The Legislature will soon be putting together the legislative district maps.
This is a partisan process that allows political parties to draw district boundaries to provide an electoral advantage for one political party over another.
Most Illinois residents would like to see an independent commission draw the district boundaries, but so far nothing has been done about it. I support the Fair Maps proposal to take the partisan politics out of the remapping process. We need fair and independent maps that are based on logical choices for district boundaries rather partisan politics. It is time for our political leaders to stop ignoring the growing calls for an independent remap process.
This week’s newsletter highlights the Governor’s veto of a trial lawyer bill; a rent control bill that has advanced to the House floor and an effort to allow illegal immigrants to qualify for Illinois’s Earned Income Tax Credit.
As always if you have any questions, feel free to email me or call my office at 217-774-1306.
Pritzker vetoes trial lawyer stimulus bill
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has vetoed an 11th hour trial lawyer gift bill that was pushed through during the previous General Assembly.
The legislation (HB 3360) bill would have empowered plaintiffs in all personal injury and wrongful death cases to collect 9% interest per year money awarded in favorable court rulings. The clock on the interest rate would begin when the incident took place. The interest would apply to both economic damages as well as pain and suffering awards.
The 9 percent interest is higher the rates used by other states that have similar interest policies in personal injury cases. Pritzker said the rates were too high and interest should not apply to damages for pain and suffering.
As the Governor was vetoing HB 3360, the Legislature has sent the Governor an alternative version of the bill (SB 72). The new legislation lowers the interest rate to 6 percent. I opposed SB 72, but at least the newer version of the bill is better than the previous version. Senate Bill 72 now moves to the Governor’s desk for further consideration.
Rent control bill advances
The House Committee on Housing this week approved legislation to allow municipalities to impose rent caps on rental properties.
House Bill 116 repeals the state’s Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997 and allows local governments to set limits on what landlords can charge their tenants.
Enacting rent control would set a dangerous precedent. It is not the job of government to set the price of renting a home or an apartment. The market should determine the cost of rent. If House Bill 116 becomes law, it will have a chilling effect on the availability of rental property which will hurt the very people the bill is supposedly trying to protect. It is a short-sighted bill and one I strongly oppose.
Effort underway to allow illegal immigrants to qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit aimed at helping working families.
Illinois has about 908,000 taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. The tax credit ranges from $538 to $6,660 depending on how many children families have. Illinois also has its own version of the Earned Income Tax Credit equal to 18% of their federal credit.
But now efforts are underway in Illinois to allow illegal immigrants to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Institute in Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that as many as 110,000 immigrant households would benefit from this effort.
There is, of course, an easy way for illegal immigrants to be able to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit – go through the proper channels to legally become a U.S. citizen.
If we give away tax credits and provide access to other government assistance programs to illegals without an expectation for those who are here illegally to become citizens; there is no incentive for illegal immigrants to go through the process to become U.S. citizens. We need to incentivize LEGAL immigration to our country, and this is something we cannot accomplish if we continue to provide those here illegally with the same privileges afforded to United States citizens.