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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker presented his first budget address to members of the House and Senate today, including a proposal to increase income taxes to generate more revenue for state government. State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) released the following statement:

“Governor Pritzker’s budget and income tax proposal will not solve Illinois’ fiscal crisis. His proposal unfortunately is not balanced. The governor’s budget banks on more taxes, more spending and more borrowing. Borrowing more money does not balance the budget nor does it solve our problems. As proposed, this budget includes borrowing $878 million from our already underfunded pension system which will add billions to our state debt in the long run.

Illinois has a spending problem that won’t be cured with more borrowing and higher taxes. I respectfully disagree with Governor Pritzker’s budget and tax hike proposal, I hope he will work with both sides of the aisle in order to reach a bipartisan agreement on a budget that is balanced without more taxes.”
A bill to increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 an hour heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature to become law. The House of Representatives approved the wage hike under Senate Bill 1 this afternoon by a vote of 69-47-1. State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) spoke against the bill on the House floor and released the following statement:
“This wage increase will not only be harmful to small businesses; SIUe, local governments, and daycare providers, an increase in the minimum wage will hurt Illinois’ agricultural industry. The small family farms will suffer the worst with the organic farms, orchards, vineyards, wineries, and the livestock industry being hit the hardest of all. This is another Illinois law that will yet again put our region at a disadvantage with our neighbor across the river in Missouri. Today NASA announced the martian rover named Opportunity no longer exists, I’m afraid this new law will mean opportunity is over in Illinois.”
Join State Representative Charlie Meier, Representative Blaine Wilhour, and Senator Jason Plummer for a Town Hall Meeting to learn more about legislation pending in the Illinois General Assembly such as gun control, taxes, legalization of marijuana, job creation, and other important issues facing the State of Illinois. The Town Hall is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, February 21, 7:00 p.m. at Kaskaskia College (Lifelong Learning Center) located at 27210 College Rd. in Centralia.

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) recently voted against the passage of Speaker Madigan’s anti-democratic House rules, the rules enable Madigan to control the destiny of every bill considered in the House of Representatives. As an alternative, Rep. Meier co-sponsored legislation to reform Madigan’s House rules in order to bring more transparency and fairness to the legislative process.

“Every year the legislature files hundreds of bills that potentially could become law, and a bill won’t receive a vote unless Speaker Madigan offers his blessing,” said Rep. Meier. The Speaker of House is a very powerful position, the Speaker controls the destiny of every bill that comes before a vote and I’m seeking to change that.”

Rep. Meier co-sponsored House Resolution 62 which includes five changes to Madigan’s House rules aimed at bringing more transparency and fairness to the lawmaking process in the Illinois House of Representatives. The five changes include:

Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) co-sponsored legislation introduced by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) calling for the independent drawing of legislative maps. The proposal (HJRCA 10) is a constitutional amendment co-sponsored by all 44 members of the House Republican caucus.
“It’s time to remove party leaders from the process of drawing legislative districts and put the decision in the hands of an independent commission,” said Rep. Meier. “The fair maps legislation is supported by all of my House Republican colleagues and the concept of fair maps is supported by our newly elected Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker.”
HJRCA 10 would establish an independent commission, comprised of 11 members, charged with proposing a legislative map. The commission would be required to hold public hearings both before and after releasing a proposed plan.