MORRIS – Members of the Grundy County business community – and beyond – heard firsthand from some of the areas representatives in Springfield and Washington on Monday at the Grundy Economic Development Council Legislative Breakfast.
Along with local legislators state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, and state Rep. David Welter, R-Morris, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, also was present.
State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst, R-Kankakee, also was present, and the lone Democrat was state Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields.
As guests ate French toast, eggs and fruit, GEDC president and chief executive officers Nancy Norton asked the legislators about issues facing the state and the country.
Kinzinger said he favored President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement.
“You can sit back and say we have an arguably verifiable anti-nuclear in Iran deal for the next 10 years,” he said.
However, in 10 years the deal would expire.
“Beyond nuclear weapons, there is the issue of Iran’s behavior in the region ... (Syria) is now the flashpoint where there is a regional war or World War 3 scenario.”
With an attempt to renegotiate the Iran deal, Kinzinger said, now other areas can be renegotiated as well.
On the topic of the ongoing budget talks, Rezin said she was confident there would be a bipartisan budget in place by the end of May.
“Negotiations are going the way they should,” she said. “Illinois not having a budget for two years was very difficult ... What we do not want is a six month budget.”
Rezin said that the last time the budget was passed it included an income tax increase, and that she has heard from many people that increases to taxes adversely impacts businesses.
Rezin also warned the group that there will be coming discussions about a progressive income tax that would charge higher earners more in taxes.
She said the state’s current flat tax is one of the few advantages businesses have in Illinois.
She also said that California, a state with a progressive income tax, had to increase all its levels of the income tax.
“This (progressive income tax) is something I certainly do not support,” Rezin said. “A middle-class family making $80,000 is paying around 8 percent. A lot more than the state of Illinois.”