a year later. Now, upon Virginia’s ratification, the U.S. has finally met the required three-quarter threshold and restarted the debate on an issue that had been largely forgotten since the 60s and 70s.

“The debate to amend the Constitution to include equal rights for women may have been tabled, but in light of the #MeToo movement and the recent hostility towards women’s rights, it is now more necessary than ever,” Bush said.

Category: Press Releases

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