It is important for us to remember the fallen who have given us the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the benefits of living in the greatest country in the world. Thank you to all the veterans past and present. You will never be forgotten.
As a veteran myself, I was proud this past week as our caucus unveiled its annual Wall of Remembrance in honor of Memorial Day. The Wall of Remembrance features a moving display of photos and stories of men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Visitors also have the opportunity to share their own stories and memories of loved ones and friends who have fallen in the line of duty, or to simply express gratitude by filling out notes to post on the Wall.
With just four days remaining until the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn the spring legislative session on May 31, several controversial issues remain unresolved.
Lawmakers have not yet acted on issues like an overhaul of Illinois income tax system from a flat to a graduated tax system, legalization of recreational cannabis, sports betting, or a much needed capital plan. Additionally, lawmakers must approve a budget for Fiscal Year 2020 in the remaining days.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, students are another step closer to learning about hunting safety, under a measure that has now passed both the House and Senate. I am the Senate sponsor of HB 3462, which gives school districts the option to include hunting safety classes in their curriculum as a unit of instruction on hunting education. This bill should soon be off to the Governor.
It was great to have Logan Klitzing as my “page for the day” this past Wednesday. I enjoyed helping Logan learn about the legislative process here in the Senate. Logan just finished his freshman year at Quincy University, majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Philosophy. After graduating, Logan wants to enter the job force as a programmer, or the idea of seminary has crossed his mind. Good luck Logan!
Qualified deputy fire chiefs or assistant fire chiefs will now be able to operate a vehicle with red or white oscillating, rotating, or flashing emergency lights, under a measure that has passed both the House and Senate. I am happy to be the Senate sponsor of HB 1876, which will be a great benefit to volunteer fire departments across the state, where the Chief is not always able to respond to the scene and the Deputy Chief and/or Assistant Chief may be the one responding.
On May 14, Senate Republican lawmakers joined firefighters and their families from around the state who traveled to Springfield to participate in the 26th Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Firefighting Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony. The ceremony, which takes place every year in May, honors those who have made the supreme sacrifice, and those who have demonstrated extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism to protect fellow firefighters and civilians.
Students could soon hit the books to learn about hunting safety under a measure sponsored in the Illinois Senate by Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville). House Bill 3462 would give school districts the option to include hunting safety classes in their curriculum as a unit of instruction on hunting education.
“Students who are exposed to lessons in hunting safety have a greater chance of respecting firearms and using them properly for the rest of their lives,” said Sen. Plummer. “As the law is shifting to emphasize the importance of safe handing—adopting legislation like this could make for an accessible path for students to learn these methods in depth, early on in their lives.”
The plan would require the State Board of Education to prepare and distribute instructional materials that may be used as guidelines for development of a unit of instruction on hunting education.
Current Illinois law requires anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1980 to present a valid Hunter Education Certificate of Competency issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Safety Education Division or another state before being issued a hunting license.
Many states are now requiring adult hunters to furnish evidence of having completed a Hunter Education Course prior to issuance of a non-resident license. An Illinois Hunter Safety Education certificate is accepted by all other states.
The plan unanimously passed out of the House of Representatives and is currently on 2nd reading in the Senate having passed in committee. You can follow further action on this bill on ilga.gov.
SPRINGFIELD—May 1, 2019—Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) expressed disappointment in today’s passage of the Governor’s proposed graduated income tax increase. Sen. Plummer has been vehemently opposed to the Democratic proposal that calls for hiking income taxes on the businesses and hardworking families throughout Illinois who are already overtaxed.
Under Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1, there are no provisions in place to prevent future rates from being raised, creating greater uncertainty for taxpayers who are already on the fence about leaving Illinois. It is important to note that since the Governor announced so-called "fair tax" rates, they have already changed. The top marginal rate on this proposal has gone up and the income to which the top rate is subject for those filing separately has already come down by $250,000.
The argument in states that keep a flat tax is that transitioning to a graduated tax system makes tax increases more likely, and the government more prone to change the rates.
In the last 20 years, states that have a flat tax system have reduced taxes 21 times and increased them only four. It is worth noting that half of those increases were in Illinois. In states with graduated tax systems, over the same 20 year period, on 24 occasions, taxes have gone up and the income threshold to which the maximum rate applies has been dropped drastically. Data shows flat tax systems protect all taxpayers.
"The constitutional amendment was just introduced a few weeks ago and we've already seen the rates change," said Sen. Plummer. "A lot of trust is already lost, so how can we believe the numbers being pushed aren't going to change on us again? This proposal is dangerous. The answer to our state government's problems is not to raise taxes."
What Sen. Plummer says is even more troubling is the proposal provides no protections for middle-income families, and takes away the stability the current flat tax provides to taxpayers.
"This is a huge red flag. Shifting from a flat tax to a graduated tax makes it even easier for politicians with no fiscal discipline to raise taxes again," said Sen. Plummer. "No one in their right mind would give Springfield legislators a blank check to control tax rates. They're creating a stronger signal to families and businesses to flee Illinois."
Lessons learned the hard way
Looking back to 2017, the record-setting $5 billion permanent income tax hike was supposed to balance the budget, but has failed to do so. At the time, the individual tax rates rose to an alarming 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent, and corporate taxes jumped to 7 percent from 5.25 percent.
"Whatever trust there was is gone," said Sen. Plummer. "The same legislators who've promoted tax-and-spend policies for years, while refusing to rein in state spending, will be the first ones calling for future increases."
Rep. Meier and Sen. Plummer to meet in O’Fallon April 24
SPRINGFIELD – April 23, 2019 – Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) will unite with Illinois House Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) in O’Fallon this week for a public town hall forum. The free event will be held on Wednesday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Katy Cavins Community Center located at 308 E. 5th St. in O’Fallon.
Participants will learn more about legislation pending in the Illinois General Assembly such as the graduated income tax increase, gun control, the proposed legalization of marijuana, job creation, and other important issues facing the state. The forum is open to the public and members of the media.
SPRINGFIELD—March 26, 2019—Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) is backing a new initiative to curb tax increases in the state. The Illinois Senate Republican Caucus is seeking to protect the middle class and give them a voice in safeguarding their hard-earned money through Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 12, filed by State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods).
The proposal calls for an amendment to Illinois' Constitution to prohibit the legislature from imposing or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds supermajority vote in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Currently, legislators only need a simple majority to pass a tax increase or to implement a new tax.
"Enough is enough," said Sen. Plummer. "Middle income families need enhanced protections against Illinois' money hungry politicians. When government continues to create ways to reach into the pockets of their residents, the least we can do is provide taxpayers with an avenue of defense. They need a seat at the table."
Sen. Plummer noted 15 states impose some kind of supermajority requirement—forcing two-thirds, three-fourths, or three-fifths of theses legislatures to support the plan in order to raise or implement taxes.
"We're seeing state after state adopt this type of protection," said Sen. Plummer. "States all around are moving in this direction in order to help protect taxpayers and ensure tax increases aren't just passing willy-nilly."
To put SJRCA 12 on the ballot in 2020, a three-fifths majority is required, and for the amendment to be adopted, voters must approve it on the ballot with three-fifths of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election. If placed on the ballot and approved by voters, any new state tax or state tax increase would need to obtain 40 votes in the Senate and 79 votes in the House.
Reps. Wilhour and Meier to meet Plummer in Centralia following budget address
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Feb. 14, 2019 – State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) will join a group discussion in Centralia on Thursday, Feb. 21, alongside Representatives Wilhour and Meier from the Illinois House. The town hall follows the governor’s budget address scheduled for Wednesday. Together the lawmakers will tackle topics ranging from economic development, job creation, taxes, and other important issues facing the State of Illinois.
Who: Sen. Jason Plummer, Rep. Charlie Meier, and Rep. Blaine Wilhour
What: Town Hall
When: 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21
Where: Kaskaskia College, Lifelong Learning Center, 27210 College Rd. in Centralia
The town hall will also touch on legislation circulating in the Illinois General Assembly such as minimum wage, gun control, and the legalization of marijuana. The town hall is open to the public and members of the media are welcome to attend.
Proposed legislation is clear government overreach, attack on personal rights
SPRINGFIELD – January 28, 2019 – Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) is sharing concern over recently introduced legislation, (House Bill 888) that forces law-abiding citizens to give Illinois state agencies access to their personal social media accounts for merely considering exercising their constitutional right to own a firearm.
"It's shocking that big-government liberals think the people of Illinois would be OK with granting government agencies the ability to snoop through their social media platforms," said Sen. Plummer. "This ‘Orwellian' mindset is frightening and something that all Americans, regardless of their partisan affiliation, should be on guard against. In America we care about individual rights and privacy."
Sen. Plummer also highlighted legislation (Senate Bill 107) that calls for a ban on the sale or the unregistered possession of dozens of semi-automatic firearms, dubbed, "assault weapons," to scare and mislead citizens. The bill also forces law-abiding gun owners to pay additional fees and consent to a massive government registry simply for owning these firearms, otherwise risk criminal penalties.
"This means that failure to pay additional fees and acquiesce to register lawful and privately owned firearms in a massive government-controlled database, even firearms passed down in a family from generation to generation, will lead to a felony charge and fines and/or prison time," said Sen. Plummer.
Numerous types of widely-owned semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns are included based solely on their appearance rather than how they function.
"This legislation is an obvious overreach and infringes upon law-abiding citizens' privacy and Second Amendment rights," said Sen. Plummer. "The proposed legislation penalizes good, law-abiding citizens who have done absolutely nothing wrong. I plan to share my concerns with HB 888 and SB 107 with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. This legislation sounds like stuff that comes out of the mind of totalitarian state apparatchiks—not from elected officials in a republic committed to individual rights and freedoms."
TROY, IL – State Senate candidate Jason Plummer has received two key endorsements from business groups that represent thousands of Illinois small businesses. Both the National Federation of Independent Business and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce have endorsed Jason Plummer in his bid for State Senate in the 54th District. Plummer, a businessman and Vice President of R.P. Lumber Company has touted growing the economy and creating quality jobs as core aspects of his campaign.
"I'm honored to have the support of these business groups and their many members throughout Southern Illinois," Plummer said. "Both the NFIB and Illinois Chamber of Commerce are doing a great job advocating for hard-working people and trying to foster an environment of job creation in Illinois. What they understand is that businesses and workers have been under attack in our state. Southern Illinois has seen its native industries smothered by a hostile regulatory policies and small business owners are bearing the brunt of the income tax increase."
The NFIB Illinois PAC's support is based on the candidates' positions and records on small-business issues. "Our members support candidates who support small business," said Mark Grant, NFIB state director for Illinois. "These candidates clearly understand the vital role small businesses play in the state's economy and are committed to creating an environment where they can expand and create jobs."
Likewise, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce PAC, one of the oldest in Illinois and representing local business interests from across the state according to their website, defines itself as an ally to "pro-business candidates."
Plummer does not believe that the state's economy is beyond repair. "My message is that Illinois can absolutely compete for jobs if we listen to the people who create them. I'm a pro-growth candidate and I will stand shoulder to shoulder with groups like these that defend Illinoisans against the onslaught state government overreach and over-taxation. We have vast potential that is just waiting to be realized if government can move out of the way."
The full release can be obtained here: https://bit.ly/2CLVBws
TROY, IL — Trustees from the Illinois Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR committee representing each county in the 54th State Senate District have voted to endorse Jason Plummer to be the district's next State Senator. This endorsement recognizes Plummer's longstanding commitment to supporting the agricultural sector and farmers across the state. Illinois Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR is a non-partisan advocacy group that supports pro-agriculture candidates for office.
"The 54th District has an abundance of prime farmland as well as a thriving dairy industry. The fact is that thousands of families in Southern Illinois depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and it's a key part of our economy," Plummer said. "Speaking to farmers, I've heard about a lot of unique issues that they face in dealing with the Department of Agriculture, the EPA, and other agencies and when I get to Springfield I will do everything possible to make sure farm families have a seat at the table. I'm humbled to have been endorsed by the ACTIVATOR committee and I look forward to partnering with them on important issues."
An early supporter of Plummer's campaign, Gale Koelling, is a farmer from Washington County and Chairman of the 54th Legislative District ACTIVATOR committee. He believes that Plummer will be an effective voice for the farming community. "Jason has a strong understanding of agricultural issues and will be a problem-solver in Springfield. He never shies away from asking questions or seeking advice and I believe that he'll be an asset for the people of Southern Illinois in the legislature."
The full release can be obtained here: https://bit.ly/2Ccv0rw