SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – During the normal legislative session, which concluded on Thurs., May 31, state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, pushed legislation to promote government transparency and protect hard working Illinois families from paying unnecessarily to state and local governments. Jones also supported the bipartisan, balanced budget that creates a surplus to pay down the backlog of bills that accrued during Gov. Rauner’s two-year budget crisis, while funding essential services that the state’s most vulnerable citizens rely upon.
“Working families do not have any extra money to pay to a library that does not exist,” Jones said. “The tax payers in Ford Heights deserve access to the benefits of a library, and they deserve to know where every tax dollar goes.”
The Ford Heights Library closed over 20 years ago, and the building is long gone. However, the Ford Heights Library District still exists and collects property tax revenue. Jones is working to determine how those dollars are being spent since there are not any services being provided to the residents. That is why he sponsored House Resolution 843, which calls on the Auditor General to conduct an audit of the Ford Heights Public Library District. The audit will look into how hard-earned tax dollars are being spent and to find ways to improve the value to tax payers. Jones, a native of Ford Heights, wants to ensure that residents are receiving the services that they are paying for.
Also during this legislative session, Jones fought to keep water rates low for working families. Jones was the primary House sponsor of House Bill 5605, which prevents municipalities from price gouging residents for the basic need of water. Jones proposed this legislation in response to excessively high water rates that are being imposed upon residents in his district. Municipalities have a monopoly on resident’s water service, leaving them no choice other than to pay the higher rates or go without water. After speaking with many residents about the issue, Jones introduced the legislation to save residents, especially community seniors, from paying high water rates that are forcing some residents out of their homes.
“Water is one of the most basic necessity of life, and municipalities should not be profiting off of basic human needs,” Jones said. “I am committed to making sure residents are getting what they are paying for and are not being cheated out of their hard-earned money.”
Jones supported the bipartisan, balanced budget that will help restore the services that were lost during Gov. Rauner’s two-year budget crisis. The budget not only cuts wasteful bureaucratic spending, but also provides additional funding for schools, the Community Care Program, domestic violence shelters and affordable child care, all without creating additional taxes.
“I am glad both sides were able to work together to pass a budget that will help fix the damage that Governor Rauner caused by his unwillingness to drop his agenda to bust our unions and cut wages for working families,” said Jones. “His budget crisis tripled our state debt, but, because of the bipartisanship that the General Assembly has demonstrated, we can finally start paying down our old bills while still providing vital services to taxpayers. Our budget also restores LGDF funding and provides $350 million in new school funding, which will help bring down high, local property taxes.”