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Illinois Democrats Violated House Rules to Advance Obama Presidential Library

Illinois House Democrats violated their own House Rules Thursday by voting on behalf of five legislators not in attendance at a hearing on legislation that would provide $100 million in taxpayer funds towards construction of the proposed Obama Presidential Library in Chicago. “I’m not even a member of the Executive Committee and the Democrats chose to vote on my behalf, which is a blatant violation of House Rules,” said Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon). “This is typical Chicago politics at work. My constituents elected me to vote for them. They didn’t elect the Chicago politicians who stole my vote today.” On Wednesday, April 16th State Representative Dwight Kay served as a temporary replacement on the House Executive Committee for a hearing in Chicago to discuss gaming expansion in Illinois. Rep. Kay participated in the hearing to express his opposition to an amendment which would exclude Fairmount Race Track from the proposed gaming expansion. After the hearing, Kay traveled back to his legislative district nearly 300 miles south of Chicago and was no longer a substituted member on the Executive Committee. Therefore, he was not present at Thursday’s recessed hearing to vote on the legislation to spend $100 million in public funds on the Obama Presidential Library. Rep. Kay added, “The Chicago Democrats knew I wouldn’t support spending $100 million that we don’t have on a Presidential Library, so they decided to violate their own Rules and cast my vote anyways. We need to pay our bills owed to schools, doctors, hospitals and pay Illinois residents’ tax returns before we spend $100 million on a library that can easily be built with private funds.” House Democrats violated their own rules by breaking House Rule 21, which is the only reference in the Rules that authorizes actions by recessed committees, and it simply allows the agenda (posted legislative measures) to be considered at the recessed hearing, as long as the House continues to be in session. The House was not in session this week. Furthermore, House Rule 49 provides that no member of a committee may vote except in person at the time of the call of the vote. Therefore, calling a vote on House Bill 6010 and voting on behalf of legislators not present were clear violations of House Rules.

Kay Defends Fairmount Race Track and Collinsville at Public Hearing in Chicago

The Illinois House Executive Committee held a public hearing today in Chicago to discuss gaming expansion in Illinois. State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) participated in the hearing to express his opposition to Representative Rita's amendment which would exclude Fairmount Race Track from obtaining a casino license if this gaming bill becomes law. “I am optimistic Fairmount will be included in the legislation,” said Rep. Kay. “It is unconscionable to think that a single Illinois race track would be deliberately excluded from this bill.” SB 1739 would also divert 90% of the revenue generated at Fairmount to East St. Louis (45%) and Alton (45%), leaving Collinsville with only 10% of the revenue. Collinsville will incur increased costs to provide police protection, fire protection, and improving and maintaining roads and infrastructure. Rep. Kay was very concerned with the proposed revenue allocation. “The bill in its current form is erroneous and unfair to the people of my district and the stakeholders at Fairmount,” Rep. Kay added. “Sending 90% of the revenue outside of Collinsville is nonsense. The city of Collinsville should not be forced to bail out East St. Louis. This is a major gaming expansion bill that allows all horse race tracks to obtain a casino license and if amended would exclude Fairmount Race Track which is simply not fair.”

Rep. Kay: Governor Quinn’s Budget Banks on Keeping 67% Income Tax Hike Permanent

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn presented his annual budget for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) to members of the Illinois House and Senate today. State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) was disappointed to learn that Governor Quinn’s budget banks on keeping the ‘temporary’67% income tax hike enacted January 2011 permanent. “Statistics show Illinois continues to lose jobs as a result of the 67% income tax hike approved the day before I first took office in 2011,” said Rep. Kay. “Illinois needs more jobs which will generate revenue for Illinois, not more taxes. Over 570,000 people are out of work in Illinois today, keeping the 67% income tax hike permanent is not the solution for putting people back to work. Unfortunately, our Governor does not recognize that currently in Illinois jobs equal revenue and more taxes lead to fewer jobs.” Earlier this year the House of Representatives estimated Illinois’ expected revenue to be $34.5 billion. Governor Quinn’s budget proposal spends $38.095 billion, over 3.6 billion more than Illinois’ anticipated revenue for FY14. Pending approval by the House, Senate, and Governor, the Fiscal Year 2014 budget would take effect July 1, 2014. Click "Here" to listen to Representative Kay discuss the Governor's address.

State Audit Questions 40% of Taxpayer Dollars Spent in Cook County

A state audit released Tuesday morning questions 40% of taxpayer dollars spent on community organizations in Chicago and Cook County. Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate are urging the Auditor General to refer findings from the February 2014 audit of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) to the Executive Inspector General (EIG) for further review and potentially the U.S. Attorney for further investigation of potential criminal activity. “The State of Illinois has fleeced the taxpayers, what we have found today is criminal activity,” said Rep. Kay. “When critical care services remain on the chopping block and transportation funding for schools have been cut, the Governor was able to increase limited state resources for the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative from $20 million to $50 million in less than two months.” In May 2012, State Representative Dwight Kay Chief Co-Sponsored House Resolution 1110 (HR 1110) to audit the state funded program due to concerns as to whether adequate accountability and oversight existed over the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) to ensure tax dollars were spent appropriately. HR 1110 directed the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit of State funds provided by or through the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI). In August of 2010, Governor Quinn’s office gave the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority the duties of creating and administering the program. The NRI is a program designed to reduce risk factors associated with violence in 23 communities in Cook County, however according to the state audit, not all the most violent Chicago communities were included in the program. Since October 2010, over $117 million has been earmarked by Governor Quinn, not the legislature to fund the program in question. In fact, over a two year period 40% of state funds were questioned in the audits findings, in other words, the state does not know where the money went. Rep. Kay added, “It’s time for the legislature to make sure that every tax dollar spent is passed through the General Assembly for approval. We should not allow the Governor to spend 3% of the state budget at his discretion, except for cases of true public emergency.”

Graduated Tax Threat to IL Jobs, Families

Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon), House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and members of the Illinois House Republican caucus today announced their opposition to the graduated income tax proposal introduced by legislative Democrats. The announcement was held at the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia. The plan, currently filed as HJRCA 33, would replace the state’s current flat tax with a graduated income tax system, with rates to be determined by the General Assembly. “Illinois is already a high-tax state. Raising taxes on middle-class families will further damage our state’s economy. History has shown that the 67% income tax hike has not balanced Illinois’ checkbook nor will it bring in more long-term revenue. A graduated tax certainly won’t solve the spending problem in state government. It would do more harm than good for Illinois,” said State Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon). Democrats argue that under their so-called “progressive” tax system, only the rich will pay more. However, the House Democrats’ plan includes seven tax brackets and a top rate of 9 percent, raising taxes on all income over $18,000. Under a graduated tax system, as taxpayers’ incomes rise with inflation, lower and middle income families are subjected to higher tax rates – commonly referred to as “bracket creep.” “There is a movement in Springfield by the majority party to move Illinois from a flat income tax to a graduated tax,” said Leader Durkin. “The same party responsible for years of overspending, over taxing and a mountain of debt wants to move to a graduated tax for one reason and one reason only – to raise taxes and spend more money.” High taxes are already causing employers and families to leave Illinois. According to the 2013 United Van Lines Migration Study, Illinois has the second-highest record of out-migration of any state. Nearly 278,000 Illinoisans left the state in 2012. The non-partisan Tax Foundation’s analysis of the proposed graduated income tax found that: Illinois’ “State Business Tax Climate Index” score could fall to 44th from its current 31st ranking if the proposed progressive income tax passes;Illinois already fell from 17th over the last few years with several rounds of tax increases, which did not succeed in alleviating Illinois’ financial situation or improve the economy; andHigher and more progressive income taxes generally contribute to worsening economic performance. Approval of a measure to amend the Illinois Constitution in favor of a graduated tax would require a three-fifths majority vote of the Illinois House and Senate. In the House, where Democrats currently hold 71 seats, a three-fifths majority equals a minimum of 71 votes. All 47 House Republicans joined Leader Durkin today in opposition to a graduated tax. “A graduated tax system would give a blank check to the Democrat majority in Springfield to set the rates,” Durkin added. “Under their plan, as taxpayers’ incomes rise with inflation, working families are forced into higher tax brackets, eating away at hard-earned savings and adding financial strain to families struggling to pay their mortgage, pay for a child’s education, or care for an aging parent. Plain and simple, a graduated tax would threaten job creation, weaken our economy, and hurt Illinois families.” Click "Here" to listen to Representative Kay discuss the graduated tax threat. Sign our petition here:

Rep. Kay Sponsors Legislation to Eliminate Lame Duck Session

Today, Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and members of the House Republican caucus unveiled legislation to eliminate the lame duck session following the November general election cycle.“Since the birth of the lame duck session, the voice of Illinois’ taxpayers have been ignored,” said Rep. Dwight Kay.  “Lame duck sessions produce laws which otherwise have no chance at becoming law.  In 2011, the legislature passed the 67% income tax hike just hours before I was sworn into office, the reason why the vote took place was because many of my colleagues including myself would have voted against the tax hike and it would have failed.” Continue reading