Week-in-review: January 21-25

Senate Republican Committee assignments were announced for the new 101st General Assembly, warming centers can provide help managing the predicted bitterly cold weather across the state and its tax filing season.

Fowler reappointed as Minority Spokesperson for Commerce and Economic Development Committee

Earlier this week, State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) was named as the Minority Spokesperson for the Commerce and Economic Development Committee in the 101st General Assembly.

“It is a privilege to be able to continue serving as the Minority Spokesperson for the Commerce and Economic Development Committee,” said Sen. Fowler. “I’m honored to have been chosen for this position and look forward to working with my colleagues to promote economic growth and opportunity throughout the state.”

Senator Fowler has served as the Minority Spokesperson for the Commerce and Economic Development Committee since 2016. Fowler will also serve on the Education, Higher Education, Government Accountability and Pensions, Licensed Activities, Insurance and Energy and Public Utilities Committees. 

Fowler hosts traveling office hours

On February 1 and February 11, Sen. Fowler will be hosting traveling office hours for area constituents. Fowler is urging residents to use this as an opportunity to join him for a discussion about the issues that matter most to those in the District.

The first traveling office hours event will be hosted at the McLeansboro City Hall on February 1st from 12-2 p.m.

The second event will be held at the Marion City Hall on February 11 from 12-2 p.m.

Come out, bring your questions and let Senator Fowler hear from you.  

New Legislation Introduced

While the new legislative session has yet to begin in earnest, there are already 75 new legislative measures filed with the Senate, while in the House of Representatives, 484 proposals have been filed for consideration. Over the next several months, the legislation will be heard by dozens of committees – in each chamber – before final votes are taken, most of which occur in May.

New legislation is assigned to committees, based on subject matter. Each committee will hold one or more public hearings, hear testimony – for and against the proposals – before taking an initial vote. Once a proposal wins committee approval, it moves on to the respective chambers for additional debate and approval. The Illinois General Assembly has a detailed explanation of the legislative process on the “How a Bill Becomes a Law” webpage.

Lawmakers return to the State Capitol Jan. 29. Senate Committee hearings are already scheduled.

Warming Centers Provide Relief

Some of the coldest temperatures of the winter season are predicted over the next week in Illinois. Designated warming centers are located throughout Illinois. Warming centers are listed alphabetically, by county, at https://www2.illinois.gov/services/GOV/warming-center.

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, there have been 664 cold-related deaths in Illinois over the last ten years (2008-2017).

Income Tax Filing Begins

Both the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) begin accepting 2018 individual income tax filings on Jan. 28.

Illinois taxpayers can file their Forms IL-1040 for free using the IDOR’s website MyTax.Illinois.gov. Federal income tax filers can use www.irs.gov/freefile to find the IRS Free File software product that matches their situation.

According to IDOR, state taxpayers can use the state website to make payments, check the status of their Illinois Individual Income Tax refunds using the Where’s My Refund? link, and look up their Illinois-Personal Identification Numbers, amounts of any estimated tax payments they have made, and (when necessary) amounts reported on Form1099-G.

More than six million individual Illinois income tax returns were filed in 2018 with 86 percent of them filed electronically. IDOR anticipates direct-deposit refunds will be issued approximately four weeks from the time an “error-free, electronically-filed return” is submitted. The filing deadline to submit 2018 individual state and federal income tax returns is April 15.

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