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State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), along with his House Republican colleagues recently co-sponsored House Resolution 975 to state their opposition to a proposed progressive income tax on Illinois residents. The Resolution was introduced by Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).

“More taxes will not solve Illinois’ spending problem,” said Rep. Meier. “People are leaving our state as a result of having the highest tax burden in the country. We need to do more with less while growing our economy. More jobs, spending less, and no more taxes is the common sense approach my colleagues in the legislature should follow.”

Illinois already has the highest effective state and local tax burden in the nation, according to a report by WalletHub. Studies have shown that states with progressive income taxes create even more of a tax burden on the middle class and dissuade economic prosperity.

According to House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, “The General Assembly cannot continue spending money frivolously and expect Illinois taxpayers to pick up the tab with more tax increases like this progressive income tax proposal from the Democrat party. It is our constitutional duty to protect our constituents, and we will remain firm as a caucus on blocking any progressive tax measures.”

The Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee voted down legislation to allow non-resident active duty members and their spouse living in Illinois from obtaining a concealed carry license. The legislation sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) would be helpful to service members and their families, particularly stationed at Scott Air Force Base.

“I have been pushing for this bill ever since ISIS put out their hit list on our current and former service members,” said Rep. Meier. “Our veterans put their lives at risk to protect our freedom, it’s common sense that we allow them to protect themselves and their family when they are in public.”

House Bill 4177 creates an exemption for non-resident active duty members of the Armed Forces or their spouses to apply for concealed carry licenses.  Provides that whether or not the laws of the state where the non-resident resides are substantially similar to Illinois, the Illinois State Police shall allow by rule a non-resident license application if the applicant is an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in this State or the spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in this State.

Rep. Meier added, “I won’t give up trying to make this bill become law – we owe it to our veterans. This bill has bipartisan support, it even passed the Illinois Senate last year. It’s a common sense bill to help those who protect us by offering them their Constitutional right to protect themselves and their families from danger.”

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) wants the public to know that funding has been secured to repair the Baumann road bridge over I-70. The bridge has been an inconvenience to many local residents, resulting in emergency personnel and school buses having to take alternate routes.

“I am thrilled to announce the Baumann road bridge will be repaired,” said Rep. Meier. “I know it can’t happen soon enough for residents in Pierron. The closure has resulted in longer trips for everyone that relies on taking the bridge over I-70. I am glad I was able to get this project on the books and scheduled for completion this year.”

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the state is preparing plans to replace the bridge deck on Baumann Road over I-70 in Bond and Madison Counties. The project will be let for bids this spring and, weather permitting, it is anticipated construction will be completed by this fall.

The view additional road and bridge projects scheduled for completion for Fiscal Years 2018-2023 in Illinois House District 108 click here.

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) sponsored legislation to alleviate concerns brought forth by local dairy farmers. In Illinois, dairy farms are getting hit with lower grades simply because an inspection report from the Division of Food, Drugs, and Dairy (FDD) is not clearly posted when health inspectors arrive at the farm. This has been an issue since the FDD changed the way they handle inspections last fall. For decades dairy farm inspectors would leave a copy of their inspection report for dairy farmers to keep in hand, but not since last fall.
According to State Representative Charlie Meier, “the problem isn’t that dairy farms are not passing inspections, they are receiving the highest inspection grade for their milk – Grade A. However if their Grade A inspection report isn’t clearly posted when an inspector randomly shows up again and the inspector sees something minor he/or she doesn’t like, the dairy farm oftentimes receives a lower grade for their milk, even though their milk is still Grade A.”
The legislation (HB 4428) sponsored by Rep. Meier would allow dairy farms without access to computers or printers to hold a copy of the inspection report, which can eliminate needless inspection point deductions to a dairy farm. Rep. Meier’s legislation provides that the Department of Public Health or a unit of local government electing to administer and enforce the Act shall provide a dairy farm with a paper copy of the dairy farm's inspection report. 
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) honored the Bartelso Elementary School varsity boys basketball team on Tuesday, February 27th at the Illinois Capitol. The boys basketball team appeared before the House of Representatives and were recognized for winning the 2018 Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association (SIJHSAA) Class S State Championship. Rep. Meier introduced House Resolution 856 to recognize the accomplishments made by the Bartelso Braves and congratulated them on their victory during House Session and the Resolution was unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives.

“I was proud to welcome the Bartelso boys basketball team at the Capitol,” said Rep. Meier. “When I found out they won the state championship, I wanted to meet this historic team and congratulate them. The Bartelso boys accomplishments this season is something they should cherish forever. A perfect season doesn’t happen too often, that is something very special. I enjoyed having the team visit the state capitol and to take the time to meet with me, I wish them success in their future.”

The Braves defeated Carrier Mills by a score of 57-46 at the championship game at Rend Lake College on February 10, 2018, finishing the season with a perfect record of 32-0. They are the only boys basketball team in the history of Bartelso Elementary School to go undefeated, and they are the first boys basketball team from Bartelso to place in the State Championship Tournament.

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) filed legislation to address issues and prevent farmland problems stemming from the development of commercial solar energy projects. Rep. Meier anticipates his proposal will help create more solar energy jobs in the state.

“These commercial solar projects are coming in quickly and creating a lot of jobs,” said Rep. Meier. “Everything is different in their contracts. Establishing a uniform standard for commercial solar projects will help provide some standards for landowners and help make sure there is financial protection for decommissioning the projects. We want to make sure this is done right while protecting Illinois’ number one industry, agriculture.”

The legislation proposes requiring commercial solar energy developers to enter into an agricultural impact mitigation agreement (AIMA) with the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). The goal is to protect landowners and assure land impacted by construction and deconstruction be properly restored. The legislation (HB 4651) is supported by the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB).

Meier estimated 57 solar development companies are working in 64 counties.
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) is hosting a farmland assessment meeting to discuss increasing property assessments.  The meeting will be held at Windows on Broadway, 401 Broadway, Highland, IL tomorrow February 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Due, in part, to a change in the Farmland Assessment Act, all farmland assessments will continue to go up.  The rate of increase will be largely dependent on the soil type.  Poorer soils can expect to see a higher than 10% increase while better producing soils can expect an increase of less than 10%.   This increase in assessed values will be reflected on the property tax bills payable in 2018 and for several years to come.

Representative Meier has invited Brenda Matherly, Assistant Director of Local Government with Illinois Farm Bureau®, to join him at this event and meet with landowners to explain how farmland assessments are calculated and the long-term impact on those values.

If anyone has a question about Thursday night’s meeting, please call Representative Meier’s District Office at 618-651-0405.