Jack Franks’ 2016 Legislative Agenda

Buttons used to be made out of shells in Illinois. No one knows what will become of shell bills.

Buttons used to be made out of shells in Illinois. No one knows what will become of shell bills.

A year ago, McHenry County Blog looked at what Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks was doing in Springfield and discovered he was king of the shell bills.

These are bills with no content.

They only have a title.

This weekend, I took a look at bill activity with a 2016 date.

From the content of some of the bills you can discern what Franks will emphasize of a positive nature in his fall campaign against Republican Steve Reick.

You can do the same thing on this web page showing bills to which Franks has attached his name during this–his ninth term in Springfield (after promising to serve only three).

If you wish to skip the bills he has co-sponsored, look here.

Headings for bill status page.

Headings for bill status page.

On the right hand side is the date of the last action on each bill to which his name is attached.

The House Bills on which he is Chief Sponsor, his name can be seen in the second column.

The “Last Action” column is where I found the following bills that are alive, some even kicking this year (click on the bill number to find out more about the legislation, including its history):

House Bill 402 – Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Creates a deduction for individuals, trusts, and estates for certain qualified student loan payments made during the taxable year. Provides that the deduction is excluded from the Act’s automatic sunset provisions. Effective immediately.  [In Rules Committee.]

House Bill 473 – Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning tax credits for providing child care for employees. [One of Jack’s shell bills now in the Rules Committee, Mike Madigan’s way to ask legislators to say, “Mother, may I?”]

House Bill 1334 – Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Downstate Police, Downstate Firefighter, Chicago Police, and Chicago Firefighter Articles of the Illinois Pension Code. Provides that if a person who first entered service after January 1, 2017 is receiving pension payments and becomes a member or participant under any other system or fund and is employed on a full-time basis, he or she shall immediately notify the pension fund that is making those pension payments of his or her participation or membership under a system or fund created by the Code and the pension payments shall be suspended while the person is employed full-time. Provides that the suspension shall end upon termination of that full-time employment. Effective immediately.[This bill is ready for consideration on the House floor, where only four people will be able to speak, because it is on what is called “Short Debate.”]

House Bill 1437 – Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Creates the Criminal Diversion Racial Impact Data Collection Act. Requires that, in accordance with reporting guidelines for law enforcement agencies under the Criminal Identification Act, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority shall report the number of persons arrested and released without charging, and the racial and ethnic composition of those persons. Requires that, in accordance with reporting guidelines for State’s Attorneys under the Criminal Identification Act, the Authority shall report the number of persons for which formal charges were dismissed, and the racial and ethnic composition of those persons. Requires that, in accordance with reporting guidelines for circuit court clerks under the Criminal Identification Act, the Authority shall determine and report the number of persons admitted to a diversion from prosecution program, and the racial and ethnic composition of those persons, separated by each type of diversion program. Provides that the Authority shall publish information received and an assessment of the quality of that information under the Act every calendar year. Provides that the Authority, Department of State Police, Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, and Illinois State’s Attorneys Association may collaborate on any necessary training concerning the provisions of the Act. Contains legislative findings. Defines required terms. Provides for a repeal date of the Act on December 31, 2020. Effective January 1, 2017. [Bill is on the House floor ready for Short Debate.]

House Bill 3130 – Amends the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law in the Property Tax Code. Provides that, if the total equalized assessed value of all taxable property in the taxing district for the current levy year (excluding new property, recovered tax increment value, and property that is annexed to or disconnected from the taxing district in the current levy year) is less than the total equalized assessed value of all taxable property in the taxing district for the previous levy year, then the extension limitation is (a) 0% or (b) the rate of increase approved by voters (instead of the lesser of 5% or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index during the 12-month calendar year preceding the levy year or (b) the rate of increase approved by voters). Effective immediately. [In the Rules Committee.]

House Bill 3760 – Creates the Local Government Tax Incentive Disclosure Act. Provides that each unit of local government shall report the annual value of any tax incentive granted by the unit of local government as lost revenue on the annual financial report for that unit of local government. Provides that the term “tax incentive” means any property tax abatement granted by a unit of local government or any tax increment financing affecting a unit of local government. Provides that, no later than August 1 of each year, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly the total value of all tax credits awarded by the Department. Effective immediately.

House Committee Amendment No. 1
Provides that units of local government shall report the annual value of any tax incentive granted by the unit of local government as community investment revenue (in the introduced bill, “lost revenue”) on its annual financial report.

House Bill 4263 –  Amends the Property Tax Code. Provides that, for the 2016 and 2017 levy years, the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law applies to all taxing districts, including home rule units and school districts. Provides that, for the 2016 and 2017 levy years, the extension limitation under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law is 0% or the rate of increase approved by the voters. Preempts home rule. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement. Amends the School Code. Creates a General State Aid Committee to propose a revised school funding formula for Illinois schools. Effective immediately. [In Rules Committee.]

House Bill 4290 – Amends the Property Tax Code. Provides that the aggregate rate of tax imposed by all taxing districts on any parcel of residential property that, as of January 1 of the levy year, has been occupied by a qualified taxpayer as his or her principal dwelling place for a period of at least 30 years shall not exceed 5%. Provides that the term “qualified taxpayer” means a person who (i) is 65 years of age or older during the taxable year, (ii) is liable for paying real estate taxes on the property, and (iii) is an owner of record of the property or has a legal or equitable interest therein as evidenced by a written instrument, except for a leasehold interest, other than a leasehold interest of land on which a single family residence is located. Contains provisions concerning applications for the reduction. Effective immediately. [In the Rules Committee.]

House Bill 4300 – Creates the FY2016 and FY2017 Budget Implementation (Revenue) Act. Creates the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation Act. Authorizes the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to incorporate the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation as a not-for-profit corporation. Creates the Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act. Imposes an assessment of 1% on claims paid by a health insurance carrier or third-party administrator. Provides that the moneys received and collected under the Act shall be deposited into the Healthcare Provider Relief Fund. Repeals the New Markets Development Program Act on July 1, 2016. Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Makes changes concerning: the apportionment of business income for persons other than residents; the bonus depreciation deduction for property acquired by a small business; the research and development credit; and transfers into the Local Government Distributive Fund. Amends the Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act. Provides for an amnesty period beginning October 1, 2016 and ending November 8, 2016. Amends the Limited Liability Company Act. Reduces certain fees. Eliminates stipends for various local and county officers. Amends various Acts to eliminate compensation and expense reimbursement for certain boards and commissions. Amends the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, the Service Occupation Tax Act, and the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act. Provides that the rail carrier and rolling stock exemptions sunset on June 30, 2016. Makes changes concerning gasohol. Makes changes concerning the Public Aid Code. Amends the Unified Code of Corrections. Makes changes concerning staffing. Effective immediately.

House Bill 4612 – Amends the Property Tax Code. In a Section granting a Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, provides that the maximum income limitation is $60,000 for taxable year 2016 and thereafter. Effective immediately. [In Rules Committee.]

House Bill 4613 – Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Reduces the rate of tax on corporations to 1% beginning on January 1, 2016 (currently, the rate is 5.25% until January 1, 2025 and 4.8% thereafter). Makes corresponding changes in provisions concerning transfers to the Local Government Distributive Fund. Effective immediately. [In Rules Committee.]

House Bill 4979 – Amends the Counties Code. Provides that the Local Government Reduction and Efficiency Division of the Counties Code applies to all counties (currently, only applies to DuPage County). [In Rules Committee.]

House Bill 4980 – Amends the Township Code. Removes a restriction limiting townships to 126 square miles. Provides that a township plan for altering the boundaries of townships shall require a new property tax rate to be levied on the affected townships after the boundaries are altered. Provides that a county board may by resolution initiate a referendum to discontinue all townships in a county (currently, a referendum can only be initiated by citizen petition). Provides that a county board may elect to restructure into a commission form of government after discontinuance of township organization (currently, a county is required reorganize into a commission form of government). Further provides that the county board or the voters of a township may dissolve all offices of township assessor and multi-township assessor in specified counties with the county assessor or supervisor of assessments replacing each township assessor or multi-township assessor. Amends the Illinois Highway Code. Provides that a township road district, with roads of less than a total of 25 miles in length, may be abolished by the township board of trustees or by public referendum. Amends the Property Tax Code, the Counties Code, and the Public Health District Act making conforming changes. [In Rules Committee.]

Shells with holes in them 2 closer upHouse Bill 5293 – Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. In a provision concerning nonparticipating facility-based physicians and providers, provides that “facility-based provider” now includes specialty hospital and urgent care center (currently only participating hospital and participating ambulatory surgical treatment center). Provides that a participating hospital shall post on its website certain criteria, including (1) the names and hyperlinks to the websites of all health insurers and health maintenance organizations for which the hospital contracts as a network provider or participating provider; (2) certain disclosure statements relating to health care practitioners that provide services in the hospital; (3) and contact information and contact instructions of the health care practitioners and practice groups that the hospital has contracted with to provide services in the hospital. [A shell bill introduced by House Speaker Mike Madigan that was passed onto to Jack Franks. It has turned into what you read above.  It is on the House Floor facing full debate.]

House Bill 5648 – Amends the Regional Transportation Authority Act. Provides that on and after January 1, 2017, any fixed route public transportation services provided by or through the Commuter Rail Board shall be provided at a 50% discounted fare off the non-discounted adult fare to all students who present a valid student ID card issued within the previous 12 months by a college or university in the metropolitan region, or under such conditions as shall be prescribed by the Commuter Rail Board. [In the Rules Committee.]

House Bill 5699 – Amends the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, the Service Occupation Tax Act, and the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act. Provides that repair and replacement parts transferred as part of a goodwill repair of exempt farm machinery and equipment are also exempt from the taxes imposed under the Acts. [In the Rules Committee.]

Shells with holes in them 2 closer upHouse Bill 6220 – Amends the Illinois Highway Code. Makes a technical change to the Section concerning mix designs. [A new shell bill, which is in the Rules Committee.]

House Bill 6230 –  Amends the Environmental Protection Act. Makes a technical change to a Section concerning beneficial use determinations. [Another new shell bill in the Rules Committee.]

HJR Constitutional Amendment 55 – Proposes to amend the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Illinois Constitution. Replaces procedures concerning the recall of the Governor with procedures concerning the recall of an executive branch officer as identified in Section 1 of Article V of the Illinois Constitution, a member of the General Assembly, or an individual holding a local elected office, including, but not limited to, mayors, village presidents, council members, school board members, community college officials, and county officials. Sets forth requirements for recall petitions and elections. Provides for a successor election to fill the vacant term of a recalled officer, member, or individual. Sets forth duties of the State Board of Elections. Provides that the new provisions are self-executing and judicially enforceable. Contains a schedule for adoption and other provisions. [In the Rules Committee.]


Comments

Jack Franks’ 2016 Legislative Agenda — 12 Comments

  1. H.B. 402: Allows a tax deduction for principal paid on a student loan.

    Limits the amount of interest deductible to an amount not deducted as student loan interest on a Federal 1040 (thus, no deduction for interest if you deducted it on your Federal return).

    Loan principal is never deductible, and most people with student loans deduct all their interest on their Federal returns.

    Therefore, this bill would have little to no impact on anyone’s taxes.

    H.B. 473
    : This is the only change to existing law:
    Sec. 210.5. Tax credit for employee child care.

    (a) Each corporate taxpayer is entitled to a credit against the the tax imposed by…

    See what he did here?

    He took out the word “the” and replaced it with the word “the”, thus giving him the chance to say he’s proposed a bill that gives a credit that’s already on the books.

    H.B. 1437: Just more paperwork for cops who are already swamped with paperwork.

    H.B. 4263: If it’s such a great idea to limit PTELL increases, why does he limit it to just the 2016 and 2017 levy years?

    Could it be that he wants the publicity of freezing taxes for the purposes of running for the General Assembly, but then wants the flexibility to raise taxes after he’s elected County Board Chairman?

    H.B. 4290
    : If he wants to provide property tax relief for seniors, why doesn’t he do what they do in Georgia, which is to remove all school taxes from the property tax bill for anyone age 65 or older?

    H.B. 4300
    : “Creates the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation Act. Authorizes the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to incorporate the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation as a not-for-profit corporation.”

    I thought Jack was all in favor of getting rid of units of government, not making more of them.

    “Imposes an assessment of 1% on claims paid by a health insurance carrier or third-party administrator.”

    What’s this? Jack Franks proposing a tax increase?

    H.B. 4612
    : See H.B. 4290, above

    H.B. 4613: This is nothing more than an election year “Hail Mary”.

    Hey Jack, if you want to debate tax policy, give me a call.

    I’ll meet you anytime, anywhere.

    H.B. 4979 & 4980: He’s trying to clear the decks for when he’s elected County Board Chairman.

    H.B. 5648: Is this just another take on Blago’s “Free Rides for Seniors” program that had to be cut because of skyrocketing losses?

  2. He took out the word “the” and replaced it with the word “the”, thus giving him the chance to say he’s proposed a bill that gives a credit that’s already on the books.

    LOL. You want to be a state rep, and you don’t know what a shell bill is. Cute.

  3. B. 4979 & 4980: He’s trying to clear the decks for when he’s elected County Board Chairman.

    Oh? Reick is opposed to government consolidation now? Good to know.

  4. Loan principal is never deductible, and most people with student loans deduct all their interest on their Federal returns.
    Therefore, this bill would have little to no impact on anyone’s taxes.

    Sure, except for the fact that the Frank’s legislation would allow the payments on the principal payments to be deductible. So other than being wrong about the very basis of your analysis, everything is true. Or something like that.

  5. H.B. 4290: If he wants to provide property tax relief for seniors, why doesn’t he do what they do in Georgia, which is to remove all school taxes from the property tax bill for anyone age 65 or older?

    Is that what you’re proposing?

  6. Jack Franks is bad for McHenry County.

    His games over the past two decades give him a disgusting pension.

    He has infiltrated the Republican Party for years and now he has a very powerful ally in gas bag gasser.

    When is the last time you have heard gas bag gasser come out against franks?

    The idiots made gas bag gasser chairman of Algonquin Township and now we have a loose cannon who will be controlling, not leading, the township party.

    Franks and gas bag gasser is just like beans n weenies.

    The first bite seems good but ultimately just gives you the craps.

  7. I like the proposal for mandatory disclosure of tax incentives by local governments, and I like the requirement that TIF tax diversions be listed on property tax bills.

  8. According to By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog website in 2007 Illinois had 3249 “SPECIAL DISTRICT GOVERNMENTS” which by their definition is the following:

    “Illinois statutes authorize the creation of a variety of special districts and authorities that are counted as governments.”

    This list includes PACE Bus, library districts (one for every town in every county), Rescue squads, School Districts (most towns have 2 school districts), one could see how the number adds up.

    In Illinois law, if you want to have a committee that wants salaries and non-profit status, its really easy, just make it a form of government!

    PLEASE STOP PICKING ON THE RUAL TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENTS THAT ARE SO DESPERATELY NEEDED!

    WHY DOES THE HIGH SCHOOL NEED ITS OWN DISTRICT- COMBINE THAT ONE WITH THE GRADE SCHOOL LEVELS?

    WHY DOES EVERY AREA NEED IT’S OWN RESCUE SQUAD?

    PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN THE Illinois Grain Insurance Corporation.

    CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT THE Grand Avenue Railroad Relocation Authority DOES FOR THE CITIZENS OF ILLLINOIS???

    I would urge everyone to go to ILLINOISWATCHDOG.ORG to view the list of Illinois governments for themselves.

    Read about the “Tuberculosis Sanitarium Districts” they are units of government as well.

    If a township is totally within a city, I can understand, but for the rest of us – leave us alone!!!

  9. Let me try to answer the school consolidation question.

    Certainly sounds logical.

    In 2011 Pat Quinn contended $100 million could be saved statewide by going from a dual to a unit school district system.

    Remember than $100 million figure.

    I decided to run a cost-benefit analysis to see what would happen in District 155 and its underlying grade school districts were merged.

    Looking at district salaries I found that the high school teachers were paid a lot more than grade school teachers.

    (That’s probably because the 1973 State Aid to Education formula was written by a high school teacher.)

    A unit school district would mean there would be one teachers union.

    Who would control it?

    The grade school teachers because there are so many more of them than high school teachers.

    Anyone think they wouldn’t ask for their salaries to be increased to the level of the high school teachers?

    In 2011, I wrote the following story, which I reprinted this past April:

    http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2016/04/06/replay-school-consolidation-would-cost-taxpayers-plenty-2/

    The findings were that the cost to equalize salaries would be $25 million for District 155 taxpayers.

    So, $100 million savings statewide from fewer administrators, but $25 million increase in cost just in the Crystal Lake-Cary-Fox River Grove area.

    Still think consolidation of school districts is a good idea?

  10. The Illinois Grain Insurance Corporation was my idea.

    In the late 1970’s grain elevators were going belly up.

    The largest was in western Kane County, which was in my State Rep. district.

    I wondered if a public insurance company, modeled after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, might solve the problem.

    Each grain elevator would pay into the fund in proportion to the volume and the fund would pay those shortchanged by grain elevators that went bankrupt.

    I didn’t get the bill passed, the Lt. Gov. Neal Hartigan did in the next legislative session.

    The idea has worked.

  11. Jack Franks is a tax hiker who claims he’s never voted for a tax hike.

    Jack Franks voted for legislative pension benefit hikes and retiree healthcare benefit hikes.

    Which were for the most part unfunded or underfunded (unfunded mandates).

    Which occurred while the pensions and retiree healthcare systems were in most cases already underfunded.

    Hikes which the Illinois State Constitution says cannot be diminished or impaired.

    Here is the sentence added to the Illinois State Constitution in 1970.

    “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

    ++++

    The State Constitution and legislative process in Illinois is broken.

    As a result, Illinois is legally politically corrupt and broke.

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