Lawmakers look to lift the ban on nuclear energy permits
Illinois lawmakers worked to lift the 36-year-old ban on new nuclear energy construction permits this spring, with Senate Bill 76 receiving bipartisan support and headed to the Governor. I co-sponsored the bill in the House.
Since 1987, Illinois has prohibited new nuclear construction. However, Illinois remains a nuclear power with 11 current operating reactors, the most of any state.
Due to a continued ‘War on Coal’ by many Illinois Democratic lawmakers, all investor-owned coal plants must close by 2030 and coal-fired power plants owned by municipalities must reach zero emissions or shutter by 2045. With the demand for electricity continuing to rise and nearly seven gigawatts of coal capacity being pulled off the grid in the next eight years, the General Assembly acted to help ensure the ability to produce sufficient energy safely and efficiently. While this does not do much about the threat of rolling brownouts nor address immediate energy deficits, it is a step toward ensuring future baseload capacity for residents and job creators.
Estate Tax puts the future of family farms at risk
House Republicans have made continuous efforts to reduce or eliminate the burdensome ‘Estate Tax,’ known also as the ‘Death Tax,’ with more than a half-dozen bills introduced in the spring 2023 legislative session. Despite Gov. JB Pritzker stating that reducing the estate tax was one of his ‘shared priorities,’ Democrats prevented action on the bills before final adjournment in May.
The tax falls with the greatest weight on property that cannot be moved out of state; this includes houses, small businesses and farmland. The threat for family farms and small businesses to either shutter or leave the state due to estate tax is real. Several states that border Illinois, such as Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin, do not charge an estate or inheritance tax; and Iowa’s is being phased out.
Supporting family farms means we are promoting vibrant rural communities, protecting the environment, preserving cultural heritage, and ensuring access to high-quality, locally-produced food. My House Republican colleagues and I will continue to work to pass legislation to completely repeal the destructive “death tax” here in Illinois.
Let’s Reinvest in Kids-Sign the Petition!
This week I took another step to prevent the loss of Illinois’ Invest in Kids Scholarship Program at the end of the year. I launched a “Reinvest in Kids” petition drive to make sure Democrat legislative leaders and the Governor understand that all families deserve access to school choice. You can add your name to the petition at repfrese.com.
The Invest in Kids program is a State-backed scholarship program for children, including at-risk children and children from disadvantaged households, to gain the opportunity to attend a private school. It offers a 75 percent income tax credit to individuals and businesses that contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs). Since 2017, $330 million in private funding has been contributed to provide school choice scholarships for deserving students across the state.
Lawmakers will need to act during our fall veto session to save this scholarship program; and we need to send a strong message to Speaker Welch, Senate President Harmon, and to Governor Pritzker that our children must not be denied the same educational opportunities they themselves have chosen for their own children. Let’s Reinvest in Kids!
Tentative agreement reached between Pritzker Administration and AFSCME
Details of the deal announced this week were not immediately made public. However, the contract negotiations encompass pay, retirement, health care, and other benefits for the State of Illinois’ AFSCME workers. AFSCME represents approximately 35,000 state workers.
Around the District
Thanks to everyone who assisted with the Illinois Department of Public Health visit this week to the Adams County Health Department! Pictured here are IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra, Adams County Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch, wonderful ACHD employees, and our own Sen. Jil Tracy.