Willis Backs Gun Reform, Fights for Tax Fairness during Legislative Session

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Northlake, worked to pass gun reform legislation to help keep our schools and communities safe, and supported measures to reduce the tax burden on middle-class families, all while working with Democrats and Republicans to pass a bipartisan, balanced budget.

“Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a budget plan that cuts wasteful bureaucracy and invests our resources in critical services and programs, including the community care program, domestic violence shelters and breast cancer screenings for women,” Willis said. “Though more work remains to be done, our budget is a step in the right direction to help move Illinois forward.”

Willis supported a bipartisan budget that does not increase taxes and creates a surplus that will be used to pay down the bill backlog. The Rauner budget crisis tripled the state’s debt, and made extreme cuts to programs and services. This plan provides funding for critical services and programs including the Community Care Program and affordable child care, while also ensuring $350 million in new funding for schools, which will help reduce the property tax burden on Illinois homeowners.

“Too many times we see guns end up in the hands of the wrong people and far too many lives have been lost due to gun violence and mass shootings,” Willis said. “It is vital that we hold gun dealers accountable and make sure they are properly licensed and are following procedures that help ensure people aren’t acquiring firearms illegally.”

Willis’ Senate Bill 337 will create a certification program for gun dealers which will be awarded by the Illinois State Police (ISP), and makes it a criminal offense for any entity to sell, lease or transfer firearms in the state of Illinois without the proper license. The measure would also require gun dealers and their employees to pass background checks, and require shops to be open to inspection by ISP. Furthermore, this legislation would require video surveillance of gun shops, as well as training on good business practices, such as theft prevention, to keep guns from entering the illegal firearm market.

“It is unfair for middle-class families to pay a larger share of taxes than millionaires and billionaires, and we must create a tax system that requires the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share,” Willis said. “Taxpayer advocates have shown how a fair tax structure can cut taxes on middle-class families by requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share, and I will proudly support a plan that reduces the tax burden for Illinois families.”

Willis supported House Resolution 1025, which calls for the implementation of a progressive income tax. Currently, Illinois is one of only four states that constitutionally requires middle-class families to pay the same rate as millionaires and billionaires. A fair tax would cut taxes for more than 90 percent of tax payers, put money back into the pockets of Illinois families and help stimulate the local economy, all while driving local business growth and creating jobs.

“I am optimistic about the future of Illinois, and I remain committed to doing what is in the best interest of the people I represent,” Willis said. “I will continue fighting for Illinois families to create tax fairness, reduce property taxes and help keep our schools and communities safe from gun violence.”