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Ellman moves to immediately enact access to planned property tax breaks for Cook County seniors

Published: Friday, November 15, 2019 01:06 PM

ellman 052219SPRINGFIELD –Cook County seniors would see access to property tax break sooner under legislation by State Senator Laura Ellman that passed the Senate unopposed on Thursday.

“My goal was always to simplify this application process as much as possible,” said Ellman, (D-Naperville), the measure’s chief sponsor. “Rather than subjecting our seniors to an unnecessary reapplication process, we’re making things easier on them while also giving more people the chance to benefit from property tax breaks.”

Currently, every county in Illinois other than Cook may allow seniors to receive the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption without having to reapply for it annually. Changes to the law will allow Cook County seniors the same privilege, and House Bill 961 allows this exemption to take effect for the taxable year 2019.

Cook County agencies would also be required to keep track of any property transfers or death that would end the exemption on a particular piece of property in order to prevent abuse of it.

This legislation now awaits the governor’s signature.

Koehler works to preserve Peoria-area jobs

Published: Friday, November 15, 2019 11:40 AM

airplane mech 111419SPRINGFIELD – Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that would ensure the preservation of manufacturing jobs in the Peoria area passed the Senate with bipartisan support yesterday.

“The point of this legislation is simple: to keep good-paying jobs in our area,” Koehler said. “Without this tax exemption there is no question that aviation companies would have to take a long look at doing business elsewhere.”

Peoria is home to Byerly Aviation, a company that offers maintenance, charters and aircraft sales.

This legislation would reinstate the Illinois state sales tax exemption for materials used in aircraft manufacturing, which expired Dec. 31, 2014.

Since its expiration, the Illinois Department of Revenue audited several privately owned aviation repair companies and never required them to collect sales tax. The Illinois Aviation Trades Association believes the outstanding tax bill is roughly $50 million.

“Since the expiration of this sales tax, Illinois has become an outlier,” Koehler said. “In order to remain competitive with several other states who currently offer this exemption, we had to reinstate it.”

This legislation now awaits the governor’s signature.

Bush: Joint ethics commission a good first step toward serious reform

Published: Thursday, November 14, 2019 04:43 PM

bush 111419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released the following statement regarding the adoption of House Joint Resolution 93, which created the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform to review current Illinois ethics codes:

“We need to seize this opportunity to spur change in our system given the scandals that have shaken the public’s confidence. We took a few small steps forward today regarding lobbying transparency. More needs to happen, and happen fast.

“This joint ethics commission will bring Republicans and Democrats together to study needed changes and come up with recommendations by early next year. The only way we’ll solve this culture problem is to stand unified behind a commitment to real change. And I think this is a good first step. I look forward to helping drive serious reform and working with my colleagues to push through any obstacles we encounter on the way.”

Morrison: Legislators must be accountable to residents and honorably represent them

Published: Thursday, November 14, 2019 04:40 PM

morrison 052418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) sponsored a resolution to create a commission tasked with changing the negative, and sometimes unethical, culture in Springfield that has taken over headlines.

“Legislators are elected to the Illinois General Assembly to be accountable to the residents of their districts and honorably represent them,” Senator Morrison said. “This commission should be a platform from which we develop and reform.”

House Joint Resolution 93 creates the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform to review and make recommendations for changes to a number of current statutes, including the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act and the Lobbyist Registration Act.

The commission will be made up of 16 members, appointed by the majority leaders, minority leaders, attorney general, secretary of state and governor. Members of the commission cannot be registered lobbyists in Illinois during their service or less than five years prior.

Under the resolution, the commission must hold public hearings and issue recommendations to the General Assembly and constitutional officers by March 31, 2020.

“Illinois residents expect credibility, trust, honor and accountability from their elected officials – and nothing less,” Senator Morrison said.

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