Budget Update

Senate Grand Bargain Negotiations

Over the past few days, many constituents in my district have received robo-calls from organizations informing them to contact my office to oppose potential tax increases being negotiated in the Senate Grand Bargain proposal. Bipartisan conversations in the Senate are ongoing; however, in the House chamber, we have not achieved similar fluid communication.

Below please find some of the new revenue items being negotiated by the Senate:

  • Broadening of the sales tax is estimated to bring in approximately $149 million in new revenue. This includes taxes on streaming services, satellite, cable, storage, laundry and dry cleaning, landscaping, and maintenance repair of property. 
  • Increases in Personal and Corporate Income taxes. Increasing the Personal Income tax from 3.75% to 4.95% will generate annually $4.4 billion. The Corporate Income Tax would increase from 5.25% to 7% which will annually bring in $514 million. 
  • Individuals making more than $250,000 and joint filers making over $500,000 will lose various state income tax breaks such as the personal exemption, property tax credit, and education expense credit. New revenue gained is expected to be $81 million. 
  • Cap of $1,000 per month on the retailer’s tax rebate will net the state more than $83 million.
There are portions of the Grand Bargain proposal that are pro-taxpayer. Below are a few highlights:
  • Increases the family Education Expense Credit from $500 to $750. 
  • A 50% increase to the Earn Income Tax Credit (EITC) over 5 years. 
  • The revival of the expired Manufacturing Purchase Credit and Graphic Arts Equipment Sales Tax Exemption.
  • Pension reform that would create a new tier for new employees that would be a defined contribution model that would also allow for current employees to voluntarily modify their plan for options.
  • Some Workers Compensation reform that would allow for reductions in costs for employers.
  • 4 year overall property tax freeze. Your actual amount due on your property tax bill would be frozen for 4 years.
  • At this time in the Senate there is a tentative agreement to $3.8 billion in structural spending reductions such as: State Employee Group Health Insurance ($435 million), Medicaid ($400 million), 10% reduction to higher-education institutions ($148 million), 5% spending reduction to state departments and agencies ($100 million) and bonding to IT programs ($94 million).
I am evaluating all of these proposals to see what will be the overall effect on the economy. We obviously need large structural reforms in order to grow our economy. If a final plan has true reforms to fix Illinois then perhaps a temporary income tax would make sense. We will need real reforms, though.

There will be many conversations and sadly rumors occurring over the next two weeks as the House and Senate attempt to pass a balanced and affordable budget for taxpayers. To keep up to date on those conversations I encourage you to join me and Rep. Steve Reick for a live tele-town hall from Springfield on Thursday, May 25th at 6:30 pm. Next week there will be a call going out to constituents in both our districts encouraging your participation.

Summer Reading Programs

Rep. Sosnowski’s to the Library and Beyond Summer Reading Program – For Kindergarten through 6th Graders

It is important to keep kids minds sharp during the summer. One of the best ways to do this is to encourage reading. Participants are allowed to choose their own books and are asked to complete and return a list of books read before attending the ice-cream party. Click here for a copy of the brochure and program.
North Suburban Library District Summer Reading Club for all ages!

The 2017 theme is: READING by Design. Programs are available for children, teens and adults. May 30th is the start date to sign up, obtain your reading log, and begin earning rewards. For program details, inquire at the Children or Reference Services desk at either library location. Fun events and special performers are also planned for all ages. For more information visit NSLD website here

Rep. Sosnowski’s 2017 Kids Health & Safety Fair

This year’s Kid’s Health & Safety Fair is scheduled for Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 11 am to 2 pm. At Rockford Christian Schools, 1401 North Bell School Road in Rockford.
There will be over 50 health and safety booths from local organizations, businesses and government agencies dedicated to keeping kids safe and healthy. Some of the attractions include bouncy houses, a petting zoo, free diabetes screenings, and emergency vehicles.

Pictures from last years event can be found here. If your business or organization would like to be a vendor at the event or if you have any questions please feel free to contact my district office at (815) 547-3436.


As always, if you have any questions or comments about the topics discussed in this newsletter, or any other part of state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (815) 547-3436 or email me at sosnowski@ilhousegop.org.


Joe Sosnowski
State Representative
69th District