Rep. Swanson’s June 30 Capitol News Update


  • New laws on July 1
  • Estate tax putting family farms at risk
  • Awaiting court rulings on 2nd Amendment, SAFE-T Act
  • Celebrating Independence

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New laws, tax increases take effect July 1

Gas and groceries are going to get more expensive with the arrival of the month of July on Saturday. Every year the state of Illinois tax on gasoline goes up slightly to keep up with inflation, meaning that this year on July 1 the tax will increase by another 3.1 cents for gallon. Diesel prices will increase the same amount as well.

A 1% tax on groceries, which was suspended last year due to soaring inflation, is being put back in place starting on Saturday. The return of this tax will cost Illinois consumers around $400 million over the next year.

Some other fees will increase with the arrival of the new fiscal year on Saturday. Certain permit fees for coroners are doubling. Another fee on county recorder real-estate documents under the Rental Housing Support Program is doubling as well.

A few other new laws are taking effect on July 1, including legislation to make Constitution Day a commemorative date. Schools and state offices will remain open, but the day will be an occasion for educational opportunities about our U.S. Constitution.

Illinois’ estate tax putting family farms at risk

This spring House Republicans introduced a half dozen bills to either reduce or eliminate the burdensome estate tax altogether. Governor Pritzker has said that reducing the estate tax is one of his priorities as well, but legislative Democrats did not permit us to take any action on the issue before the House adjourned for the summer.

The estate tax falls most heavily on property that cannot be moved out of state, like small businesses, farms and houses. This is especially harmful in Illinois because nearly 70,000 families own and operate 96% of the farms in Illinois. This means that each of those families has to address a potentially large estate tax bill in their succession planning, which can sometimes force farm families to consider shuttering their farm. Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin do not charge an estate tax, and Iowa is in the process of eliminating the tax in that state. But in spite of some signs of hope, Illinois failed to act.

Small farms and businesses will continue to be punished by the state’s overly burdensome estate tax. Farmers should not be faced with making legacy-altering decisions or losing a many generation family farm. Progress was made on this issue during the spring session, but in the end, nothing was brought forward for a vote.

Awaiting Court rulings on 2nd Amendment, SAFE-T Act

The Illinois Supreme Court has heard challenges to the recently-enacted gun ban and the 2021 SAFE-T Act, and now we are awaiting their rulings.

In March the Justices heard arguments for and against the SAFE-T Act, which was enacted over the objections of law enforcement in early 2021 and which has been the subject of multiple revisions since then. It was supposed to go into effect on January 1, but was put on hold due to court challenges questioning its no-cash-bail provisions.

The challenge to the gun ban reached the Supreme Court in May, but it is also being argued in federal court. An appeals court in Chicago was scheduled to hear the case late this week. There is speculation that the Illinois Supreme Court could be awaiting news from the federal courts. It is also possible that the federal challenge could end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stay tuned.

Celebrating Independence!

I want to wish everyone a very happy 4th of July as we mark our nation’s 247th birthday!

There are many exciting festivities going on around the area. Please remember to use caution with fireworks and have a very safe and happy celebration.

Please also take a moment to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, their families, and those who are currently serving us far from home so that we may enjoy our celebrations.

More news

State superintendent joins growing ag education conversation

What is the Franchise Tax and how does it impact small businesses in Illinois?

‘Best of’ lists: Galesburg is friendly and has some of the most affordable housing in the U.S.

Illinois’ cocktails to-go law extended 5 more years

Illinois has $3.5 billion in unclaimed funds. Is any of it yours?

Knox County Fair runs July 10-15

Mercer County Fair is July 11-15