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Legislative Update – Week of April 8, 2019

by Amy Excell | Apr 12, 2019
Learn what happened this week in Springfield on the Fair Tax, the 3 percent limit repeal effort, and more.
In one of the busiest weeks of the legislative session, hundreds of bills passed out of their original chamber and now await action across the rotunda. With just five weeks left until the May 31 adjournment deadline, initial budget discussions are underway, and budget working groups continue to meet regularly. Both chambers recessed today for spring break.

With lawmakers in their districts during the spring break, it’s a great time to schedule in-district meetings with them about important topics like those below.

Fair Tax 
SJRCA 1 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) is a constitutional amendment which would allow the state to adopt a graduated income tax.

Currently, the Illinois Constitution mandates a flat tax of 4.95 percent on every penny of income. Under Governor Pritzker’s proposal, only earners whose income exceeds $1 million would be taxed at a flat rate – 7.95 percent.

For all other earners, a range of rates would apply (from 4.75 percent to 7.85 percent) for different margins of income. Those making $250,000 or less – about 97 percent of taxpayers– would receive some tax relief under the proposal. It also includes a 20 percent increase in property tax credit and per-child tax credits up to $100. The proposal would raise $3.4 billion per year in new revenue to fund schools, colleges, and universities, as well as essential public services.

SJRCA 1 was approved by the Senate Executive Committee earlier this week; it’s anticipated that the full Senate will debate it after the spring recess. 

To pass the proposal, three-fifths of each the Illinois House and Senate must vote to put the question on the ballot in November 2020. Voters will then decide the fate of the proposal.

Repeal 3 percent salary limitation
SB 1952 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill), an omnibus teacher shortage bill, includes a provision that repeals the 3 percent salary limitation for members in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and the State Universities’ Retirement System (SURS).

The bill would restore the previous 6 percent limit, which would continue to apply to cost of living increases, stipends, extracurricular duties, coaching stipends, seniority payments, promotions, overtime compensation, National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) stipends, and other compensated duties. SB 1952 passed the Senate this week by a vote of 51-5  and now heads to the House for approval.

SAVE THE DATE! Fair Tax Day of Action on April 30
The Responsible Budget Coalition and Think Big Illinois are holding a Fair Tax Day of Action on Tuesday, April 30 at noon in Springfield. Watch your inbox for more information as it becomes available. Let’s show legislators we want a Fair Tax!

A look ahead
Lawmakers will return from spring break on April 30, when the House and Senate reconvene. Watch Under the Dome
for updates.


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