This week is known in Springfield as “3rd Reading Deadline” week. This is the week that House members must pass all substantive bills over to the Senate. With that said, the Illinois House met for 5 days this week of intense debate on a range of issues. Before I share just a few of the highlights regarding legislation that either passed or failed this week, let’s take a look at two related items.
Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti Tours Continental Tire in Mt. Vernon
I want to thank Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti for visiting the 115th district on Monday. Because I was in Springfield, I was not able to personally join her on a tour of Continental Tire in Mt. Vernon.
The Lieutenant Governor has used her office to help promote vocational education and cooperation between employers and educational institutions. Job readiness partnerships between Community Colleges and major employers have worked to get folks working in a trade at a good wage all across Illinois. Continental Tire in Mt. Vernon manufactures more than 14 million tires per year an employees more than 3,300 people! Thank you to the Lieutenant Governor for visiting Mt. Vernon and for highlighting the partnership between Rend Lake College and Continental Tire!
You can learn more about the Lieutenant Governor’s visit by clicking on the following links.
Blue Collar Jobs Act
This week I joined several of my colleagues for a Capitol press conference to express my support for the “Blue Collar Jobs Act”. I have signed on as a sponsor of the Blue Collar Jobs Act, because I believe it will help put Illinois workers back on the job. HB 5864 will incentivize construction projects in the state of Illinois and create jobs for the middle class.
While there are a lot of proposals that claim to help the middle class, there is no social program better than a J.O.B. helps the middle class more than creating good paying jobs. That’s precisely what the Blue Collar Jobs Act does. Here’s a look at some details of the bill:
The Blue Collar Jobs Act is supported by both labor and business groups and offers tax incentives to companies making significant capital improvements in Illinois based on the withholding tax paid to construction workers.
It does this through the creation of four new tax credits, including the High Impact Business construction jobs credit, Enterprise Zone construction jobs credit, New Construction EDGE Credit, and the Rivers Edge construction jobs credit.
The Blue Collar Jobs Act extends certain tax credits to organizations that build, renovate, or expand just as the EDGE tax credit goes to the company hiring the workers. The tax credit is meant to incentivize the company to construct new buildings or improve existing buildings which can’t be built without the use of Illinois labor.
The tax credits only become available after the work has been fully completed. There is no risk to the state for a company not meeting its requirement as the state has already captured the withholding tax prior to the tax credit being issued. The Blue Collar Jobs Act will give growing businesses another reason to make substantial capital investments in Illinois to bring more jobs and opportunities to our state.
House and Senate Republican Leaders Call for Adoption of Revenue Estimate
At a different Statehouse press conference this week, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady called on Democrats that control the General Assembly to adopt what is known as a “revenue estimate” prior to crafting a state budget for FY 19.
Think of a revenue estimate as your monthly net take home pay. Now, think about how you and your family craft your budget. If you’re like me, I weigh my expected income versus my expected expenditures and I know how much I will have left. The State of Illinois has not adopted any sort of revenue estimate in many years. I strongly believe the best way to craft a responsible budget both at home and in Government is to know what you expect to take in and then conservatively plan for expenses.
It is our constitutional duty to taxpayers across Illinois to spend within our means. The State of Illinois owes it to Illinois taxpayers to take this responsible first step toward passing a truly balanced budget. House Joint Resolution 124 adopts a revenue estimate of $37.672 billion for fiscal year 2019, based on the estimate provided by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA).
A revenue estimate is required by state law: The House and Senate by joint resolution shall adopt or modify such estimates as may be appropriate. The joint resolution shall constitute the General Assembly’s estimate, under paragraph B of Section 2 of Article VIII of the Constitution, of funds estimated to be available during the next fiscal year (25 ILCS 155/4(a))
My First Podcast!
Earlier this month, I sat down for a lengthy interview with Statehouse Radio. In the podcast I discuss my family, my hobbies and interests, why I initially ran for this office, what I have learned during my time in Springfield, and what drives me to do the best that I can for my constituents.
The interview is just over 30 minutes, so set aside some time and enjoy this week’s edition of “Have all Voted Who Wish?”
Quick 3rd Reading Deadline Week Rundown!
HB 4469 – This bill would allow incarcerated individuals to vote by mail from jail. I voted NO. It passed by a vote of 64 yes to 37 no. The bill is now in the Senate.
HJRCA 47 – TERM LIMITS – House GOP leadership team member Representative Tom Demmer rose on the House floor to advocate for a recently filed Constitutional Amendment proposal to put a measure on the ballot to let Illinoisans weigh in on their opinion on enacting term limits in Illinois. HJRCA 47 is currently stuck in the Speaker Madigan controlled rules Committee. I fully support term limits and I would support this measure, should Speaker Madigan ever allow it for a vote.
HB 274 – Birth Control Dispensed by Pharmacists – Suburban Chicago Representative Michelle Mussman attempted to pass legislation that would have allowed pharmacists to dispense birth control pills to girls without a doctor’s consent. Proponents of the bill argue that the change is necessary because medical exams aren’t necessary in order to be prescribed birth control. I argued that if a woman is having medical problems related to her menstrual cycle, or if she is sexually active, no matter what age, that person should be examined by a medical professional prior to being prescribed birth control pills. The bill also does not set a minimum age for receiving this medication. I argued that a person as young as 12 years old could conceivably receive birth control pills under the bill without having to notify their guardian. After a lengthy debate, the bill was narrowly defeated. The sponsor has pledged to bring the bill back again. I will again be a strong NO vote.
The Illinois House is out next week and will return to Springfield on Tuesday May 8th. My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com – Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!