Springfield, IL... Following the passage of a budget by the Illinois House of Representatives, State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) released the following statement:
"In my fours years in office, the budget process has been marred by partisan politicking and irresponsible budgeting practices. While the budget passed this year was more bipartisan, it was no less irresponsible and I voted no.
This year’s budget is only “balanced” because it uses revenues from the considerable tax hike imposed on Illinois families last year and one time revenues available only this year. It does not include any significant reforms to worker’s compensation, property taxes, or the bloated pension systems. The budget merely continues the status quo and Illinois cannot afford to continue limping by from one budget to the next. People are fleeing this state in droves and the residents that remain are crying out for solutions to corruption, astronomical pension debt, sky high property taxes, and more. Sadly, this budget does nothing to steer Illinois in a better direction."
The #MeToo movement is creating a platform for women to step forward to tell our stories. But as we harness this moment, we must ensure that the voices of all women, including women of color and immigrant women, are included. Nobody should be left behind. That is why here in Illinois, we enthusiastically support the VOICES Act, Senate Bill 34.

According to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the U.S. Department of Justice, 85 percent of domestic violence is perpetrated against women, and 90 percent of rape victims are women. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found that one in three women have been victims of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner within their lifetime. However, these crimes go largely unreported. Some three out of four physical assaults and four out of five rapes never get reported to police.

For immigrant women, the problem of underreporting is worse due to language barriers and other anxieties, compounded on top of an already horrifying situation.

The VOICES Act creates a standard for law enforcement so that victims will get consistent support from their local agencies, while eliminating some of the barriers faced by immigrant crime survivors that exacerbate Illinois’ underreporting crisis. The VOICES Act will benefit all of our communities.

We invite our male colleagues/allies to join us in passing the VOICES Act and urging the governor to sign it into law without delay. Time’s up.

State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero
State Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena
Springfield, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) today voted against the idea of giving legislators more control over income taxes. The Illinois House voted on House Resolution 1025, which supports a constitutional amendment to change Illinois from a flat tax state to a graduated income tax state.

“The idea that we in Springfield should be trusted with regulating and creating all kinds of income tax rates is laughable,” Rep. McDermed said. “After raising taxes last year, it is absurd that we would create a new level of uncertainty for families and businesses by making tax brackets subject to change at the whim of the legislature and Governor from year to year.”

The resolution does not carry any legislative weight. Any changes to Illinois Constitution proposed by the General Assembly must be approved by a vote of three-fifths of the members in each chamber and it must be submitted over 6 months prior to the next election. The deadline to get a proposal on the upcoming November election has passed.

“This is a disingenuous resolution at best specifically targeting the base of certain members,” Rep. McDermed continued. “If the majority party truly felt we needed a graduated income tax they would have proposed an amendment before the time passed this year or when they had super majorities and single party control of the legislative and executive branch for a decade.”  

Months ago, House Republicans filed House Resolutions 891 and 975, to oppose any graduated income tax proposal. Despite having 27 and 50 co-sponsors respectively, the resolutions currently languish in the Rules Committee. The chairwoman of the Rules Committee is Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), the chief sponsor of House Resolution 1025.  

House Resolution 1025 passed, despite bipartisan opposition, 61-52.

The Governor announced a plan today to invest $11.05 billion in the state’s roads and bridges over the next six years, including $2.2 billion of state and federal funding in the upcoming fiscal year. The Illinois Department of Transportation Multi-Year Proposed Highway Improvement Program will focus on projects that provide the greatest economic benefit to communities and take advantage of long-term strategies that save money over time.

Based on current funding levels, the FY2019-2024 Proposed Highway Improvement Program aims to improve a total of 1,945 miles of road and 525 bridges maintained by the state. The multi-year program also includes funding for upgrades to more than 750 miles of local roads and 922,933 square feet of local bridges.

One of the plan’s major highlights included $148.4 million for bridge work and other improvements on Interstate 80 through Will County. Other specific projects affecting infrastructure in the 37th district can be found here. The plan in its entirety can be found here

This multiyear plan is the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) first to embrace asset management strategies that commit to smaller repairs avoiding the higher costs of deferred maintenance. Using this approach, IDOT will realize savings over multiple years to eventually invest in other projects throughout the state. The plan also builds upon the latest in data-driven tools to help identify projects that provide the most value to the public while improving quality of life and regional mobility.

Click here to read about the new laws taking effect on June 1st. 

This week is the deadline for Senate Bills to pass the House, a critical deadline as session winds down. We expect to see a number of contentious bills debated on the floor this week. The House and Senate will be in Springfield virtually every day until spring session ends on May 31st.

The third reading deadline in the House has come and gone and we are not in session this week. This deadline serves as the primary end point for voting on bills that originated in the House. When we return next week, we will begin discussion of the bills that passed the Senate.

Blue Collar Jobs Act
House Republicans filed a bill last week 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:
  • High Impact Business construction jobs credit
  • Enterprise Zone construction jobs credit
  • New Construction EDGE Credit
  • River Edge construction jobs credit
The tax credits are 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.