- May 19, 2016
Four state legislators who represent Northbrook will address the business community at this year’s annual Legislative Lunch. Illinois Senators Daniel Biss (D-9) and Julie Morrison (D-29) along with Representatives Laura Fine (D-17) and Robyn Gabel (D-18) will discuss their top legislative priorities, comment on the State’s protracted budget crisis, and share their thoughts on how additional revenue can be generated. Following their remarks, the legislators will answer guest questions.
Creating a stable environment for citizens and businesses is a priority for Sen. Morrison. “The state has lurched from crisis to crisis, which has led to uncertainty,” comments Morrison. “We should be making it easier for everyone.” Sen. Morrison introduced legislation recently to create a one stop shop business portal to help individuals start new businesses and help current owners manage their licenses. Commenting that there is no consensus on what new revenue will look like, she states “I think there will be a broader approach; it’s clear we cannot continue to rely solely on income taxes.” In office for 3 ½ years, Sen. Morrison serves as Vice Chair of the Human Services Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on DCFS Special Issues.
Sen. Biss recently introduced legislation to require greater transparency about undisclosed investment fees charged to public pension funds. “Disclosure of these fees will lead to better decision making and perhaps healthier competition for the pension funds’ business,” he notes. Biss has served in the Senate since 2013. He chairs the Human Services Committee and serves on several committees with oversight over financial matters, including Appropriations, Financial Institutions, and Revenue.
A strong advocate for universal health care and environmental sustainability, Rep. Gabel is the primary co-sponsor of the Clean Jobs bill which aims to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy use by 20% by 2025. To generate revenue, “I think a change to our state’s constitution that allows for a graduated rate income tax would be a more fair tax system for the people of Illinois,” she comments. “This system would follow the lead of the federal tax system and the tax systems of almost every other state in the country.” Gable, who has been in office for 6 years, serves as the Chair of the House Human Services Committee, the Vice Chair of the House Human Services Appropriations committee and on several other committees dealing with insurance, small business empowerment and workforce development.
Rep. Laura Fine lists higher education, patients’ rights and economic development as her legislative priorities. “I believe broadening the tax base and stabilizing the state’s economic and fiscal condition to bring more economic development are all ways of generating more revenue,” she states. Rep. Fine is serving her second full term in the state House. She serves as Vice Chair of the Business Growth and Incentives Committee and also serves on other committees with oversight over higher education, consumer protection, insurance and human services.