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New Harmon law brings solar revenue to local communities

harmon 020718SPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) ensures local communities benefit from the tax revenue generated by Illinois’ solar industry.

“Solar energy is a rapidly growing industry in Illinois, and it’s good not only for the environment but also for the economy,” Harmon said. “It is my hope that the revenue generated from this industry can benefit local schools and communities and encourage the continued growth of solar power in our state.”

The legislation, which became law on Friday, sets a standard tax assessment value for commercial solar farms located anywhere besides Cook County. This creates certainty around the revenue that local governments will receive from the farms.

Under the legislation, solar farms could generate $250 to $300 million in tax revenue over a 25-year span, money that would go to funding schools, roads and other critical services.

Senate Bill 486 takes effect immediately.

Holmes passes law to study broadband access

broadband 081418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) passed a law to create the Broadband Advisory Council to study expanding broadband access in Illinois.

“Broadband access has become a critical means of access to the world for growth, learning and business,” Holmes said. “This resource is now as necessary as utilities for our communities, and we need to explore all opportunities to expand this critical resource to areas not yet being served.”

Castro: Rauner shows once again he is no friend of working class

auto repair 081418ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) said Gov. Bruce Rauner once again showed his true colors by vetoing a worker protection measure this week.

Rauner vetoed Castro’s House Bill 4572, a powerful human rights measure that would protect all employees across the state from work-related discrimination and retaliation.

“It’s troubling that once again Gov. Rauner has failed to empower and stand up for the rights of workers,” Castro said. “No matter the size of the business, all employees should have the means to stand up for themselves and the assurances that they are protected by law.”

Castro’s measure would have expanded the Illinois Human Rights Act to cover employers of any size, as current law only covers employers with 15 or more employees. This measure would have given all employees under Illinois law the means to challenge work-related discrimination and retaliation.

“Expanding the Illinois Human Rights Act is the right thing to do,” Castro said. “At this point, though, I am disappointed but not surprised that our governor has chosen to once again overlook the working class.”

Last week, Castro sent another worker protection bill – House Bill 4163 – to the governor’s desk. This legislation is crucial for protecting working women in Illinois. Castro is urging Gov. Rauner to sign this bill as soon as possible.

“This measure won’t completely erase the problem of wage disparity between men and women in the state, but it will go a long way toward helping to prevent it,” Castro said. “If Gov. Rauner fails to sign this monumental legislation, he’ll show once again that he is not a friend of working women or women of color. I implore Gov. Rauner to consider the needs of the people of Illinois over his corporate friends and to do the right thing by signing the bill.”

Castro vows to continue to support working men and women across the state to ensure everyone has equal rights and is paid a fair wage, even if the governor refuses to.

Cullerton reduces the cost of small business ownership in Illinois

tc 052918VILLA PARK –A new Illinois law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will spare small businesses from paying outrageous late penalties.

Cullerton’s House Bill 4578, which was signed into law Friday, will reduce late penalties from $300 to $100 for annual LLC report filings.

“This law will further the state’s commitment to energizing our economy,” Cullerton said. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues from both parties to eliminate this hurdle for small businesses.”

Last year, Cullerton passed Senate Bill 867 with bipartisan support to reduce a number of filing fees for LLCs to match those for corporations. This measure reduced the filing fees for the creation of an LLC from $500 to $150.

Cullerton also worked to lower the annual filing fee for LLCs from $250 to $75.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Cullerton said. “Local businesses play a huge role in our communities and economy. We need to do whatever we can to encourage businesses to make Illinois’ their home.”

Limited Liability Company or LLC is like a corporation, a limited liability company or "LLC,” a separate and distinct legal entity.

House Bill 4578 goes into effect immediately.

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