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Kankakee, IL - State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst is officially launching her 2nd Annual Summer Reading Club for elementary school students who live in the 79th District. The program is offered to encourage students to keep their minds active over the summer and promote continued learning.

This year's theme is 'Reading Takes you Everywhere’ because every book is a new adventure, taking kids places they've never been before. The program challenges 1st - 5th graders to read 8 books over the summer.

Pamphlets have been distributed to local libraries, but are also available for pickup at Rep. Parkhurst’s District Office or online here. Participation in this program can overlap with any other summer reading program offered through area libraries or other organizations.

Participants will be invited to an ice cream party and receive a certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives. To earn your spot at the ice cream party, a parent or guardian must fill out and sign the form and return it to Rep. Parkhurst's office in Kankakee by August 10th.

Kankakee, IL – In mid-April, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) sponsored legislation to stimulate construction projects in the State of Illinois and create jobs for the middle class. The legislation, HB 5864, is the Blue Collar Jobs Act.

“With this bill, we are sending a message to companies around the country Illinois is open for business,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “Nothing helps the middle class more than well-paying jobs which this bill is designed to create.”

Both labor and business groups support The Blue Collar Jobs Act and it offers tax incentives to companies making significant capital improvements in Illinois based on the withholding tax paid to construction workers through the creation of four new tax credits, including:
High Impact Business construction jobs credit
Enterprise Zone construction jobs credit
New Construction EDGE Credit
River Edge construction jobs credit

“We support prioritizing Illinois construction workers in our state’s economic development toolset through incentives for new construction, expansion, and rehabilitation projects,” said Marc Poulos, Executive Director IN, IL, IA FFC, the labor-management group of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150.

The tax credit is meant to incentivize the company to construct new buildings or improve existing buildings which cannot be built without the use of Illinois labor.

“The Blue Collar Jobs Act gives growing businesses another reason to make substantial capital investments in Illinois to bring more jobs and opportunities to our state,” said Todd Maisch, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

The tax credits only become available after the work is fully completed. There is no risk to the state for a company not meeting its requirement as the state has already captured the withholding tax prior to the tax credit being issued.

HB 5864 was introduced by Rep. Keith Wheeler (R – Oswego) on April 19th and is waiting to be assigned to committee.
Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst today announced progress being made on the Interstate 57 and Illinois State Highway 17 junction in Kankakee, Exit 312.

“Since I entered office last year, I worked to move along this necessary infrastructure project in Kankakee because of the huge benefit it has on Kankakee, Bradley, and Bourbonnais,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Rep. Parkhurst met with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, Republican House Leader Jim Durkin (R – Western Springs), and City of Kankakee officials last fall to advocate for local infrastructure improvements including the 312 Exit project which has stalled for 15 years.

Since the meeting, IDOT stated the Phase I study is now on-going again and should be completed in 2018.  Phase II is included in the Multi-Year Improvement Program (MYP) ’19-’24.

“I am happy to see our community efforts successfully reactivated this project and I will continue to work to move the project forward,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Kankakee, IL – Earlier this week, the Illinois House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) to address the teacher shortage in Illinois.

“After speaking with local teachers, I represented and advocated for their concerns to help solve the teacher shortage. I was pleased to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation to address this shortage,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Illinois is experiencing a teacher shortage hurting children and school districts throughout the state. HB 5627 is comprehensive legislation and uses ideas suggested by local teachers from the 79th District and Rep. Parkhurst to create a short-term substitute teacher license. The legislation also allows retired educators to substitute for more days each year without infringing upon their pension benefits and provides full reciprocity for out-of-state applicants for a Professional Educator License (PEL). There are other provisions further addressing the teacher shortage. 

“This legislation is the result of legislators from both sides of the aisle coming together and listening to our constituents to solve a real problem in our state.  I am proud to be part of a bipartisan solution.” Rep. Parkhurst said.

HB 5627 passed the House on a 111-0 vote. It will be sent to the Illinois Senate for consideration.

Today, the Governor asked the President to approve federal assistance to help people in Iroquois, Kankakee, and Vermilion counties recover from severe storms and flooding in February. If the Governor’s request for Individual Assistance is approved, people and businesses in the approved counties are eligible to apply for grants and/or low-interest Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.

Additionally, the national and state REALTOR Relief Foundations may have $500 assistance available to mortgage holders. The deadline for these applications are June 15th and June 1st respectively and can be found here.

Kankakee, IL – Earlier this week, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) cosponsored a resolution opposing a progressive income tax in Illinois.

“Proposals to implement a progressive income tax are a bad gimmick only serving to continue the tax and spend culture in Springfield with higher taxes, saddling taxpayers with the bill,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Illinois has among the highest state and local tax burdens in the nation according to WalletHub. Studies show states with progressive income taxes create more tax burdens for the middle class.

“Our state constitution mandates a flat tax. There is only one way to implement a progressive tax without a constitutional amendment which is to raise the income tax and offer various deductions. This creates a very complicated tax code. Families will pay to find all their deductions and many families will see their taxes increase. We simply cannot afford these proposals and I am standing up and saying no new taxes,” Rep. Parkhurst continued.

HR 975 was introduced by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R – Western Springs) on April 10th and currently awaits committee assignment.