SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following her swearing in for the 101st General Assembly today, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, issued a statement highlighting her priorities to reduce the tax burden and fight for Metro East’s working families, cut perks for legislators and fight for fair funding for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
“Many working families in the Metro East are being crushed by an immense tax burden, and it isn’t right that families that have been in Illinois for generations feel like they can’t afford to stay here. I will continue my work for property tax reform and expand tax exemptions for seniors, veterans and middle class families. I am also a strong advocate for a fair tax structure because I believe it is time to make millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share and relieve the pressure on the middle class. Middle class families are already paying more than their fair share, which is why I refused to support a Chicago-led state income tax increase.
“As an educator, I have seen firsthand the way that an investment in education is an investment into our future. Unfortunately, the mass teacher shortage in Illinois is lowering the quality of education that children in our state are getting, and I am determined to work with other lawmakers to find a solution that attracts the best and brightest teachers to Illinois schools.
“Ensuring that Southern Illinois University Edwardsville receives the fair funding that it deserves is also a top priority of mine. SIUE has proven to be a bright spot in our state university system and now has an enrollment that outpaces the Carbondale campus. While other Illinois universities struggle with declining enrollment, SIUE thrives. That necessitates further state investment in the educational gem we have in our own backyard – a fair share for SIUE.
“I look forward to returning to Springfield as our voice for the Metro East and representing our families who just want to work hard and get ahead, send their kids to good schools, raise their families in strong communities and feel secure in their retirement. I will work hard to lead serious reforms to lift up our families.”