The Morrison Memo: July 14, 2017

Rep. Morrison Votes Against $5 Billion Tax Hike
The two-year budget impasse ended on July 6 when members of the House overrode a series of budget-related vetoes by Governor Rauner. Sadly, the already overtaxed citizens of this state will once again have to reach deeper into their pockets to fund the tax-and-spend status quo in our State. While the General Assembly passed a huge income tax increase, lawmakers left Springfield without providing any relief on property taxes, any help for small businesses, and without any reprieve from our crushing pension debt.
For the struggling families in the 54th District, I voted No on the massive income tax increase. People and businesses are leaving Illinois, and I believe the action taken by the General Assembly last week will only encourage more out-migration.
As a result of the successful budget bill overrides, income taxes on Illinois families will increase retroactive to July 1. The $5 billion in new revenue will be collected by increasing the individual income tax rate to 4.95% and the corporate rate to 7%. Click here to access a calculator to determine how much the $5 billion tax increase will cost your family.

Governor Signs Bill that Strengthens Penalties for Repeat Gun Offenders
Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed a landmark criminal justice bill. The bill is a result of successful negotiations between the administration, City of Chicago and the General Assembly that will crack down on criminals who are repeat gun offenders, safely reduce the prison population, and create a more rehabilitative criminal justice system. SB 1722 makes a number of changes to the criminal justice system to improve how we punish and rehabilitate gun offenders, as well as combat gang violence in Illinois. The bill will strengthen sentencing guidelines if they have committed a gun crime before. It also creates a First-Time Weapon Offender Diversion Program to address the underlying reasons why a young adult may have committed the offense. Additionally, the bill will create a Violent Crime Intelligence Task Force within the Illinois State Police. This task force will be dedicated to combatting gun violence and other violent crime in Chicago and around the state. The provisions of SB 1722 take effect in January of 2018.

Procedural Move Keeps HB 40 from Governor’s Desk
HB 40, a bill that would allow for the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for elective abortions, was approved by House and Senate Democrats in April and May, respectively. The typical legislative process states that upon approval in both chambers, a bill has 30 days to be sent to the Governor, and then the Governor has 60 days to take action. On May 10, shortly after the Senate approved the bill, a “motion to reconsider” was placed on the bill, essentially stopping that 30-day clock. As of today, two full months later, the bill has still not been sent to Governor Rauner.

The Governor has vowed to veto this bill, and millions of Illinoisans who oppose taxpayer funding of elective abortions are watching closely to make sure he stays true to his word. The ethics of abortion have been debated across the United States and here in Illinois for decades, and for the last 36 years, the State of Illinois has had the policy that prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, the health or life of the mother.

Back in April when the House was debating HB 40, I was vocal with my opposition to the bill. You can watch my floor comments here.