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Kankakee, IL…. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) testified before committee this morning on her bill to help revitalize the area around the Kankakee River. Speaking before the House Revenue and Finance Committee, Rep. Parkhurst argued for House Bill 335 to include Kankakee in a law designed to help stimulate the economy adjacent to rivers in Illinois with property, sales, and income tax incentives under the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act.

“The Kankakee River is part and parcel with the community of Kankakee,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “It is what makes Kankakee a prime candidate for this legislation. The city and community are already taking steps to improve the river and its adjacent areas and this legislation will provide a much needed boost.”

The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act is currently authorized in five cities: Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Peoria, and Rockford. The Kankakee-Bradley area has a significantly higher unemployment rate than the rest of the state at 8.3%.

“These incentives are successfully implemented on other rivers around the state and are proven to help boost the local economy,” Rep. Parkhurst continued. “This could be a critical tool to attract businesses, visitors, and families to Kankakee and help our economically challenged community thrive.”

Testifying with Representative Parkhurst was former State Representative Julie Curry on behalf of the City of Kankakee.

South Wilmington, IL… State Representative Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is pleased to announce the Village of South Wilmington was awarded a much needed federal infrastructure grant from the State. The grant money will be used towards the replacement of a water tower. 
“This is a well-deserved grant award for the Village,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “A water tower is vital to local drinking water and the water used in fighting fires. I know the money will be put to good use.”

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According to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the village of South Wilmington will receive $450,000 through the 2016 Public Infrastructure Community Development Block Grants. The Community Development Block Grant program is one of the longest continuously run programs at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Although federally funded, this program is administered in the State of Illinois by the DCEO. The grants are used to support local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.

The village of South Wilmington is one of only forty projects throughout the state to receive funding through these grants. The Grundy County village has a population of 681 people. 

Image result for property taxesIllinois now has the highest tax burden in the country. A new study from says that Illinois now has the highest collective state and local tax burden. The median tax rate for an average Illinois household is 14.76%. In real dollars the median household pays an average of $8,162 annually, which is 37.66% higher than the national average. WalletHub found that the biggest tax offender in Illinois was property taxes. Illinois has an effective property tax rate of 7.56%, 2nd only to New Jersey. The full analysis from WalletHub can be found here

In addition a recent poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 47 percent of registered voters in Illinois say they want to move out, with 27 percent of them citing property taxes as their top reason.

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst:

"This report confirms what everyday Illinoisans are feeling, that we are taxed to the hilt. It is further proof that we cannot and should not attempt to tax our way out of our current budget woes. We need economic growth and accountable government spending." 

Springfield, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) successfully passed her first piece of legislation out of the House. Rep. Parkhurst took office on January 11th, 2017 and today passed House Bill 1772 unanimously from the House.

“I’m happy to pass my first bill,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “A lot of behind the scenes effort goes in to pushing your various pieces of legislation and while many bills are filed and debated, few bills end up passing the House. It is a learning process and any time you get a win, it feels great.”

HB 1772 amends a law requiring individual fingerprint vendor employees to submit proof to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation the equipment owned by their employer, the fingerprint vendor agency, is properly certified by the Illinois State Police as meeting certain security standards. The law is amended so the proof of certification requirement is shifted to the responsible party, the agency that actually owns and maintains the equipment, not the individual employee.

HB 1772 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
Springfield, IL… Putting her money where her mouth is, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) sponsored and passed legislation to curb government costs. House Bill 643 prohibits the automatic cost of living adjustment for State Representatives, and other executive government personnel, which is scheduled for the 2018 fiscal year beginning on July 1st of this year. The bill further reduces the reimbursement for per diem and mileage to the rate that has been established in FY 2012.

“I came to Springfield committed to fiscal responsibility,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “We have not had a budget in two years, now is the worst time for legislators to give themselves a nearly $1500 dollar raise.”

State Representatives earn $67,836 per year and earn a $111 per diem while in Springfield for session. In addition, lawmakers can earn thousands more by serving in various leadership and committee roles. State Representatives have not received a paycheck since last summer when former Comptroller Munger instituted a “No Budget, No Pay” policy that placed lawmaker paychecks at the end of the State’s billion dollar bill backlog.

“If we are asking colleges, social service providers, and others to tighten their belts in these tough budgetary times, it is only right we do the same,” Rep. Parkhurst continued.   

The House has passed similar bills in years past and this year HB 643 legislation passed overwhelmingly on a 98-3-1 vote.
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Springfield, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) has sponsored legislation aimed at reviving and redeveloping the stagnant area around the Kankakee River. House Bill 335 amends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act to allow for a zone in Kankakee. 

“The city of Kankakee is the perfect candidate for this kind of legislation,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “The river is vital to our city and our community should be able to participate in this successful growth initiative.”

The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act, passed in 2006, is currently authorized only for Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Peoria, and Rockford. The law is designed to help stimulate the economy adjacent to rivers in Illinois with property, sales, and income tax incentives.

“Kankakee County’s current enterprise zones have undoubtedly had a beneficial impact on the growth of the local economy,” Parkhurst continued. “However, like most of Illinois, areas in the 79th district surrounding the river are still suffering under economic stagnation. Similar to an enterprise zone, a redevelopment zone authorized through this act will help add to the economic progress being made.”

HB 335 has been assigned to the Revenue and Finance Committee and is awaiting a hearing. 
In January, the Illinois House of Representatives passed two resolutions to honor long serving members of the Kankakee community. 

House Resolution 33 congratulates Sheriff Timothy Bukowski's on his retirement after 39 years of service to the Kankakee police department. Sheriff Bukowksi is a US army veteran who was appointed Sheriff in 1996.

House Resolution 36 congratulates Kankakee Fire Chief Ron Young, a position he has held since 2004, on his retirement. Chief Young served as a firefighter for over 30 years. 

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst, who sponsored HR 33 and 36, presented a copy of the resolution to Sheriff Bukowski at a Kankakee County Board meeting week. 

"It was an honor to recognize the achievements of Sheriff Bukowski and to present him with the good wishes and congratulations of the entire Illinois House of Representatives," Rep. Parkhurst said.