Willis Highlights Efforts to Build a Stronger Illinois

06/01/2019
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Northlake, worked to build a stronger middle class and a stronger, safer Illinois during the spring legislative session, passing reforms to cut taxes on local residents, make billionaires pay their fair share, protect access to health care and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.



“These past few months have been an opportunity for Illinois to move forward from the past four years,” Willis said. “While there is much more work to be done, the House Democratic Caucus and I took critical steps made Illinois and its middle class stronger by fighting for better pay, tax relief and more affordable health care.”



Willis has worked to build a stronger Illinois by building a stronger middle class through major legislative efforts this year. Willis supported the Fair Tax, which aims to bring tax relief to 99.5 of her local residents. The plan will not only provide the necessary tax relief, but it will require the ultra-wealthy in Illinois to pay their fair share all while stabilizing the state’s finances with an additional $3 billion in new revenue.



Willis also supported a balanced budget plan that controls state spending and finances while maintaining commitments to vital health care services. Her balanced budget infuses an additional $375 million in public education and makes full pension payments to retirees. It also reduces the state’s bill backlog debt by $1 billion.



“This budget is a balanced and responsible approach to how Illinois should be operating and managing its finances,” said Willis. “Illinois will be in a better position going forward, and I truly hope to see more bipartisan cooperation to help the state recover from the past.”



To help spur Illinois’ economy, Willis voted to pass legislation that will invest in businesses that invest in Illinois be creating new tax credits for companies that hire apprentices and increase job training for high-wage jobs.



“Illinois’ economy has a shortage of jobs paying $35 per hour and higher, “said Willis. “I passed legislation that will expand career and vocational trainings along with offering businesses tax credits who invest in Illinois.”



Included in her efforts to build a stronger middle class, Willis is fighting to protect critical access to health care through Senate Bill 2026, which maintains access to pre-existing conditions coverage in Illinois. She is also fighting to rein the high cost of prescription drugs and allow the Department of Insurance to review massive rate increases, helping middle-class families have access to affordable health care.



“Washington D.C. is working tirelessly to eliminate peoples’ health care, and I believe we should take every step necessary to prevent that from happening,” Willis said. “People deserve health care that will work for them and Illinois should be making it a priority to lower costs for families, not making it harder or more expensive.”



Throughout this session, Willis lead the charge on new gun safety reform that will fix Illinois’ FOID system. Following the deadly shooting in Aurora this year where a convicted felon murdered several people by obtaining a dangerous assault rifle through antiquated loopholes in the FOID system. Her Senate Bill 1966 increases back ground checks, requires finger printing for FOID applications and empowers law enforcement to confiscate weapons from people who lose their privileges. Her measure successfully passed the Illinois House earlier this week.



“I cannot allow inaction to continue stonewalling gun safety reform any longer,” said Willis. “This legislation is a good step to ensure that guns do not fall into the wrong hands and making sure the FOID system’s loopholes are eliminated. While there is still a lot of work to do, these efforts are good first steps to strengthening both Illinois and its middle-class families and also maintaining the public’s safety.”