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Rauner veto of Martinez measure harmful to local businesses

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 03:11 PM

martinez 051917SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) said Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation leveling the playing field among businesses competing for state contracts is a blow to local and state business owners.

“This is a governor who claims he is pro-business, but his actions show otherwise,” said Martinez, who sponsored the measure in the Senate. “He is favoring large corporations over the small businesses that are so vital to our state’s economy.”

Rauner issued a veto last Friday of legislation that aims to stop businesses that move to foreign countries to avoid paying state taxes from entering into state contracts.

The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office supported the legislation, saying state contracts should be awarded to local and state businesses that pay their fair share of Illinois income taxes.

"Governor Rauner's veto sends the wrong message to American corporations that engage in offshore tax avoidance schemes," said State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. "Companies that use these unfair tactics to shift taxes onto other Illinois citizens and businesses should not be rewarded with lucrative state contracts."

The measure includes exceptions for companies for which the state contract is awarded as a sole source procurement or companies that are purchasing medical products and/or drugs.

House Bill 3419 received bipartisan support in both Houses and was sent to the governor at the end of June.

Castro: Illinois’ heroes should not be burdened with unnecessary fees while serving our country

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 03:08 PM

castro 081817ELGIN- Active duty military members will now be able to cancel internet and television services with greater ease, thanks to Elgin Democratic State Senator Cristina Castro.

“Illinois’ heroes should not be burdened with unnecessary fees while serving our country,” Castro said. “They have answered the call for duty and it’s our job to make their relocation easier.”

House Bill 2449 was signed into law today.

This measure allows any service member who receives orders to relocate for a period of service of at least 90 days to terminate or suspend contracts for internet services, television and cable services, athletic club or gym memberships and satellite radio services.

“This one small update will eliminate unnecessary hurdles for our active duty military,” Castro said.

The termination or suspension can be completed by delivering a written or electronic notice to the service provider and delivering a copy of the official military orders to the service provider that calls him or her to military service.

House Bill 2449 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

Measure to maintain demographic data of benefit recipients signed into law

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 03:04 PM

aquino 022217SPRINGFIELD – A new law would require the Illinois Department of Human Services to collect and publicly report data on the racial and ethnic demographics of recipients of its state aid programs.

State Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, the bill’s Senate sponsor, believes that the proposed law will help the government assess the impact that cutting or expanding a program could have on specific communities.

“Without tracking demographics, it is difficult to know if we are spending public dollars equitably in regards to race, gender and ethnicity,” Aquino said. “When we make cuts, we need to ask ourselves: How does this affect our minority communities? When we cut a program, whom do we hurt?”

At a Senate hearing this April, Aquino asked DHS Director James Dimas for demographic data explaining how cuts in Gov. Rauner’s budget proposal would affect minority communities. Dimas responded that the Department only collects data when it is mandated by the federal government, as in the case of food subsidy programs like TANF and SNAP.

“There is a reason the federal government tracks this information,” Aquino said. “In order to govern better, you need to measure. This is a smart, good government innovation. Better data means better government.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the legislation, House Bill 3131, into law today.

Trotter’s plan to expand HIV testing becomes law

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 03:02 PM

trotter 032017SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to expand the HIV testing of pregnant women was signed into law today.

Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, is one of the sponsors of the legislation that amends the Perinatal HIV Prevention Act to expand HIV testing in at-risk pregnant women.

“This is a necessary step forward to help prevent the spreading of disease, especially in some of our poorest communities. Testing pregnant mothers in the last trimester, instead of just in the first, will help lower the chance of transmission to babies,” Trotter said.

House Bill 2800 adds third trimester HIV testing in addition to the current first trimester HIV testing.

The legislation is effective immediately.

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