VETO Session – More Taxes and SAFE-T Act Mostly Intact
Thursday marked the last day of VETO session. A handful of bills were debated and passed including changes to the unemployment insurance (UI) fund and adjustments to the SAFE-T Act.
The Unemployment Insurance legislation went through an “Agreed Bill” process where both employers and labor worked together on the changes in the statute. The bill will result in a 12% rate hike on job creators over the next five years. It will also require the state to pay back to the federal government the remaining $1.363 billion loan that was borrowed to cover unemployment expenses related to the Governor’s COVID lockdowns. In reality, Illinois has been fiscally derelict while simultaneously handing out election year goodies, being one of only four states that still hasn’t fully repaid its loan.
The SAFE-T Act changes were minor. Important substantive changes related to cashless bail, anonymous complaints on police officers, compelling victims to testify in detention hearings, and lessening penalties for repeat offenders which were in the original bill were not considered.
I spoke on the House floor against the UI bill stating, “Had we done the right thing two years ago and used federal COVID money to pay off the federal loan, taxpayers wouldn’t have paid a penalty of $20 million and employers wouldn’t have paid a penalty of $114 million. We knew this would happen. And now the only solution being pushed is for employers to pay more. Meanwhile, there was no discussion about finding the people who defrauded taxpayers of an estimated $2 billion in unemployment payments and making sure that doesn’t happen again.“
On the SAFE-T Act legislation, “Is it any wonder that we are now dealing with a fourth trailer bill to correct problems from legislation passed in the dark of the night? These changes do nothing to improve the overall effect of the Democrat pro-criminal bill – one of the worst bills in the country. Illinoisans’ personal safety is still at risk. Now, we can only hope that the lawsuit filed by 60 state’s attorneys is successful in finding the SAFE-T Act unconstitutional. And then to further insult law abiding citizens of Illinois, the Democrats introduced a bill to let felons vote while still in jail.”
To book State Representative Caulkins for a post-session Town Hall, please contact his office at 217.876.1968.
End The ‘Consent Calendar’
The Consent Calendar allows the Illinois House leadership to bundle dozens of bills together and pass them with a single roll call vote. The Illinois Freedom Caucus is calling for an end to this. While the list of bills is comprised mostly of ceremonial legislation, more substantive legislation that is included can be easily overlooked, and the process to remove an objectionable bill from the lengthy list is nearly impossible.
Christmas Tree Prices Are Up $20-50 This Year
Multiple factors are contributing to the sticker shock.
“If you buy bread every week and it goes up a nickel a week, you don’t remember what you paid for it a year ago. If you buy one Christmas tree a year, and say ‘last year I paid this.’ Well, you get the whole bite of a year’s worth of inflation in one shot.”
Government unions are a powerful political force in Illinois, but the unions themselves wrote the laws that require them to represent ALL workers.
The Illinois Labor Relations Board recently issued a decision confirming government unions cannot discriminate against nonmembers, and union membership status can play no role in a grievance or disciplinary procedure.
Christmas Lights Road Trip Through Illinois
This website maps out an adventure to get you in a festive spirit and see the best Christmas lights in Illinois! It also has a guide to some of the best winter attractions Illinois has to offer.
We Are Here To Serve You!
As a state representative, my office is available to assist you with any issues you may have when interacting with a state agency. Whether you need help with unemployment claims, getting a FOID card, renewing your drivers license or resolving a tax problem, we are here to serve you.
Oftentimes, some of the best legislation comes from people who see where the law is unworkable or simply unfair.
If you have ideas on how the state of Illinois could improve, let’s sit down and discuss if a legislative fix is needed.
Please call our office at 217.876.1968 to get help or schedule an appointment to see me. The office is located at 715 W Imboden Dr, Decatur.
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