OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (April 2022)

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce April 2022

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (April 2022) (Essex, IL) — We have arrived at the end of another productive legislative session, with a combined feeling of relief and optimism.

We ended our work early this year, but that does not mean we cut short our workload or accomplishments. I am proud to tell you this month about a number of positive outcomes from our work in Springfield that will help people in our district and drive our state forward in the right direction.

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This year’s budget is balanced, pays down debt, holds the line on tax increases, and provides real tax relief. The Earned Income Tax Credit expansion, direct checks, discounts on groceries, gas and property taxes – all of these ideas will help put money back in people’s pockets when they need it most.

We took a holistic approach to crime and public safety that I believe will benefit everyone. We are giving law enforcement better tools to catch criminals and more support to do their jobs the right way, through mental health aid and child care options. We’re cracking down on organized retail crime and carjacking, and giving victims the protection they need to ensure prosecutions.

Closer to home, I was proud to work with State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, to pass the Southland Reactivation Act through Senate Bill 3189. We partnered with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association on creating a new tool to identify commercial and industrial properties that have been left rundown, and will provide new tax incentives to owners who clean them up and put them to new use. It’s a great way to remove blight and restore hope in our local economy.

I’ll have more to share in upcoming columns about legislation I helped lead. But I wanted to mention one proposal that is particularly important.

I am proud to work this year with State Rep. Fran Hurley on House Bill 4161, which would create a new voluntary income tax checkoff for donations to the 100 Club of Illinois Fund.

The 100 Club is fully dedicated to honoring and supporting our first responders, those on the lines every day and those who have been killed in the line of duty. For more than a half-century, the Club has stepped up by meeting with surviving family members of fallen first responders, providing immediate cash assistance of up to $50,000 and then offering them educational and whatever other assistance they need moving forward.

Last month, the Club opened the First Responder Assistance Program to provide help, through training and funding, to all active duty first responders and departments.

They are taking on a big challenge, and they need our help. Every dollar counts. The legislation I am pushing now just needs the Governor’s signature, and we will get to work on other ways we can support those who put their lives on the line every day to protect ours and put our safety first.

I will soon be scheduling events and visiting locations throughout the district. Please contact my office if you would like to meet with me or have me out to an event or meeting.

I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at http://www.senatorpatrickjoyce.com/. I will continue to share the latest news on my website and on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/senPatrickjoyce40/.

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce April 2022

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Monica Gordon for Cook County Commissioner

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