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In response to the recent signing of HB 40, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) has joined a group of bipartisan lawmakers who want to roll back provisions that would allow for taxpayer-funded elective abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients.

This week Morrison signed on as a co-sponsor of HB 4114, which would create the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” The bill would reverse key provisions of HB 40 by prohibiting units of government from using taxpayer funds for elective abortions. “When HB 40 was signed, it put Illinois taxpayers on the hook to pay for an open-ended number of abortions each year,” said Morrison. “It is unconscionable to force pro-life residents to fund the taking of innocent life that harms the individuals involved as well as society as a whole. Furthermore, the state is in no position to absorb another tens of millions in Medicaid costs.”

HB 4114 is modeled after the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions, other than for procedures sought in connection with pregnancies that result from rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. “This new bill is seeking to put Illinois back in line with longstanding federal statutes on this issue,” Morrison added. “HB 4114 recognizes the federal exceptions and respects them.”

Identical legislation was also filed in the Senate this week as SB 2241, and the sponsors and co-sponsors of both bills will be pressing for full debate and floor votes on the bills during the upcoming fall veto session, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, October 24 in Springfield.
Today the Cook County Board’s Finance Committee voted to recommend a full repeal of the once cent per ounce sweetened beverage tax that was enacted just a few months ago. In response to the committee vote today, Suburban Cook County State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) has issued the following statement:

“The public outcry against this tax began the day it was approved and only grew in intensity. Taxpayers are tired of continually being asked to pay more taxes and today their voices were heard. Presuming the full Cook County Board votes tomorrow to repeal the tax, as of December 1 Cook County residents will no longer be penalized for purchasing sweetened beverages.

“I recently surveyed my constituents in the 54th Legislative House District, and of the 269 individuals who responded to the survey, all but two expressed their strong opposition to the Cook County sweetened beverage tax. It was a clear indication that taxpayers are tired of tax increases. They want us to fix our fiscal problems without raising additional taxes.

“Once that tax was implemented, people didn’t just shop for their soda and other sweetened beverages in other counties, they took all of the shopping money to other counties. Sales tax revenue that would have traditionally come to Cook County through the regular purchase of groceries and other items was being sent to surrounding counties. The tax was a failure on many levels.”
Nearly every respondent to a recent survey offered by State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) about the Cook County sweetened beverage tax has expressed their opposition to the new tax.

Morrison has been a vocal opponent to the tax and recently offered his constituents an opportunity to participate in a survey to gauge the popularity of the sweetened beverage tax. “People are very unhappy about this latest attempt by Cook County to take additional money out of the pockets of people who live there,” said Morrison. “I had 269 responses to my survey, and all but two expressed their opposition to the tax. It’s an overwhelming mandate that the tax be repealed.”

According to Morrison, Cook County Commissioners have felt mounting pressure since the implementation of the tax a few months ago, and it appears many who originally supported the tax are now responding to the public pressure to repeal it. “The Cook County Board Finance Committee is voting today to recommend the repeal of the tax and the full board could take final action to repeal it as soon as Wednesday, October 11,” Morrison said. “A full repeal is the appropriate course of action and would result in the removal of the one cent per ounce tax on sweetened beverages as of December 1 of this year.”
Governor Bruce Rauner today signed legislation (HB 40) allowing for state funding of all abortions regardless of the reason, a move State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) calls unconscionable and the ultimate betrayal of trust of the majority of Illinois citizens who oppose the destruction of unborn children at taxpayers expense.

“Governor Bruce Rauner gave us his word in the Spring that he would veto this legislation if it were sent to him,” Morrison said. “In the last several weeks, as he indicated a reconsideration of that position, Republican legislators and allies offered to accept an Amendatory Veto, but he rejected those ideas. If this legislation is really about the right to choose – then what about my constituents who deserve to have the right to choose not to have their tax dollars used to fund the killing of unborn children? This is a tragic day for Illinois.”

Federal Law as written in the Hyde Amendment clearly prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Illinois law only allows taxpayer funding for abortions in the event the life or the health of the mother is threatened or the mother is raped. House Bill 40 changes all of this and allows taxpayer funding of abortion services for ANY reason.

“There is no reason for taxpayers to have to pay for abortions regardless of the reasons the abortion is being performed,” Morrison said. “I condemn the Governor’s actions today in the strongest possible terms.”
This week on the Morrison Report, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) provides an update on the status of HB 40, a measure that would dramatically increase taxpayer-funded abortions in Illinois. The bill was approved in the House and Senate, but a political maneuver resulted in the bill being held rather than being sent to the Governor.

Eventually HB 40 will arrive on the Governor's desk, and Morrison is asking those who do not think taxpayers should be forced to pay for elective abortions to contact the Governor's Office and ask him to veto the bill.

Click here to watch the video, and click here to let Governor Rauner know he should veto HB 40.