Illinois Green Party Sets Legislative Priorities in the General Assembly
Despite the control of those other two parties by corporate interests and the one-percenters, there are still some representatives in Springfield who introduce good legislation some of the time. Our Coordinating Committee recently voted to support the following bills. Both official summaries and full texts of the bills may be found by following the appropriate links at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/default.asp Please take some time to learn more about these bills, spread the word to family and friends – and ask your own representative and state senator to support them!
HB 106 (The Financial Transactions Tax Act): This is the current version of the speculation sales tax proposal, supported by the ILGP over the past few years. It has also been described as the “LaSalle Street Tax,” named after the Chicago street where large-scale financial trading occurs. Illinois operates two of the largest financial markets in the world, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Each year the value of products traded on these two exchanges totals over $800 trillion. H.B. 106 would require buyers and sellers to pay a $1/contract fee on all agricultural futures and futures options traded on these two exchanges and a $2/contract fee on all other trades. Average contract size at these exchanges is more than $225,000, so the tax amounts to less than 1/1000s of one percent of average contract value. Yet, given the volume of trading on these two exchanges, the tax would generate an estimated $10 – $12 billion in revenue annually, roughly one-third the value of our state’s current operating budget. That would be enough to avoid the current projected cutbacks and start paying down the pension deficit. (Introduced by Rep. Mary Flowers).
HB 107 (Community Bank of Illinois Act): This would create a public bank modeled on the successful Bank of North Dakota, which has helped ensure a dependable supply of affordable credit for farmers, ranchers and businesses since 1919, boosting that state’s economy and delivering a significant non-tax source of revenue to the state treasury. A wealth of information on the potential of public banking may be found at the Public Banking Institute, http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/ . (Introduced by Rep. Mary Flowers).
HB 108 (the Illinois Universal Health Care Act): This would create a publicly funded “single payer” universal health insurance system in Illinois, as has been advocated by the Illinois Green Party for years. A useful summary may be found at: http://ilsinglepayer.org/summary-illinois-universal-health-care-act-pnhp-illinois . (Introduced by Rep. Mary Flowers).
HB 3830 (Illinois Cooperative Act): This bill would encourages the growth of consumer and worker co-ops by clarifying and modernizing state laws last updated in 1915. It is supported by local food co-ops in Illinois and the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, among others. An informative summary of the bill may be found at: http://rebeccaoslandlaw.com/blog/ . (Introduced by Rep. Will Guzzardi)
SB 1264: This bill has no formal name but it is short – and sweet. It would amend the Election Code to add a new section, reading as follows: “Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if a deviation from the requirements for petitions under this Code is minor or technical in nature and does not (1) defeat the thrust, purpose, and effect of the Code or affect the intent to guarantee a fair and honest election or (2) prejudice public interest, the defect in the petitions shall not render the petition invalid.” This should help reduce the problem of candidates being knocked off the ballot due to insignificant technical errors, as has happened to some of our own. (Introduced by State Sen. Daniel Bliss)