District 66 Student Advisory Council Joins Me in Springfield
This last week in Springfield was highlighted by a two day visit by my Student Advisory Council. The District 66 Student Advisory Council is comprised of two upper classmen/women from the five high schools located within the 66thDistrict. The schools include: Crystal Lake South, Crystal Lake Central, Dundee Crown, Huntley and Jacobs High Schools.
The students spent two full days touring the capitol complex and meeting with legislators, research analysts, communication analysts, lobbyists, reporters and with high-level leaders. They spent time on the House and Senate floors and toured the Governor’s Capitol office and the Governor’s mansion. They also visited the Treasurer’s Office and saw the State Vault and visited the Comptroller’s office.
They were in the gallery as the House debated a very important bill that reformed the pension system for two groups of employees from the City of Chicago, witnessed a hearty debate and learned a lot about how differing points of view come together as a bill is discussed.
The group finished their visit on Wednesday with a tour of the old Illinois capitol, where they saw the room where Abraham Lincoln served in the General Assembly of Illinois from 1834-1842.
In an effort to protect Illinois taxpayers and job creators from a Democrat plan to permanently extend the temporary income tax hike of 2011, State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) is joining House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in launching an online petition drive against the extension.
“That tax increase was sold as a temporary measure with a sunset date of December 31, 2014,” said Tryon. “Democrat leaders now want to break the promise they made to taxpayers and the Republican Caucus is going to fight it.”
On January 11, 2011, during a lame duck session of the General Assembly, lawmakers raised the personal income tax by 67% through a four-year measure supporters said would help pay down bills. Not one Republican supported the bill. “That bill was passed in 2011 without any votes from the Republican side of the aisle,” said Tryon. “They approved the increase without our support and if they are going to extend it they are going to do that on their own too. The hard-working taxpayers of Illinois don’t need and can’t afford the permanent extension of this tax.”
As an alternative to raising taxes, House Republicans filed a comprehensive package of pro-jobs bills last month. “We don’t need to raise taxes to increase the revenue base for our state,” said Tryon. “By putting the 570,000 Illinoisans who are currently unemployed back to work, the tax burden can be spread out between more people and each family’s share can be reduced.”
The petition objecting to the permanent extension of the tax can be found at http://www.ilhousegop.org/let_income_tax_increase_expire
The Village of Huntley will soon have Amtrak service as part of a new route between Chicago and Rockford.
According to State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake), the route, which will include stops in Elgin, Huntley and Belvidere, is part of a $223 million state capital investment that will have trains running as soon as next year. “This is very exciting news for the people of Huntley, who will soon have easy access for trips into Chicago,” said Tryon. “We spent a great deal of time working toward a Huntley stop on this route and I’m pleased to see that Governor Quinn is recognizing the value of including Huntley on this new line.”
The route will utilize Metra’s Milwaukee District-West Line and connect to the Union Pacific Railroad near Big Timber Road in Elgin. While initial service will run between Chicago and Rockford, long-term plans are in place to extend the route west to Galena and Dubuque, Iowa.
“Transportation improvements like this will do a great deal to enhance economic development in the Huntley area,” said Tryon. “Combined with the completion of the full interchange at I-90 and Route 47 last year, Huntley is fast-becoming a key business and residential destination in the Northwest suburbs.”
Service is expected to start in 2015 with one daily round-trip from a temporary station in Rockford to Union Station in Chicago.
The project is being done through Governor Quinn’s six-year, $31 billion “Illinois Jobs Now!” campaign to improve infrastructure and bring jobs to Illinois.