Rep. Anthony DeLuca was a guest speaker in front of Mayors and Village trustees from across the state at the Illinois Municipal League lobby day last month in Springfield.
Forward-Looking DeLuca Pays Huge Dividends
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, is leading the discussion shedding light on the positive financial impacts gaming expansion is having for communities.
“During my time as Mayor of Chicago Heights, I successfully led negotiations for my hometown to be selected as one of ten communities to receive annual portions of gaming revenue generated from the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines,” DeLuca stated. “Since 2011, the City of Des Plaines has annually sent Chicago Heights dollars totaling over $10.5 million due to this agreement,” DeLuca continued.
DeLuca also emphasized that while this agreement with the City of Des Plaines is a significant financial boost for Chicago Heights, it was illegal for small business owners and fraternal organizations to have video gambling in their establishment prior to 2012. Since the recent change in law, many small business owners and organizations in Chicago Heights have now installed video gambling machines resulting in over $750,000 in additional revenue for the city.
Chicago Heights has secured a whopping $11.3 million in revenue from gambling sources that otherwise wouldn’t be available for the police & fire departments, roads, and other vital services all while helping to ease the burden of property taxes. “I will continue to explore creative ways in which we can help our municipalities across Illinois generate much needed additional revenue,” DeLuca said.
DeLuca Passes Bill to Allow Local Governments Control of Their Accounting
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A bill introduced by state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, to allow local municipalities to maintain cost-effective accounting practices passed out of the Illinois House with bipartisan support.
“As a former mayor, I understand that just because something works in Chicago, doesn’t mean it will work elsewhere,” DeLuca said. “Cities and villages that have their clerk handle bookkeeping cannot afford to hire full-time accountants to convert all of their financial records.”
DeLuca introduced House Bill 4104 in response to a requirement from the Illinois Comptroller that all municipalities use the accrual method of accounting when filing annual audits. This requirement would force smaller municipalities that currently use the cash method to change the way they keep track of and report their budget, resulting in higher costs and burdensome paperwork for local officials. DeLuca’s legislation would exempt municipalities from switching accounting methods if they prefer to use the cash basis.
“This legislation provides greater flexibility to municipalities with regard to how they file their annual audits and assures that they are in compliance with state law,” said DeLuca. “As long as the mandated information is received by the Comptroller’s Office, units of local government should be able to continue using the method of accounting that works for them.”
DeLuca-backed Bill to Cap Excessive Tolls Passes House
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A bill supported by state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, that lowers the amount of money the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority can charge towed trailers and medium trucks at toll booths passed out of the House.
“This bill is a matter of fairness to people traveling our tollways, DeLuca said, “Because the average fully loaded semi does far more damage to our roadways than a car-trailer combination, the amounts charged at the tolls should reflect that.”
DeLuca co-sponsored and voted to pass House Bill 1620, which caps the tolls that can be charged to vehicle-trailer combinations traveling on Illinois highways. This is because, in many cases, passenger vehicles hauling trailers are charged the same as trucks hauling trailers due to the amount of axels of the car-trailer combinations. The bill takes into account the amount of axels but will cap the tolls if the vehicle is a passenger car towing a trailer.
“Many of our residents enjoy taking a camper, ATV or bike ride to the various parks and trails in Illinois, and they should not be nickeled and dimed on the way to and from their destination,” DeLuca said. “I’m proud to have helped pass this bill to protect drivers from excessive tolls.”
DeLuca Supports Monumental Debt Transparency Measure
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As Illinois’ bill backlog sits at a record $13 billion, State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, is promoting legislation that would reform how state agencies manage their finances and reveal the full extent opf the state’s debt obligations.
Illinois has a balanced and bipartisan budget,” DeLuca said. “Despite this, there is a lack of clarity on how many bills need to be paid since many agencies have not submitted them to the comptroller. This legislation requires agencies to report how many bills have not submitted for payment, and ultimately protect tax payers from paying late fees.”
DeLuca’s House Bill 3649 requires agencies to submit a monthly report to the Comptroller on the liabilities they are holding, plus an estimate of the amount of late fees that are accruing. According to the Comptroller’s Office, liabilities are not being reported quickly enough, and, as a result, millions of dollars in penalty fees are accumulating on the overdue bills. By reforming how state agencies report their liabilities, DeLuca is fighting to protect hard-earned taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for financial mismanagement.
“The Debt Transparency Act gives the Governor’s Office, legislators, the media and most importantly the taxpayers of Illinois a much clearer picture of the state’s finances and the amount owed on the state’s unpaid bills,” said DeLuca.
House Bill 3649 is now law, Public Act 100-0552