SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, provided the following statement upon the adjournment of the regular General Assembly session.

“In the era of Trump’s radical extremism, I resisted much of his agenda by pushing policies that do not pick winners and losers or pit the middle class against the wealthy, but instead lift up all of our communities and neighbors,” said Welch. “The middle class is the economic engine of our state, and I will not sit by and watch Rauner and Trump’s plans eradicate the middle class. The two have shown time and time again where their loyalties lie, and it’s not with us.”

“The balanced budget I helped pass today will do more to protect the middle class and most vulnerable, undoing the crippling cuts that Rauner made since becoming governor. Higher education will also receive its fair share in funding so our institutions can focus on attracting more students from across the country and world to come here and learn. $350 million new dollars will go to our colleges and universities, and this is exactly the sort of bipartisan work needed to move Illinois forward. I hope the past three years sunk in to the minds of my House and Senate colleagues, and especially the governor, as a lesson that people should never be second to political ploys and tactics used as negotiating tools. Rather, today should be the standard we use for the future to get our work done and put people first.”

During this year’s session, Welch worked to provide tax relief for the middle class by supporting a new fair tax for Illinois, which asks the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes and would begin to ease the income tax burden on middle-class families. Welch also worked to undue Trump’s middle class tax increase by supporting House Bill 4237 to create a workaround to the new limit on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction. Welch’s proposal creates a new education fund where taxpayers can make contributions to public education and claim critical income tax deductions for their donations.

As Trump doubles down on his anti-immigrant rhetoric, Welch continued his efforts to establish greater protections for immigrants in Illinois and those seeking to come here. Senate Bill 35, the Immigration Safe Zones Act, requires the Attorney General to establish model policies that limit immigration enforcement. Welch’s further efforts to protect immigrants include Senate Bill 3488 to ban the state or state-funded entities from keeping or requiring any forms of registration on immigrants and their families as a registry.

“The assault immigrant families face on a daily basis since Trump has taken office is astounding,” said Welch. “After we enacted the Trust Act last year, Illinois has said ‘no’ to the out-of-touch extremism that Trump is pushing on the country with his hateful tone towards immigrants.”

Welch voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois and add constitutional protections for women to the United States Constitution. Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the amendment and guarantee the same rights of men to women, outlawing any and all forms of gender and sex discrimination.

“This is an issue that should have been ratified back in the seventies, but I am glad to be a part of this fight today and continue the resistance against Trump,” said Welch. “As a father and husband, it is simply unconscionable for me to have more rights than my wife and daughter just because they are women. We live in a new era and everyone should be treated equally before the laws of our country.”

“In Illinois, there is still more work to be done on these issues and so much more. Keeping Illinois on the right track and sound fiscal footing remain a top priority,” said Welch. “I will continue working with my colleagues in the House and my constituents in my communities to make Illinois a better place for everyone.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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