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Hastings works to even the playing field for Illinois small businesses

hastings 052617SPRINGFIELD – Figures reported by U.S. Public Interest Research Groups found the federal government lost over $150 billion in revenue in 2013 due to offshore corporate tax havens. 

State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) passed House Bill 3419 to level the playing field among businesses that compete for state contracts and investments.

“Corporations that use offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes should not be rewarded with state contracts and business,” Hastings said. “If businesses are going to avoid paying taxes, they should not be making money off of tax payer dollars.”

House Bill 3419 will prohibit expatriate corporations from submitting bids or entering into contracts with state agencies. 

Expatriate corporations utilize tax havens to avoid paying taxes.

“It is plain and simple. If corporations don’t pay taxes they should not benefit from state contracts,” Hastings said. “We need to give local businesses that play fair and pay their fair share of Illinois income taxes a chance to compete and be successful when they bid for state contracts.”

This will apply to any foreign country that does not impose a substantial income tax or substantial business activity tax.

House Bill 3419 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

Aquino: “Hate has no home in Illinois”

aquino 052617 2SPRINGFIELD –State Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, is the Senate sponsor of a piece of legislation that would update and broaden state hate crime laws. The measure was approved by the Illinois Senate today.

The measure, which is sponsored in the Illinois House of Representatives by Rockford Democrat State Rep. Litesa Wallace, updates Illinois’ hate crime laws to include intimidation, stalking, cyberstalking and the transmission of obscene messages as potential hate crimes and allows civil penalties of up to $25,000. An initiative of the Illinois Attorney General’s office, the proposal aims to combat the recent rise in hate-related incidents and give victims peace of mind.

“I am disturbed by the rising number of hate crimes across the country, and I want to make sure that hate has no home in Illinois,” Aquino said. “Sadly, the people committing these crimes are increasingly using technology and methods not covered in existing law. We must update existing law to match the realities of the information age.”

A hate crime is any serious crime committed by reason of actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or national origin of another individual or group of individuals. Intent must be proven in order to prosecute a hate crime.

Trotter seeks housing options for homeless youth

trotter 052617SPRINGFIELD – Today, legislation intended to grant homeless youth the option of using transitional housing independent of their parental status has passed the Senate. State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) is sponsoring House Bill 3212, which allows homeless minors aged 16 to 18 to live in transitional housing without being partially emancipated by a court of law or entering into family reunification. It changes the Emancipation of Minors Act and is an initiative of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

“By providing homeless youth the opportunity to consent to living in transitional housing without parental permission, we grant them the opportunity to make conscious decisions about their future," Sen. Trotter said. "Youth in difficult situations may not be able to turn to their guardians for support and it is essential that we give them the necessary tools to find a safe place to live as they put their lives in order. Living without housing is difficult and we should do all in our power to lessen the housing changes faced by homeless youth; this legislation promotes that."

Lightford wants every child born in Illinois to have a college savings account

lightford 052617SPRINGFIELD- Children born in Illinois could soon be welcomed with a college savings account under a plan led by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was recently approved in the Senate.

House Bill 3691 would allow the State Treasurer to use state appropriated funds, private individual donations and foundation support to fund the Illinois Children’s Savings Account program.

“Parents have enough to worry about when welcoming a child and the increasing cost of higher education does not have to be one of them,” Lightford said. “This measure simplifies the process for investing in a child’s education and it starts investing from birth.”

The account will be seeded with an initial investment of $50. Following the initial deposit, low and moderate income families are encouraged to save more through a saving incentive that matches up to $150 a year.

The measure will now head back to the House on concurrence.