Week-in-Review: April 16-20, 2018

During last week’s scheduled session State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) joined with his Senate Republican colleagues to sponsor Senate Resolution 1590, a measure opposing the implementation of a graduate income tax system. 

“A graduated income tax would only drive out businesses and add to the burdens already placed on Illinois’ middle class,” said Sen. Fowler. “Enough is enough. We should be discussing how to protect our taxpayers, not working to pass an unpredictable tax system which would hurt employers and possibly take more from the pockets of our taxpayers.”

Currently, Illinois’ flat-tax system levies one percentage for all earners. A graduated tax system levies multiple rates for different income levels, which is often seen as a policy that discourages advancement and growth.

Senate Resolution 1590 takes into consideration the importance of stability that a flat-tax system provides to employers and individuals, having been noted as one of the few reasons for employers to add jobs in Illinois. If a graduated income tax is further pursued, the Illinois Constitution would have to be changed. Senate Republicans noted that once the Constitution is amended, lawmakers would then be able to set the various rates and tiers at whatever they wanted.

Senator Fowler also took a stand against partisan gerrymandering last week, signing on as a co-sponsor to SJRCA0026. The resolution proposes the implementation of an independent commission to take over the process of more fairly drawing legislative maps for Illinois, removing lawmakers from the equation and giving the authority to a 16-member, bipartisan panel.

“By allowing partisanship to control legislative district maps, we are unfairly empowering politicians to essentially choose who they represent,” said Sen. Fowler. “We should no longer allow the voice of our voters to be overshadowed by partisan politics. We should work together and pass redistricting reform that creates fair and representative districts here in Illinois.”

Also happening last week, Sen. Fowler joined Southern Illinois University for their System Day at the State Capitol on April 18. The school sent representatives to the State House to show lawmakers what is being done and accomplished on their campuses, including innovative research, community service programs and exceptional teaching.

Other visitors to the Capitol last week included high school juniors and seniors from downstate Illinois, participating in the annual “Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day” sponsored by the Electric and Telephone Cooperatives of Illinois. Sen. Fowler welcomed students from Wayne-White, Southern Illinois and Southeastern Illinois Electric Cooperatives to the Senate floor. The day was dedicated to giving future leaders the opportunity to visit with their lawmakers, learn how government works and the importance of getting involved in their communities.

In other news, recently announced was the opening of the Illinois Department of Corrections second Life-Skills Re-Entry Center. The Murphysboro-facility was designed to teach offenders the skills needed to readjust to society upon their release, working to reduce recidivism and offer inmates a better shot at leading a successful life. Offenders who have one to four years left on their sentence qualify for placement at the Life-Skills Re-entry Centers.

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