Environmental town hall

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will no longer have to pay a fee to protect their identity when freezing their credit thanks to legislation that was signed into law today.

House Bill 4095 is an initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs.

The new law will bar credit reporting agencies from charging consumers a fee to place or lift a freeze on their credit report, and gives consumers the ability to do so electronically or over the phone instead of by certified mail.

“This law guarantees that consumers will not have to pay a fee to protect their credit after a credit agency jeopardizes their personal information,” Cunningham said. “By updating the law to allow consumers to place or lift a credit freeze electronically or over the phone, the measure ensures consumers are able take action to prevent or minimize damage to their credit.”

This action comes in response to the massive data breach suffered by Equifax from May to July of last year. As many as 143 million Americans nationwide and 5.4 million Illinois residents may have been impacted by the breach of sensitive consumer information.

The legislation takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly today would eliminate long-term delays Cook County property owners face in obtaining refunds for flawed tax assessments and overpayments.

Senate Bill 1979 aims to provide property owners with the money they are owed in a timelier manner by increasing the yearly limit on the amount of property tax overpayments that may be refunded to $5 million from $2.5 million.

Each year, the current threshold is reached very quickly, which causes a long-term backlog in refunds that property tax owners are entitled to.

SB 1979 is sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham and State Representative Fran Hurley, Democrats representing parts of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs.

“Property owners should not be put on a years-long waiting list to receive money that is rightfully theirs,” Cunningham. “This legislation would alleviate that backlog by doubling the amount of money Cook County is authorized to award each year for overpaid property taxes.”

In 2017, 402 taxpayers did not receive a refund for their overpaid taxes, according to research Kensington Research & Recovery, a firm that assists taxpayers with obtaining refunds.

There is currently an estimated $94.1 million in unclaimed tax overpayments, according to the Cook County Treasurer’s office.

“Cook County’s current system for issuing refunds for overpaid property taxes is simply unsustainable. Based on preliminary data, hundreds of taxpayers are set to go another year without receiving their refunds,” Hurley said. “Senate Bill 1979 will accelerate the process in which the nearly $100 million owed to property owners is recovered.”

Under SB 1979, if payment of a claim for a refund would cause the total amount of taxes and interest for all claims to exceed $5 million for the given year, the refund will be paid in the succeeding year.

SB 1979 awaits the Governor’s signature to become law.

 

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham issued the following statement following the passage of a balanced budget plan by the Illinois Senate:

“This bipartisan budget is a responsible spending plan agreed to by leaders from both parties and chambers that rejects the governor’s cost shifts and fulfills our obligation to students and teachers. By increasing K-12 funding by $352 million and fully funding teachers’ retirement and pensions, this budget avoids the governor’s proposal to shift responsibility for paying teacher pensions from the state to local property tax payers.

“The budget provides a 2 percent increase in funding to state universities and makes MAP Grants securable for four years, which will help students plan a foreseeable academic path at schools in Illinois instead of seeking out-of-state schools. The budget also includes a new merit and financial based scholarship program, AIM HIGH, for undergraduate students at public universities geared toward keeping our best and brightest students in Illinois.”

Cunningham is a Democrat representing parts of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
311B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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