SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, issued the following statement on Wednesday to urge Gov. Rauner to resume negotiating with the House Democrats on a balanced budget:
“Our state has gone far too long without a responsible, balanced budget, which is hurting working families throughout the state. Working families throughout the state are experiencing the consequences of no budget. The governor must put politics aside, start compromising and put the citizens of Illinois first.
“Consistently, the governor told members of the General Assembly that we must negotiate and meet him in the middle on a variety of issues before he will consider signing a budget. We must work together to make Illinois a more business-friendly state. Without an inviting business climate, we fail to create new jobs. However, this cannot be accomplished at the expense of hard-working Illinois families. Instead of stripping the worker of their wages and workplace rights, the solution should be geared towards helping businesses grow. If the corporate income tax were to be cut by at least 50 percent, this will allow small and medium-sized businesses to compete with multi-million dollar corporations.
“Providing economic opportunity and growth with help provide relief for Illinoisans. We need to create a system that protects the wages of workers, and one way we can do that is by increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit. Our hard working families pay enough in taxes and by increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), it will allow Illinoisans to keep more of what they earn.
“To pass a budget, we must compromise and work together. I am fully committed to accomplishing that. The most vulnerable citizens of this state, including veterans, children and seniors, are not tools for the governor to use to push an agenda that would destroy the working class in Illinois. I remain committed to protecting the most vulnerable, and will fight to pass an honest and balanced budget. I am ready to work with both sides of the aisle to pass a budget and ensure we continue to help low-income families.”
For more information, contact DeLuca’s constituent service office at 708-754-7900 or visit www.anthonydeluca.org.
“I agree changes must be made in order to make Illinois a more business-friendly state,” DeLuca said. “However, it shouldn’t be done by only focusing on reducing wages and stripping workers of their rights and protections in the workplace. These hardworking families deserve to be able to safely go to work and bring home a livable wage.”
House Bill 2622 creates a not-for-profit insurance provider that would be able to sell workers’ compensation insurance to businesses throughout the state. The Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company can offer the same quality insurance as for-profit companies but will be committed to delivering the best value for businesses, not turning a profit for investors. The competition will also encourage for-profit insurers to offer lower-cost options for Illinois employers. The non-profit established under this legislation is similar to state-chartered insurance companies in 20 other states, including Missouri, Kentucky, California and Texas.
Additionally, DeLuca supported reforms that require for-profit insurance companies to pass savings from workers’ compensation reform on to Illinois employers. Since Illinois enacted workers’ compensation reforms in 2011, costs, injuries and claims have all dropped significantly, but instead of passing on the savings to businesses, insurance companies are padding their profits. DeLuca’s House Bill 2525 gives the Department of Insurance authority to review insurance rates before they become effective and reject those it finds excessive.
“While I am in Springfield, I will continue working for real reforms that help employers save money without hurting Illinois families,” DeLuca said. “I am fighting to make Illinois’ economy more competitive while striving to create an environment for families to earn greater income.”
“House Bill 159 will authorize the necessary incentives for the redevelopment of the former Blue Ridge Farms Building within the Village of Park Forest,” DeLuca said. “HB 159 authorizes the necessary tax relief to create new jobs and economic growth which Park Forest and the southland regions so desperately need,” DeLuca said.
A developer has been searching for a facility throughout the United States that will fit their need to invest in, ultimately identifying a property in Park Forest. DeLuca’s legislation provides the necessary tax relief for the developer to invest in the community. The developer estimates spending $8 million to renovate the building creating many new construction jobs Once open and operating, the business will create 40 new full time jobs increasing up to 100 over time.
“In order to make this investment in Park Forest feasible to the developer, tax relief was a necessity,” DeLuca said. “With this creatively drafted legislation, the community will now have the opportunity to turn a once vacant building into a job creating and tax generating business. This is an exciting opportunity for Park Forest and I thank Mayor Ostenburg and his administration for traveling to Springfield to testify in committee so my colleagues understood the importance of HB 159.”
House Bill 159 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.