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The day after the House of Representatives overrode vetoes issued by Governor Bruce Rauner on budget-related bills, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) was interviewed by Greg Corombus, host of a nationally syndicated news program on Radio America. During the ten-minute interview Rep. Morrison discussed his No vote on the tax increase and spending plan for Fiscal Year 2018, and also talked about how he feels Illinois is headed in the wrong direction. “Illinois is going in the wrong direction, in the sense that we are increasing taxes rather than making the state friendlier to taxpayers,” said Morrison. You can listen to that full interview here.
Rep. Morrison Votes Against $5 Billion Tax Hike
The two-year budget impasse ended on July 6 when members of the House overrode a series of budget-related vetoes by Governor Rauner. Sadly, the already overtaxed citizens of this state will once again have to reach deeper into their pockets to fund the tax-and-spend status quo in our State. While the General Assembly passed a huge income tax increase, lawmakers left Springfield without providing any relief on property taxes, any help for small businesses, and without any reprieve from our crushing pension debt. 

For the struggling families in the 54th District, I voted No on the massive income tax increase. People and businesses are leaving Illinois, and I believe the action taken by the General Assembly last week will only encourage more out-migration.

As a result of the successful budget bill overrides, income taxes on Illinois families will increase retroactive to July 1. The $5 billion in new revenue will be collected by increasing the individual income tax rate to 4.95% and the corporate rate to 7%. Click here to access a calculator to determine how much the $5 billion tax increase will cost your family.

Governor Signs Bill that Strengthens Penalties for Repeat Gun Offenders
Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed a landmark criminal justice bill. The bill is a result of successful negotiations between the administration, City of Chicago and the General Assembly that will crack down on criminals who are repeat gun offenders, safely reduce the prison population, and create a more rehabilitative criminal justice system. SB 1722 makes a number of changes to the criminal justice system to improve how we punish and rehabilitate gun offenders, as well as combat gang violence in Illinois. The bill will strengthen sentencing guidelines if they have committed a gun crime before. It also creates a First-Time Weapon Offender Diversion Program to address the underlying reasons why a young adult may have committed the offense. Additionally, the bill will create a Violent Crime Intelligence Task Force within the Illinois State Police. This task force will be dedicated to combatting gun violence and other violent crime in Chicago and around the state. The provisions of SB 1722 take effect in January of 2018.

Procedural Move Keeps HB 40 from Governor’s Desk
HB 40, a bill that would allow for the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for elective abortions, was approved by House and Senate Democrats in April and May, respectively. The typical legislative process states that upon approval in both chambers, a bill has 30 days to be sent to the Governor, and then the Governor has 60 days to take action. On May 10, shortly after the Senate approved the bill, a “motion to reconsider” was placed on the bill, essentially stopping that 30-day clock. As of today, two full months later, the bill has still not been sent to Governor Rauner.

The Governor has vowed to veto this bill, and millions of Illinoisans who oppose taxpayer funding of elective abortions are watching closely to make sure he stays true to his word. The ethics of abortion have been debated across the United States and here in Illinois for decades, and for the last 36 years, the State of Illinois has had the policy that prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, the health or life of the mother.

Back in April when the House was debating HB 40, I was vocal with my opposition to the bill. You can watch my floor comments here.
Today in Springfield, members of the House of Representatives approved revenue and spending packages that aim to end the budget impasse. SB06 (spending) was approved by a 81-34 vote and SB 09 (revenue) by a 72-45 vote. In response to the action on the House Floor today, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine), who voted against both bills, has issued the following statement:

“I am disappointed that negations did not continue because the bills brought to the floor of the House today were not the result of true give-and-take. By approving a large tax increase without fundamentally reforming Illinois policies that are driving businesses and taxpayers out of the state, we are not moving our state forward.”

“Illinois has the worst combined tax burden in the United States, yet rather that providing Illinoisans with real relief, today lawmakers chose to deepen that tax burden. Every one of us knows a family or a business that has moved out of this state because they could simply no longer afford to live or operate a business here. My constituents are desperate for tax relief, but today’s votes will only add to the outmigration of residents and businesses from our state.”
This week in Springfield, lawmakers remained in special session with hopes of coming to agreement on a balanced budget with reforms before the end of the fiscal year at midnight on June 30. In this edition of the Morrison Report, Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) is joined by State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), who spoke about the nonsense votes that are taking place in lieu of sincere discussions about a balanced budget with necessary reforms that protect taxpayers.

Click here to watch the full video.
During the final week of the spring legislative session in Springfield, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) sat down with Paul Lisnek of WTTW television to discuss legislation he passed this year that ensure drivers of electric or hybrid cars are paying their fair share to help maintain Illinois roads.

Click here to watch the Comcast Newsmaker interview.
This week State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) joined State Representatives David McSweeney (R- Barrington Hills), Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) and Ron Martwick (D-Chicago) on Chicago Tonight to discuss the ongoing budget impasse and how rank and file lawmakers might come together to create a compromise budget.

Click here to watch the Chicago Tonight interview.
The end of the 2017 regular legislative session came and went on Wednesday, May 31 with no agreement on a balanced budget. We remained on the floor of the House until late in the evening, hopeful that bipartisanship and reason would prevail. But as the night progressed, similar to the days that led up to May 31, most of the bills brought to us for votes were politically-motivated bills that had nothing at all to do with moving our state forward. After session was recessed to the call of the chair, Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) spoke on camera about his disappointment in the failure of the legislature to send a balanced budget to the Governor. You can watch that interview here.