Human Trafficking Task Force
Last week, I was appointed to the Human Trafficking Task Force by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. This is a crisis that often goes unnoticed, but it is amount modern-day slavery. The work of this task force will allow lawmakers, organizations, and the everyday public the tools to fight traffickers and put an end to their exploitation and abuse.
You can read my announcement here.
FOID Card Delays
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in Firearm Owner Identification card processing and renewals have been an issue. Now, in response to both the pandemic and surging crime rates throughout the state, more and more citizens are opting to apply for a FOID card. I have long held that this requirement is unconstitutional and outdated. Illinois is one of four states that require such an identification. I also hold that the requirement only does more harm than good, allowing the bad guys to get guns and the good guys left hamstrung.
At the request of Republican lawmakers, the Office of the Auditor General is currently examining the FOID card and concealed carry license performance of the Firearms Division within the Illinois State Police.
Based upon the facts already made public, the Auditor General’s findings are expected to be highly negative. The audit is expected to be released next week.
Illinois Named Worst in Taxes
The editors of Kiplinger magazine asked a data team to create a hypothetical married family, defined as a couple with two children, combined wages and income of $80,000, equity in a $300,000 home, and their financial liabilities as family taxpayers.
The resulting economic model placed Illinois at the bottom of the list of 50 states.
Meaning the average middle-class family is worse off in taxes than all 49 other states. Illinois’ 4.95% income tax rate on taxable middle-class income is slightly above average; its 8.83% median state and local sales tax rate on goods and services is the seventh-highest combined sales tax rate in the U.S., and its property tax rate is second only to New Jersey.
To improve the lives of Illinois families, to encourage migration to Illinois, we must start improving our fiscal house. We need to reform and lower taxes across the board to jumpstart our economy. Continuing down this path will only worsen the burden on those who remain.
Illinois South Tourism
Yesterday I was excited to meet with Christine Orr, President Darlene Chapman, Jordan Jackovich, and Andy Waterman of Illinois South Tourism. We are working to spread awareness of events happening and coming to the district. Together, we will be helping our constituents feel more connected as a community.