Senate advances tax cut, property tax relief package

SPRINGFIELD – Nearly all working men and women in the northwest suburbs would pay less in state income taxes under a historic overhaul that was approved by the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) voted for a package of measures that includes new income tax rates requiring millionaires to pay their fair share to the state, as well as tax relief for suburban property owners and elimination of Illinois’ estate tax.

“Ninety-seven percent of taxpayers stand to benefit from scrapping Illinois’ flat tax and moving to a system that ties income taxes to how much people earn,” Gillespie said. “We’re going to give them that choice at the ballot box.”

Under the proposal, only the top 3 percent of Illinois earners would pay more in income taxes. Everyone who makes less than $250,000 a year would pay a rate of 4.95 percent or less.

The package is part of a constitutional amendment that will require voter approval in 2020. The plan approved by the Senate Wednesday must go to the House for consideration next.

Under the property tax portion of the measure, as long as the state lives up to its responsibilities to adequately fund school districts, including lunch programs and student busing costs, districts would be barred from going to local property owners seeking tax hikes.

Property tax relief has to be a priority for the state, Gillespie said, noting that the legislation gets at the root of what largely drives high property taxes across the state – funding for local school districts. In addition, it forces the state to own up to its responsibility of fully funding schools.

“The high price tag that comes with being a suburban property owner has reached crisis status for many families,” Gillespie said. “People shouldn’t have to choose between paying their property taxes and having great schools for their children.”

The package of legislation – the fair tax rates, elimination of the estate tax and property tax relief – comprises Senate bills 687, 689 and 690. In addition, Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 (SJRCA01) simplifies constitutional language about income taxes to allow for a fair tax while eliminating Illinois’ current outdated flat tax system.

Category: News

welder1SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved State Senator Ann Gillespie’s plan to establish a statewide workforce training grant that’s modeled after a successful program at a community college in central Illinois.

Senate Bill 1919 creates the 21st Century Employment Grant Program, which will bring together state and local resources to support career training programs at community colleges and high schools. The measure received bipartisan support and was approved by the Senate with no opposition.

“Illinois desperately needs to establish a pipeline of skilled workers for manufacturing, health care and technology careers. This measure will help us do that,” Gillespie said. “Career and technical education is a priority of mine, and I am excited to advance this important legislation.”

Under the plan, participating community colleges or high schools would train students for a career but also teach them professional skills that are needed to be successful in the workplace, such as preparing a resume, effective communication and time management.

The legislation requires community colleges or high schools to create an advisory board or partnership with local employers and economic developers. Furthermore, it requires state officials to track the progress of each grant recipient, analyze whether the programs are closing the employment or education gap for the labor needs of the region, and offer suggestions for additional training programs to support the labor needs of prospective businesses looking to locate in Illinois.

The measure is modeled in part after a job skills training initiative at Richland Community College in Decatur, which received a $1.5 million state grant in 2018. The collaboration of state, local and private resources in that community is expected to put as many as 225 people to work.

Category: News

04102019 Gillespie Sikh

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie is honoring Sikh Americans with a Senate resolution declaring April 2019 Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month.

Sikh is a well-established religious, social and ethnic group. It is the fifth-largest religion in the world, with more than 30 million Sikhs worldwide. An estimated half-million Sikhs live in the United States, and Illinois is home to about 25,000 Sikhs.

“Sikhs are a vital part of Illinois’ cultural and economic fabric, particularly in Chicago and the suburbs. It is important that we make an effort to better understand and appreciate the rich history and shared experiences of Sikh Americans,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said.

Senate Resolution 209, adopted by the Senate Wednesday, notes that Sikh Americans have distinguished themselves by fostering respect among all people through faith and service.

On Wednesday, Rajinder Mago with the Sikh Religious Society in Palatine delivered the invocation to the Illinois Senate. The Sikh Religious Society is in the 27th Senate District that Gillespie represents.

Category: News
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Springfield Office:
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