ROCKFORD, Ill. – During his first legislative session in office, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, pushed for legislation helping middle-class families, businesses, and others recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year I worked to provide economic relief to businesses and working families throughout Illinois, protect our veterans, improve public safety and fight for meaningful ethics reform,” said Vella. “Through a number of pieces of legislation, we made a substantial impact on the lives of all Illinoisans, especially those who have been the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Vella voted for a fiscally responsible budget that prioritized distributing funds to critical services that provides relief to residents and businesses and paying off Illinois’ debt without raising taxes on the middle-class. The budget also cut wasteful and unnecessary spending, putting Illinois on the path towards fiscal stability.
“With so many residents and businesses hurting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that they get substantial relief to help ease the burden they are facing, said Vella. “Not only does the budget help towards that goal, it is also done in a sustainable way that doesn’t shirk our obligations or put our state into further debt.”
Throughout the spring session, Vella has been a fierce advocate for small businesses. He introduced legislation creating tax credits for businesses that create jobs in Illinois. Vella also backed legislation helping businesses circumnavigate the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap, cutting down on their tax bill.
“Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy, and with so many of them struggling to survive due to the economic climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we get them as much relief as possible,” said Vella. “As a small business owner, I know how tough it is to run a business in general, let alone during a global pandemic. I am proud to have supported a number of bills that would provide immediate relief to businesses.”
Vella also worked to provide resources to veterans. He introduced legislation that would waive municipal licenses fees for veteran-owned businesses in addition to supporting legislation ensuring veteran-owned businesses receive their fair share of government contracts.
“When it comes to those who put their lives on the line to keep us safe, it is our responsibility to give back and make sure they are given the opportunities and support they deserve,” said Vella. “Our veterans have shown their dedication to serving their community, and I am proud to have worked on legislation to give them opportunities to serve their community in a way that is both positive for them as well as the community as a whole.”
One of Vella’s top priority in Springfield is to make Illinois government work for the people, not enrich politicians. To show his commitment to that goal, Vella refused a tax-payer funded pension and introduced legislation prohibiting future legislators from receiving a pension. He also introduced a number of ethics reform bills, including legislation that would bar legislators from becoming a lobbyist until 5 years after they leave office.
“For far too long, Springfield has allowed politicians to abuse their positions and line their pockets with taxpayer dollars,” said Vella. “We are sent to Springfield to work for the people, not get rich off of them. This session, we made major strides on a number of important issues that will help make state government work for the people of Illinois. I look forward to meeting with constituents over the next few months to hear their feedback as well as what they would like to see moving forward to address the issues that are important to them.”