After a rough and delayed planting season, Illinois’ agriculture industry received good news this week with a Taiwanese delegation committing to purchasing over $2 billion in Illinois soy and corn over the next two years. Meanwhile, Illinois motorists are encouraged to do their part to keep farmers safe as they head back into the fields and hit the roadways for the 2019 harvest season.
A one-time tax amnesty program is being offered to delinquent taxpayers beginning October 1. Also during the week, members of the Property Tax Relief Task Force continued to meet in hopes of addressing Illinois’ onerous property tax burden.
In news this week, the Illinois Department of Labor is reminding parents of the school visitation law, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has begun promoting September as National Preparedness Month.
Several bills sponsored by Senate Republican lawmakers have been recently signed into law, including measures to provide sexual assault victims with more transparency on the status of rape kit processing, and to authorize special license plate decals to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer treatment and research.
On June 1, the Democratic majority voted to pass a Fiscal Year 2020 operating budget which funds a 2.4 percent cost of living increase for members of the General Assembly.
According to State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), limited Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant funds are being stretched even thinner for Illinois students thanks to a Democrat-sponsored proposal to expand grant eligibility to non-citizen students.
State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) spoke out against the Democrat-backed proposal to change Illinois’ flat tax rate to a graduated tax structure, which would cost taxpayers 3.4 billion dollars.
A number of pieces of legislation have recently passed the Illinois Senate including a bill to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a measure that would help fund pediatric cancer awareness, and a measure aimed at ensuring Illinois schools receive property tax money committed to them.
A Senate committee advanced a controversial graduated income tax plan during the week, while the full Senate passed a number of bills to the House ranging from regulations to prevent deadly ethylene oxide leaks, to rules that would secure classrooms in the event of an armed intruder, and a bill to help ease the teacher shortage.
On April 9, Democrat lawmakers in the Senate voted to waive the public notice requirements for the proposed controversial progressive income tax overhaul of Illinois’ current flat income tax structure.
On March 26, State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) unveiled Senate Joint-Resolution Constitutional Amendment 12 which would put in place more stringent safeguards to protect taxpayers from future tax increases.
A controversial proposal has been filed in the Senate to take critical operating revenue away from Illinois’ small business community.
The Senate had a full schedule of committees during the week and some floor action with several controversial measures making news.
Legislation seeking to make the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) work requirements voluntary was brought before members of the Senate Human Services Committee on March 12.
Before lawmakers returned to Springfield on March 5, members of the Senate Subcommittee on Capital met in Edwardsville to discuss capital and infrastructure needs throughout southern Illinois.
In other news, a number of controversial gun measures have been introduced in the General Assembly and the Illinois State Board of Education will begin implementing a shorter version of the highly-criticized PARCC exam to students throughout the state.
Ratings agencies gave Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s budget proposal the cold shoulder this week, noting a dependence on one-shot revenues, an uncertain pension proposal and punting on real fiscal progress.
Illinois’ new Governor outlined his spending plan for the coming year, and a controversial minimum-wage measure has been signed into law.
Also during the week, two environmentally-minded legislative packages, which have gained bipartisan support, would offer communities greater protections from ethylene oxide, and help protect the primary water source for Central Illinois.
Before members of both the Illinois House and Senate, newly-elected Governor JB Pritzker delivered his first-ever budget address on February 20th.
Just weeks into the start of spring Legislative Session, the Senate voted on a Democrat initiative to incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour – a plan that could have huge repercussions for employers across the board, including public universities, school districts, and not-for-profit organizations.
On February 7, the Democrat-majority in the Senate passed a costly 15 dollar minimum wage increase to be phased in over the next 6 years.
Senate lawmakers braved the cold in Springfield this week as they returned for their second week of session starting Jan. 29. The Senate convened again Jan. 30-31, despite the Governor issuing a disaster proclamation due to the onslaught of artic temperatures.
Senate Republican Committee assignments were announced for the new 101st General Assembly, warming centers can provide help managing the predicted bitterly cold weather across the state, and it’s tax filing season.
State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) will serve as the Minority Spokesperson for the Senate Appropriations I Committee in the 101st General Assembly.
A new Administration transitioned into power this week with Governor J.B. Pritzker being sworn into office on Jan. 14.
Also during the week, the Senate Republicans underwent their own transition, announcing new and continuing appointments to their leadership team.
The Illinois Senate voted January 9 to pass a measure that authorizes an increase in salaries for agency officials who will be serving in the new Pritzker Administration.
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