The legislative agenda is set for the six-day fall Veto Session that begins November 13, there’s important news for Illinois businesses, and residents can help give Illinois service men and women a touch of home with the Holiday Hero Drive.
Veto Session legislation
Senators and Representatives will be back at the Capitol beginning November 13 to consider 37 separate pieces of legislation passed during the spring session, but amended or vetoed by the Governor this summer.
Legislative measures on the Veto Session agenda include business regulations, insurance, taxation, legal reforms, immigration, voter integrity standards, education, natural resources and the environment. The Governor used his Amendatory Veto authority to change 13 bills and executed Total Veto actions on 24 other measures.
Unemployment insurance rates to decline
Unemployment insurance rates will be lower in 2019 for more than 92 percent of the state’s employers required to register and pay state Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). IDES said Illinois business owners are on target to pay $240 million less in UI taxes in 2019 compared to 2018. UI taxes paid by Illinois businesses this year topped $1.9 billion. Employers are expected to pay $1.66 billion in 2019.
“The cost of doing business in Illinois has continued to decline for the vast majority of employers when it comes to Unemployment Insurance,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Even as our tax rates have been consistently dropping, our UI Trust Fund balance will close out the year at a near-record high of $1.9 billion even as we have paid off $930 million in bonds.”
According to IDES, Illinois businesses paid $3.36 billion in UI taxes in 2012, which means the state has lowered the tax by 50.6 percent over the last seven years. It is nice to have a little good news to report.
Holiday Hero Drive
First Lady Diana Rauner is leading an effort to provide holiday cheer for Illinois members of the military. The 2018 Holiday Hero Drive sends holiday cards and socks to Illinois service men and women, including those currently overseas. The drive is in partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO) of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), and the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association.
“Our active duty military and veterans have made countless sacrifices to preserve our way of life, and it is vital that we always remember and support our Illinois heroes,” Mrs. Rauner said. “Holiday cards and socks are simple gifts that can lift their spirits and show our men and women in uniform that we appreciate their service.”
Cards and socks also can be dropped off at one of more than 80 local Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) veteran service officer locations around the state or at the Governor’s Mansion, 410 E. Jackson St., Springfield.
IDVA runs 49 full-time and 35 part-time offices in 80 out of Illinois’ 102 counties. The offices are staffed by more than 60 individual Veteran Service Officers. Locations can be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/veterans.
Cards and socks can also be mailed now through November 20 to USO of Illinois – Holiday Hero Drive, 333 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2226, Chicago, IL 60601