SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, issued the following statement regarding the end of this spring’s legislative session in Springfield:
“After witnessing the devastating effects of a budget impasse, I am encouraged that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were willing to come together and pass a balanced, bipartisan budget that funds our schools, public safety, senior services and other essential items. The spending plan I supported eliminates government waste, and ensures that our state is paying its bills.
“I am appreciative of efforts this spring to work together and address the issues facing our state’s residents, including efforts to bring real tax relief to working families in Illinois. I supported bills to increase the maximum income limit for the senior property tax freeze and introduced legislation to increase the senior and general homestead property tax exemptions. I also supported Senate Bill 1437, a bill that blocks a tax increase on working men and women by extending a standard income tax exemption that is set to expire at the end of this fiscal year and voted for House Resolution 1025 to urge Illinois legislators to implement a fair income tax structure that would cut taxes for middle-class families.
“To further ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent on critical state services and not used to pay politicians without a balanced budget in place, I sponsored a bill to block lawmakers’ pay in the case of another budget impasse. If legislators can’t do their job to pass a state budget, then we shouldn’t get paid.
“In addition, we’ve taken major steps towards women’s equality and cracked down on sexual harassment. The General Assembly created the Illinois Council on Women and Girls to advise the governor and legislators on policies that impact women and girls and adopted a resolution to urge those in government to commit to working to change the culture that breeds sexual harassment. I also voted for the Equal Pay Act, which would prohibit employers from requiring women to disclose their salary history and help close the wage gap between men and women.
“Illinois also became the 37th out of 38 states needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Its bipartisan passage here shows our state’s commitment to treating everyone fairly, regardless of who they are.
“To further protect our families, the House passed a measure to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who suffer from severe mental illness and who may pose a threat to themselves or others. Additionally, we passed commonsense licensing requirements for gun dealers aimed at curbing the mass shootings that we too often see in the headlines.
“I am proud of the bipartisan work we’ve done in Springfield this year and am optimistic that compromises like these will continue. We still have a number of challenges that face our state, but by working together, the General Assembly can accomplish real, meaningful change for the people of Illinois.”