As the legislative Session zooms toward the May 31st scheduled adjournment, some major legislative initiatives passed through the Committee process last week. This week’s e-news will take an in-depth look at the Governor’s plan to raise taxes through a graduated income tax system and detail my opposition to a severely unconstitutional gun-grab bill that gained approval this week.
Constitutional Amendment Approval – SJRCA 1
On May 1, 2019, the Senate Democrat majority passed Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment #1 (Harmon/Martwick) on a vote of 40-19-0. The proposal would make the following change to the State Constitution, Article IX, Section 3, concerning limitations on income taxation:
The measure will need to receive a 3/5ths majority vote in the House (i.e., 71 votes) in order to be adopted and placed on the November 3, 2020 general election ballot where it will need to be approved by either (i) three-fifths of those voting on the question or (ii) a majority of those voting in the election.
Graduated Income Tax Rate Structure, New Tax Credits, and Changes to Local Government Distribution Fund – SB 687
In addition to the approval of to the constitutional amendment, the Senate Democrat majority successfully passed SB 687 (Hutchinson/Zalewski), which contained a similar set of graduated income tax rates to the ones proposed by Governor Pritzker in March of this year. Below is a comparison of the proposed income tax rates on both individuals and corporations. (Note: For comparative purposes, the 2.5% Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) rate is added to both the current 7% corporate income tax rate and the proposed 7.99% corporate income tax rate proposed under SB 687).
Additionally, SB 687 includes the following provisions:
- Creates, beginning tax year 2021, a new tax credit of up to $100 per child aged 17 or younger. The credit would begin to phase down for joint-filers making over $60,000 and single-filers making over $40,000. The credit would be made permanent.
- Increases (and makes permanent) the current tax credit for property taxes from 5% of PTAX paid per year to 6% of PTAX paid per year beginning in tax year 2021.
- Provides that spouses filing a federal joint return, beginning tax year 2021, shall also file a joint return on their Illinois taxes.
- Beginning on February 1, 2021 and continuing every month thereafter, provides that LGDF shall receive 10.75% of the income taxes received by the state, were the tax rates imposed at a rate of 3% on individuals and 4.8% on corporations. Currently, LGDF is receiving the sum of 6.06% of personal income tax revenues and 6.85% of corporate income tax revenues. This equation is based on ratios between pre-2011 tax rates and current rates.
Effective Date: SB 687 would not become law on January 1, 2021 if SJRCA #1 is not approved by voters.
Fiscal Impact of SB 687: According to COGFA, the provisions under SB 687 would result in a total revenue increase to the State of $3.522 billion, as follows:
Estate Tax Repeals and PTAX Freeze for Certain School Districts– SB 689 and SB 690
The final component of the Senate Democrat “fair tax” package of bills includes two tax relief bills that have been House Republican priorities in recent years.
SB 689 would repeal the Illinois estate tax, which is charged to estate that are valued at more than $4 million currently.
Effective Date: The measure, however, would not become law on January 1, 2021 if SJRCA #1 is not approved by voters.
Fiscal Impact: According to COGFA, a repeal of the estate tax would result in a $295 million reduction in state revenues.
SB 690 would allow for a property tax freeze for certain school districts. Beginning levy year 2022, school districts, other than “qualified school districts,” would be allowed to impose a 0% extension limitation (i.e., cap an increase in the school district’s levy to 0% over the previous year). However, any special purpose extension made for (i) bond and other types of indebtedness or (ii) pension payments would remain subject to the traditional PTELL escalator, which limits extension increases to the lesser of 5% or CPI. Most school districts would become subject to PTELL in order for the freeze to take effect. Defines “qualified school district” to mean a school district that meets either of the following criteria: (1) the school district submitted a claim to ISBE for reimbursement of State mandated categoricals of which the aggregate amount of the claims for that school fiscal year was less than 97% of the district’s claims; or (2) the school district did not receive the minimum funding required for that school district under the evidence-based funding formula for the preceding levy year. Requires ISBE to notify by September 30th of each year each school district that is eligible for a PTAX freeze. The bill does not take effect on January 1, 2021 unless SJRCA #1 is approved by voters.
Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) is the ranking minority member and spokesperson on the Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee. Bryant was appointed to the leadership post this Session, but has served as a member of the Committee before.
“I have unfortunately seen a lot of gun control bills during my time serving on this particular Committee,” Bryant said. “But, today’s passage of SB 1966 through the House’s Judiciary Criminal Law Committee is the most aggressive frontal assault on Constitutional Rights that I have seen to date.”
Bryant says SB 1966 forces unfunded mandates on over-burdened State Police officials, massive increases in fees for FOID applications and Concealed Carry License costs, and forces costly mandates on law-abiding gun owners.
“This bill isn’t about stopping crime,” Bryant said. “SB 1966 aims to stifle the rights of anyone that might want to purchase or transfer a gun for the infinite future,” Bryant said. “It is obvious that the sponsor and supporters of SB 1966 want gun ownership to either be too expensive, too much of a hassle, or just plain too embarrassing in the State of Illinois. Where else in America do we see legislators introducing bills that make followers of the Bill of Rights jump through hoops to enjoy their God-given freedoms?”
Bryant closed her questioning of the bill’s sponsor by forcefully expressing opposition to the State taxing and regulating poor and middle class US citizens out of being able to afford to exercise their Constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms.
“We have in rural areas, folks that I represent that really have to have a firearm to protect themselves,” Bryant said. “And, we’re going to require them to come up with money that they don’t necessarily have just to afford to protect themselves? No!”
Ultimately, SB 1966 passed the Committee on a 9-6 strict party-line vote. The legislation now awaits a House Floor vote with just 9 days to go before the House’s scheduled May 31 adjournment. Bryant says the time is now for Second Amendment supporters to exercise their First Amendment Rights.
“Call your legislators and then call the House and Senate Leaders and stand up against this gun-grab, Bryant said. “I will not support this encroachment in to the Constitutional rights of my constituents and fellow Americans. I encourage all 2nd Amendment supporters, all civil liberty supporters, and personal-privacy-protection supporters to call Speaker Madigan, and call the bill’s sponsor and urge that they abandon this all-out gun grab and work with Republicans on bipartisan legislation.”
PRESS RELEASE: Reps. Bryant and Windhorst, and Senator Fowler team up to pass legislation to create Tamms Minimum Security Unit Task Force
Harrisburg, IL—Seeking to repurpose the currently-unoccupied Tamms Correctional Center, State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) and Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) sponsored legislation to create the Tamms Minimum Security Unit Task Force.
House Bill 210, approved by Senate lawmakers on May 23, would create a task force dedicated to studying the possible use of the Tamms Minimum Security Unit as a vocational training center for the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC). The Task Force will be required to submit its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before December 31, 2020.
“Currently the Tamms facility is sitting vacant, deteriorating and burdening both the county and the state,” said Fowler. “House Bill 210 is about exploring our options moving forward and exploring how best to utilize the center.”
Tamms Minimum Security Unit Task Force would meet twice a year without compensation. The eleven-member board would be comprised of four legislators, the Director of the Department of Corrections or a designee, one member appointed by the Lt. Governor, one member representing DOC employees, one member representing Shawnee Community College, one member representing SIU, the mayor of Tamms, and one member representing Alexander County.
115th District State Representative Terri Bryant says she has been an advocate for the reopening and repurposing of the minimum-security facility at Tamms since even before running for office. Bryant says the reopening and repurposing of the Minimum Security facility in Tamms would be helpful in reducing Illinois’ overcrowded prisons and provide good paying jobs for Southern Illinoisans.
“The goal of the task force will be to study the regional impact that the facility’s closure had on Southern Illinois, and to study the feasibility of reopening the shuttered minimum-security facility,” Bryant said. “Reopening Tamms’ minimum-security facility could help alleviate overcrowding, make our correctional officers safer, and provide good paying jobs to an area that has been economically devastated. I want to thank my friend and colleague Senator Dale Fowler for pressing this issue and successfully carrying it through the Senate.”
Tamms Correctional Center has remained unoccupied since its closure in 2013. The facility complex consists of approximately 220 acres with 21 buildings contained within the property.
“Every year that Tamms remains shuttered is another year of lost opportunity,” said Fowler. “The facility has such potential and, if reopened, could be a real avenue for future economic growth. I’m excited to see this measure receive support and look forward to reviewing the findings of the Task Force.”
House Bill 210 passed the Senate unanimously and will now advance to the Governor’s desk.
Summer Reading Program 2019 – I Heart Reading Club
As your State Representative, I want to invite your 1st through 5th grader to participate in the 2019 I Heart Reading Summer Reading Club. Those students that read 8 books this summer will be to receive an official Illinois House of Representatives Certificate of Recognition for their accomplishment.
I want to encourage students in the 115th district to bring out the best in themselves and make summer even more exciting by including reading as part of their everyday fun.
Senior Citizen Health Fair 2019
Please join me and State Rep. Patrick Windhorst and State Senators Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler for our annual Carbondale Senior Citizens Health and Wellness Fair at the Carbondale Civic Center from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m on Wednesday July 24th. More details below!
With just 10 scheduled days left in the Session, the news will be coming quickly. Please stay tuned to www.repbryant.com for all the action from Springfield and beyond. My office in Mt. Vernon is open Tues-Fri from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and my Murphysboro office is open from Monday through Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please continue to reach out to me by email, web message, or phone to let me know your opinions on the issues that matter most to you!