Capitol Report from Senator Craig Wilcox

Senate Republicans Highlight Pro-Business Legislative Agenda

As Illinois’ unfriendly business climate continues to push large companies like Boeing, Caterpillar, Stellantis, and Tyson Foods to leave the state or significantly reduce their corporate presence, this morning five members of the Senate Republican Caucus highlighted a package of business advocacy initiatives that would help Illinois better compete, create jobs and boost its economy.

Bills discussed at the press conference include:

  • Senate Bill 163: provides corporate manufacturers with enhanced incentives to invest more in research and development of new products, so that rather than receiving a tax incentive benefit once every three years, they would receive a tax credit on an annual basis for a higher percentage of their invested dollars.

  • Senate Bill 2084: incentivizes privately-held businesses to grow and thrive in Illinois through an innovation tax credit tied to research expenses for projects like new computer modeling technology, new 3-D modeling or imaging technology, and new public infrastructure and design.
  • Senate Bill 1810: removes the $100,000 cap on the Net Operating Loss (NOL) deductions on December 31, to help businesses invest and grow their organizations without revenue loss to the state.

  • Senate Bill 1406: makes good on the repeal of the franchise tax that the governor and Democratic Majority agreed to and then reneged on in 2021. The franchise tax includes three different taxes on money used to build a business as opposed to revenue or even net worth. Illinois is in the minority of states that impose such a tax.

  • Senate Bill 2140: reduces the filing fee for Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) by 50 percent.

  • Senate Bill 140: eliminates the Estate Tax for persons dying on or after the effective date or for transfers made on or after the effective date; also eliminates the Generation-Skipping Estate Tax.

  • Senate Bill 2075: supports and retains the states’ legacy businesses by creating a legacy tax credit for companies headquartered in Illinois, along with employee tax credits.

Rather than putting laws in place that push our job creators to take their businesses and jobs to other, more business-friendly states, we need to support them. We don’t just want businesses to locate in Illinois; we should incentivize them to grow and thrive here. By unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit through these measures, we are encouraging individuals and corporations with great ideas to act, launch, and expand businesses right here in Illinois.

Legislation to Keep an Eye On During Final Stretch of Session

With adjournment set for Friday, May 19, lawmakers head back to Springfield this week for the final five-week stretch of the spring legislative session. Despite the many good ideas, proposals, and legislation that have been introduced to help make Illinois a better state to live, work, and raise a family, there are some bills that seem to miss the mark when it comes to what Illinois’ priorities should be. Below is a list of some “not-so-good” bills to keep an eye on during the last few weeks of session. 

Senate Bill 182: Seeks to limit local control by permitting the Illinois Department of Public Health to control local health departments during a pandemic in which the Governor has issued a Disaster Declaration.

Senate Bill 1345: Allows noncitizens of the United States to register and vote in school board elections.

Senate Bill 1483: Allows inmates of a correctional facility, including those convicted of a felony, the ability to vote in elections despite the Illinois Constitution stating, “A person convicted of a felony, or otherwise under sentence in a correctional institution or jail, shall lose their right to vote, which right shall be restored not later than upon completion of his sentence.”

Senate Bill 1556: Sets Illinois up for a ban on gas cars by allowing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish rules to reduce carbon intensity from on-road transportation.

Senate Bill 2348: Requires school districts to provide 20 minutes of relaxation activities per week, such as yoga, meditation, or stretching, in addition to and not replacing recess.

Illinois Gun Ban Law Heard in Federal Court

Last week, oral arguments began in a federal district court in East St. Louis over the constitutionality of Illinois’ new assault weapons ban law. The case is a consolidation of several lawsuits filed by groups including the Illinois State Rifle Association.

On the plaintiff’s side, attorneys argued that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently set the standard for what is considered “arms” in the Second Amendment and that semi-automatics are arms in common use and are therefore protected by the Bill of Rights. The Illinois Attorney General representing the State, however, argued that because of technological advancement, the banned firearms are more advanced than what the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended to protect with the Second Amendment.

The start of the hearing is timely, as Monday marked the beginning of another phase of the gun ban taking effect. As of this week, citizens can no longer purchase certain magazines and if found in noncompliance can face a petty offense charge with up to a $1,000 fine. Noncompliant firearms, however, can face a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 3 felony charge for subsequent offenses.

I have been vocal in my belief that the assault weapons ban violates the Constitution, and I am confident the federal district court will agree.

Spring Marks Beginning of Many Agribusinesses

With the arrival of warmer weather, Illinoisans are spending more time outdoors and enjoying all that this part of Illinois has to offer. Agribusiness is a major contributor to the Illinois economy, and in this part of the state, one spring event that is growing in popularity is the Tulip Festival at Richardson Farm in Spring Grove.

Mother Nature drives the opening of the tulip fields, which feature 300,000 new bulbs of 40 different varieties, that will be added to the 300,000 bulbs planted in each of the previous two years. It appears the fields will probably be in bloom with all 900,000 bulbs at the end of April through mid-May. Learn more about this local festival at:

Tax Season Comes to a Close

If you haven’t already filed your 2022 taxes, now is the time to do so as the deadline is fast approaching. Earners have until Tuesday, April 18 to file both federal and state taxes.

As you are preparing your taxes, the Illinois CPA Society is warning of the most common tax-filing mistakes to avoid.

One of the biggest mistakes taxpayers can make is in the personal information section. A misspelled name, incorrect Social Security/tax ID number, or forgetting to update a changed direct deposit account can result in delayed acceptance of your return or the IRS rejecting it entirely. This would result in a delayed tax return if you were owed money, or a monthly penalty added to your tax bill plus any incurred interest.

Additional areas to pay attention to are your income and the credits and deductions sections. If your income does not match what the government has on file, at best the government will request more information from you, and at worst you will be fined. Most earned income will generate a form for you to use to prepare your tax returns, however, you are responsible for reporting some forms of taxable income on your taxes. Meanwhile, it is often challenging to keep the requirements for credits and deductions straight, so be sure to check through each option closely and provide proof when necessary.

One last easily confused area of taxes is investments. Financial institutions are required to provide this information on a regulated form, however, much like personal income there are some investments that are self-reported. Not only should you be careful of underreporting your investments to avoid penalties, but you also need to be aware of which transactions have already been reported so that you are not overreporting on yourself.

Craig Wilcox

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