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When the previous fiscal year ended on June 30, 2018, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) returned $16,621 of unused district office funds to the State of Illinois.

Each year, every legislator is provided with approximately $69,500 for use in running a local legislative office. Salaries for employees, rent, utilities, computer equipment, office supplies and travel for official business is purchased with these funds.

“This is one way I can lead by example,” said Morrison. “I am frugal with my district office spending and always try to return between 10% and 20% of my local allotment back to the State. This year I was able to return almost 24%.”

Morrison said he uses paper and official postage only when necessary and relies heavily on electronic communication with his constituents. To promote local community outreach events or to discuss legislative issues with residents who contact the office, he relies heavily on email, the Internet, and local media, which is free of charge. For committee meetings in Chicago, he uses public transit to save on driving and parking costs. “Every penny adds up, and if all 177 House and Senate offices could reduce their local spending by at least 10%, we would be setting a great example for how state spending could be reduced.”

This recent return of funds marks the 8th consecutive year that Morrison has returned money at the end of the fiscal year.
State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) is hoping that putting a sunset date on the current law that allows Illinois to collect property taxes will prompt property tax reform in Illinois.

On Wednesday, Morrison joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in filing HB 5924, which would repeal the existing property tax code on July 1, 2019.

“Illinoisans are desperate for property tax relief, but the General Assembly has failed to act,” said Morrison. “I hear often from constituents who complain that the taxes are causing them to consider leaving Illinois. We cannot wait any longer to address this most critical issue.”

Durkin unveiled HB 5924 on Wednesday during a speech at the City Club of Chicago, and said his legislation creating a sunset date for the current property tax code should start the process of fixing the state’s broken property tax system. He pointed to the establishment of a deadline for school funding reform and budget negotiations as successful examples of how firm deadlines prompted legislative action.

“I am pleased to be a chief co-sponsor of this legislation,” said Morrison. “Hopefully, with a deadline looming, talks can begin in earnest about restructuring our system of taxation in a way that is more equitable and fair.”

Morrison said he hopes the bill will move through the General Assembly during veto session.
State Representative Tom Morrison (R-54) announced today that almost $69 million of an $11.05 billion statewide road and bridge improvement program will be spent on projects in the 54th Legislative House District. The projects were announced recently as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) six-year Proposed Highway Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2019-2024.

“I am thrilled to see so many beneficial projects coming to the 54th District over the next six years,” said Morrison. “Keeping our infrastructure in good condition not only provides safety to our residents, but it also helps the economy thrive by providing good-paying jobs to Illinois’ work force.”

District 54 projects included in IDOT's six-year program include:
  • $700,000 for crack and joint sealing on US 12, IL 53 and Rand Road, from Ela Road to IL 58 in Deer Park, Lake Zurich, Kildeer, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Prospect Heights, Mount Prospect and Des Plaines 
  • $1,460,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on US 14 from Main Street/Lake Cook Road to Ela Road in Inverness and Barrington 
  • $3,040,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on US 14 from Ela Road to Hicks Road in Palatine and Inverness 
  • $35,720,000 for bridge rehabilitation on IL 53 from south of US 12 to IL 62 in Arlington Heights 
  • $10,222,000 for engineering for improvements to IL 53 from south of US 12 to IL 62 in Arlington Heights 
  • $780,000 for culvert replacement and drainage improvements on IL 68 from the east branch of Salt Creek near Quentin Road in Palatine 
  • $1,300,000 for resurfacing on Barrington Road from IL 59 to IL 62 in Inverness, Barrington Hills and Barrington 
  • $1,100,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on Hicks Road south of US 14 to Kirchoff Road in Palatine and Rolling Meadows 
  • $395,000 for resurfacing on IL 53 from US 12 to Anderson Drive in Palatine 
  • $1,500,000 for resurfacing, ADA improvements and a railroad flagger on Main Street between Hart Road and Ela Road in Barrington Hills, Barrington and Deer Park 
  • $665,000 for resurfacing and ADA Improvements on Meacham Road from Emerson Avenue to IL 62 in Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg 
  • $2,260,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on Palatine Road between IL 62 to east of Roselle Road in Barrington Hills, South Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Inverness and Palatine 
  • $7,650 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on Palatine Road from US 14 to Sanders Road in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Prospect Heights and Wheeling 
  • $1,000,000 for culvert replacement on Palatine Road at Salt Creek south of Winston Drive in Palatine 
  • $370,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on Palatine Road and South Frontage Road from North Verde Avenue to Palatine Road in Arlington Heights 
  • $800,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on Palatine Road/North Frontage Road from Williams Drive to Alison Drive in Palatine 
Based on current funding levels, the FY 2019-2024 Proposed Highway Improvement Program aims to improve a total of 1,945 miles of road and 525 bridges maintained by the State. The multi-year program also includes funding for upgrades to more than 750 miles of local roads and 922,933 square feet of local bridges.

Upon announcing the statewide infrastructure plan, Governor Bruce Rauner said, “Illinois is a transportation hub for the nation, facilitating commerce from coast to coast. By investing in that infrastructure and regularly repairing and upgrading our roads, we preserve a vital resource that brings jobs and economic opportunity to our state, and ensures roads are safe for Illinois families.”
On May 31, lawmakers approved a $38.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Rep. Tom Morrison voted against the budget and explained his vote in this edition of the Morrison Report.
Illinois lawmakers sent a $38.5 billion budget package to Governor Bruce Rauner today. After the House of Representatives’ 97-18 vote of approval, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) issued the following statement:

“I was disappointed that this year’s budget process did not begin with an agreed revenue estimate, which is required by law and our state’s Constitution. That critical first step of the process was ignored by the majority party, and it calls into question whether or not this budget is truly balanced.”

“I appreciate the bipartisanship that was shown during this year’s budget process, but I simply cannot put a vote behind a measure that channels taxpayer funds toward elective abortions of healthy babies. Data suggests that through this new policy the state’s taxpayers, many who have strong pro-life convictions, will be stuck paying for anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 abortions in Fiscal Year 2019. This is the wrong path for Illinois.”

“There are issues that must be addressed if we are ever going to regain solid financial footing in this state. This budget fails to offer reforms our state needs to make us competitive, no changes to our workers compensation system and no new policies to provide desperately-needed property tax relief. It does nothing to address the nearly $7 billion backlog of unpaid bills and also falls short on serious, long-term changes to our state’s pension systems.”
On Wednesday, members of the House of Representative approved SJRCA04, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by a narrow margin. With the House approval yesterday, Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the ERA. During the debate, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine), spoke about current laws on the books that provide female-friendly provisions that could be wiped away if the ERA were fully enacted.