Hutchinson

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  • Sen. Toi HutchinsonSPRINGFIELD – Illinois non-profits will be spared a tax hike thanks to legislation passed by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) that was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Pritzker.

    Hutchinson’s new law – passed under Senate Bill 1257 – decouples Illinois from a new tax on nonprofits that was included in President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

    “Across Illinois, nonprofits take care of our seniors, ensure children are safe in the community and support individuals with disabilities,” Hutchinson said. “Imposing a new tax on these organizations would only risk disrupting vital services that Illinoisans rely upon every day.”

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  • State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) argues on behalf of working families in Illinois as the Illinois Senate advances the fair tax on May 1, 2019.

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  • hutchinson 040519SPRINGFIELD – A reform package to Illinois’ antiquated property tax system sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) passed the Senate this week.   

    “Property taxes are something that every politician from both sides of the aisle talks about, but little is done to actually reform the system,” Hutchinson said. “Today we have a chance to take a step in the right direction that will increase tax assessment accuracy and transparency for property owners and go a long way towards bringing fairness to homeowners in the South Suburbs and across the state.”

  • bank 040419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) passed a plan out of the Senate today that would allow legal cannabis businesses in Illinois to use the banking system. Due to federal and state banking regulations, most legal cannabis businesses are operating on a cash-only basis.

    “As conversations continue on whether or not Illinois will legalize adult-use cannabis, we have legal businesses involved in the cannabis industry that are not able to use banks,” Hutchinson said. “Operating on a cash-only basis exponentially increases the chances of fraud and criminal activity.”

    Hutchinson’s proposal – contained in Senate Bill 2023 – would prohibit the Secretary of Illinois’ Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) from issuing an order against, penalizing or discouraging financial institutions from providing financial services to cannabis-related businesses.  

    Last year, the legal medical cannabis industry in Illinois took in $136 million in revenues.

    Hutchinson teamed with Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs on her proposal that passed out of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee a few weeks ago.

    “We are one step closer to preventing state banking regulators from penalizing banks or credit unions for allowing legal cannabis businesses to manage their financial transactions like every other legitimate business in the state,” Frerichs said. “These legitimate business owners should not have to operate underground on a cash-only basis and make themselves vulnerable to crime, fraud, and tax evasion.”

    Senate Bill 2023 passed the Senate this afternoon without opposition and will now head to the Illinois House for further debate.

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  • hutchinson 032019 2SPRINGFIELD – Last year, the legal medical marijuana industry in Illinois took in $136 million in revenues. Federal and state banking regulations, however, mean most marijuana businesses are operating on a cash-only basis.

    State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) joined with Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs this morning in passing a proposal out of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee that would help address the issue.

  • Senator HutchinsonSPRINGFIELD – A working family of three who earns up to $41,560 per year would be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) under a proposal by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) that passed the Senate Human Services Committee Tuesday afternoon.

    “Working families are finding it harder and harder to afford the ever-increasing cost of child care,” Hutchinson said. “For many families, it makes more financial sense for one parent to stay at home rather than work at all. And for single parents, the cost is often overwhelming.”

    Hutchinson’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 1679, would raise the income threshold for qualifying for CCAP from 185 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, for a family of three, 185 percent of the federal poverty level represents $38,443 per year. Under Hutchinson’s plan, families of three could earn up to $41,560 and still qualify for the program.

    CCAP provides financial assistance to low-income families so they can afford to enroll their children into the child care program. While the program was once nationally recognized, Gov. Rauner made drastic cuts to the program in 2015, reducing eligibility for 90 percent of CCAP participants. While the governor’s cuts were later reversed, the high-profile cuts to the program have led to decreased enrollment by working families.

    “Every child requires someplace safe to be so their parents can be full and active participants in our economy,” Hutchinson said.

    Senate Bill 1679 was heard in the Senate Human Services Committee on Tuesday afternoon and will now move to the Senate floor for further debate.

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  • hutchinson 031219SPRINGFIELD – With property tax bills continuing to climb across Illinois, State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) is working with newly elected Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi on a set of reforms to Illinois’ antiquated property tax system.

    “Anyone who owns property in Illinois understands how outdated and regressive our property tax system is,” Hutchinson said. “It is something we all know and discuss, but have done little to address. This proposal would take a meaningful step forward to increase accuracy and transparency for Illinois taxpayers.”

    Hutchinson has introduced Senate Bill 1379, which is a comprehensive set of reforms to Cook County’s property tax system. While the proposal would primarily apply to Cook County, all Illinois counties would have the ability to adopt the requirements.

    Senate Bill 1379 would improve data collection by giving the Cook County Assessor’s Office the ability to collect operating income and expense data to more accurately deliver property assessments. The change would bring Cook County and Illinois in line with professional practices in other states and cities, including Washington D.C., Boston and Seattle.

    “This legislation – which would put Cook County and Illinois on par with other leading business centers in the United States against whom we compete for jobs and talent – is the single most important legislative step for reform of our property tax system,” said Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi. “With one straightforward law, Springfield can decrease risks and costs to real estate participants while boosting transparency, creating valuable market data and improving our state’s investment climate and reputation.”

    Senate Bill 1379 was heard recently in the Senate Revenue Committee where it passed without opposition. Hutchinson has vowed to continue working with stakeholders in the weeks ahead before calling the proposal for a final vote.

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  • hutchinson 051018SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across the South Suburbs will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law supported by Hutchinson that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, the 40th Senate District received nearly $10 million in additional state funding.

    “Communities with little property wealth have been forced to increase their taxes year after year, placing a high burden on homeowners and small businesses and cheating students out of a quality education,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “For many South Suburban communities, this has only increased economic disinvestment and neighborhood stagnation.”

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Rich Township High School District 227 ($2,736,497)
    • Bloom Township H.S. District 206 ($2,168,029)
    • Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233 ($1,963,818)
    • Park Forest School District 163 ($573,153)

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    “The new funding law represents a fundamental shift in how we pay for education in Illinois,” Hutchinson said. “Reducing reliance on property taxes while increasing state support is the only way of ensuring no Illinois student is relegated to a sub-par education simply because of their ZIP code.”

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • CapitolSWJuly brings the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state, and several measures passed by the legislature and signed into law take effect on July 1.

    Most notably, two new laws address Illinois education: one reaffirms the importance of learning cursive writing in Illinois schools and another addresses the statewide teacher shortage.

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