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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Illinois House passes resolution encouraging tourism in the Bahamas

Their View

By Marianna Schmiesing, Illinois Policy Institute | Jun 26, 2017

The Illinois House of Representatives adopted a resolution June 22 to encourage airline travel to the Bahamas.

In an executive session called after the special session adjourned in just under 11 minutes, House Resolution 290 was adopted via voice vote. State Rep. Marcus Evans, D-Chicago, state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, and state Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, sponsored the resolution.

The resolution encourages airlines flying between Illinois and the Bahamas to explore increasing the amount of flights between Illinois and the Bahamas.

And instead of encouraging in-state tourism, HR 290 promotes a new luxury resort in the Bahamas that opened in April.

While encouraging the taxpayers they represent to spend money out of state, Illinois still has no budget.

The Illinois Senate adjourned from special session June 22 after just 11 minutes and 54 seconds, and also failed to advance a budget. The special legislative session will cost taxpayers about $50,000 per day, according to an estimate from the Chicago Tribune.

Both sides of the aisle in Springfield claim to want a compromise on a budget to prevent Illinois from becoming the first state in the union with a junk credit rating. Both Democrats and Republicans have proposed plans to raise taxes by more than $5 billion, which would increase the average Illinois household’s tax burden by $1,125 a year. But Illinoisans have expressed that they don’t want a budget that hikes taxes.

Nearly two-thirds of likely Illinois voters don’t want an income tax hike as part of the state budget, according to polling conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates and commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute. More than three-quarters of respondents oppose hiking sales taxes. And nearly 80 percent agree “Illinois state lawmakers should pass major structural reforms before passing any tax increase.”

The Illinois Policy Institute has introduced a budget proposal that offers real reform without raising taxes. This kind of reform-minded, no-tax-hike proposal is in line with what Illinoisans want. Lawmakers should use that as a framework while taxpayers pay for their costly special session.

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