State Representatives (11th and 12th Districts)
 

  • Illinois 11th District - Official website of the State Representative John Fritchey

    2539 N Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL
    MyStateRep@aol.com
    773 871 4000
     

  • Illinois 12th District - Official website of the State Representative Sara Feigenholtz

    1051 W Belmont, Chicago, IL
    773 296 4141

    NEW LAWS IN ILLINOIS

    Property Tax Reform

    The so-called 7% solution, which will bring property tax relief to countless homeowners in our district, extends the 7% cap for another three years and increases the exemption from $20,000 to $30,000.

    There are also a number of new or amended exemptions (on top of the General Homestead and Senior Homestead exemptions) in this legislation. They include the following:

    • The Disabled Homestead Exemption: Creates a $2,000 exemption for disabled homeowners.
    • Returning Veteran Homestead Exemption: Provides a one-time $5,000 exemption, available for the year they return from duty.
    • Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption: Gives a $2,500 exemption for veterans who are 50% to 75% disabled and $5,000 for individuals who are 75% to 100% disabled.
    • Senior Freeze - Removes the graduated exemption between $45,000 and $50,000; the maximum income will be $55,000 beginning in 2008 and thereafter.
    • Circuit Breaker - Increases each income threshold by $1,000-the last increase was in 2006.
    • Municipal abatement - A municipality or county may abate some or all of its own taxes levied upon property owned by the surviving spouse of a fallen police officer, firefighter or rescue worker.
     

    Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector Act

    This new law requires every house or apartment to be equipped with at least one approved carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of every bedroom. It is the owner’s responsibility to supply and install the alarms, but it is the tenant’s responsibility to test and to provide general maintenance and to notify the owner of any problems.

    Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft

    In 2005 there were over 685,000 identity theft complaints filed nationwide, 27,000 of which came from Illinois. To help cut into that number, this new legislation allows consumers to place a security freeze on their credit reports. I am proud to have co-sponsored this bill which gives consumer a new layer of protection when it comes to their identity and financial security

    Minimum Wage Increase

    During the 94th General Assembly, we successfully passed a measure that effectively raises the minimum wage in Illinois to $7.50 an hour beginning July 1, 2007. It will also increase an additional $0.25 per year until 2010, when the minimum wage will be $8.25 an hour. Hardworking people deserve to be paid a dignified wage adequate for supporting themselves and their families and this move is an essential first step to helping them achieve just that.

     

    From the desk of State Rep. John Fritchey (June 2007)

    While the Legislature has been spending at least part of the summer in Springfield, I’ve been looking forward to coming home to spend time with my family, get around the district, and meet with residents and neighborhood groups. In the meantime, let me take this opportunity to tell you about some of the issues on which I have been working.

    Closer to home, I understand that government becomes most apparent when it starts to hit our pocketbooks. As I recently said in a published letter to the editor, amidst record-high gas prices and with electric rates on the verge of surging through the roof, failure to address the issue of skyrocketing property taxes would add tremendous insult to injury. (You can read the full letter at www.fritchey.com/newsroom.html)   Three years ago, along with my colleagues in Springfield and Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan, we passed a law aimed at lessening the impact of the property tax reassessments from the previous reassessment.  Those protections, while beneficial, expired this year.  In the final hours of regular session, the House passed Senate Bill 13, which extends the “7% cap” as well as providing additional means of relief. At the time of writing this article, this bill was also awaiting action by the Senate. (Again, further details on this bill and others can be found on my website.)

    Of course, this legislation will only buy us time and provide a Band-Aid for the next few years. In the long-run, I believe that the cure may well rest in converting to a system of acquisition-based assessment, in which property taxes are tied to the purchase price of a residence with a reasonable and limited increase factored in over time. 

    Property taxes have continued to be one of my top priorities over the years because it is an issue that I see having one of the greatest and most direct impacts on my neighbors.  I am honored to represent such a vibrant and engaged neighborhood such as Lakeview, and if we don’t find a solution to this problem, we will force seniors out of their homes, and discourage new homebuyers from coming to our growing community.

    The most consistent (and justified) criticism I hear is how tired people are of seeing deceit and impropriety dominate our local headlines. If we could spend half the time discussing issues of real importance – like rising property taxes, equitable school funding, and affordable healthcare – that we do discussing corruption, I think we’d be much better off.

    But that won’t happen until more changes are made.  Since I was elected office eleven years ago, I have tirelessly fought for better government and reforms to our ethics laws. This year, in conjunction with Comptroller Dan Hynes, I introduced House Bill 1, legislation that would end the “pay to play” system in Illinois and significantly reduce the corrupting influence of large campaign contributions on the granting of State contracts by prohibiting the awarding of state business to these big donors.  At the time of writing this article, the bill was awaiting action by the Senate.

    While this sweeping piece of legislation is still pending, two other ‘good government’ bills have been moving forward. Both of these issues caught my (and probably your) attention in the newspapers, and I was proud to be able to find immediate solutions. First, House Bill 419 would prohibit an individual who has been convicted of a felony related to their elected duties (such as an official accepting bribes while in office) from running for public office again. In my opinion, if you defraud the public once, you shouldn’t get the chance to do it again. Secondly, House Bill 3578 will close a loophole in State law that allowed Cook County officials to take advantage of special pension sweeteners upon retirement. This issue most recently came to light with the retirement of Cook County Commissioner Bobbie Steele.  If the Governor signs HB3578, all officials across the State will be held to the same standard – and taxpayers will be better off for it.

    For now, let me just say that I firmly believe that it is our growth and diversity that makes this one of the most remarkable neighborhoods in Chicago. We are on the brink of something truly exciting in our community. We are rebuilding many of our parks, improving our schools, welcoming new families to new homes, and ushering in new leadership at the local level. I’ve never been more excited to work together to make our great community extraordinary, and hope you will continue to contact me with your concerns and ideas.

     

     





















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