Press

For Immediate Release – Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Contact:
Springfield Press – Brandon Hudspeth, 217-638-4606, b.hudspeth0702@gmail.com
Chicago Press – Kristi Sanford, 773-456-4024, kristi@iiron.org

With Tax Day Around the Corner, Illinoisans Demand Budget that Raises Revenue from Corporations and the Rich

Springfield, Illinois — With Governor Rauner and legislators unwilling to propose and debate a budget that requires corporations and wealthy people to pay their fair share, Fair Economy Illinois members will travel to Springfield on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 to put forth a “People and Planet First Budget.”

“We pay our fair share of taxes, and we value the public education, infrastructure, social safety net and other public goods our taxes make possible,” said Toby Chow, a leader with Fair Economy Illinois. “But in order to maintain low tax rates for corporations and the rich, our elected officials have, for several decades, used revenue that should have been invested in public pensions to cover the costs of Illinois’ most basic obligations. That unsustainable choice has finally reached a crisis point. The only moral and sustainable action our elected officials can take is to raise revenue by closing corporate tax loopholes and increasing the tax rate paid by our wealthiest residents.”

The People and Planet First Budget would raise an additional $23 billion per year in revenue from three main actions:

  1. Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes ($2.5 billion)
  2. Enacting a Graduated Income Tax ($9 billion)
  3. Passing the LaSalle Street Tax ($12 billion)

The People and Planet First Budget would invest an additional $23 billion annually to:

  • Fully fund pre-K through 12 education ($5 billion)
  • Provide universal healthcare ($4.5 billion)
  • Convert to all green energy over the next 30 years ($3.5 billion)
  • Fully fund human services ($3 billion)
  • Repair our infrastructure ($3 billion)
  • Provide free higher education at Illinois’ community colleges and state universities ($2.5 billion)
  • Increase pension investment ($2 billion)

These investments would create tens of thousands of jobs and improve both the overall economy and the quality of life for all Illinois residents. Click here to view additional details about the People and Planet First Budget.

“Today we’re asking our elected officials ‘Which side are you on?’,” said Tom Cullen, a leader with Fair Economy Illinois. “Illinois’ tax system is already deeply regressive, and it’s plain as day that elected officials can’t raise enough revenue from working and middle class people to fund even our state’s most basic responsibilities. We oppose any budget deal between Rauner and Madigan that raises revenue from working people, rather than from corporations and the rich, or makes budget cuts.”

Fair Economy Illinois is a statewide alliance that organizes urban, suburban and rural residents around issues that affect the common good. Since May 2015, Fair Economy Illinois has led Chicago’s Moral Mondays demonstrations, a series of direct actions and civil disobediences targeting wealthy donors to Governor Rauner’s political campaign and political action committee who support his devastating “Turnout Agenda”. Visit Moral Mondays Illinois on Facebook and search #MoralMondaysIL on Twitter for more information.
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For immediate release – Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Contact: Kristi Sanford, Kristi@iiron.org or 773-456-4024

Moral Mondays Leaders Call for Illinois Budget that Puts People and Planet First

Chicago, IL – On Wednesday, Governor Rauner will give his second annual budget address to the people of Illinois. Fair Economy Illinois, the statewide alliance behind the Moral Mondays Illinois civil disobedience demonstrations, has issued the following statement:

Illinois has a budget by default, and it is a budget exclusively for the 1%.  By dodging their responsibility to invest in Illinois, the super-rich and corporate CEOs are stealing billions of dollars of funding for education, human services and infrastructure to pad their own fortunes and quarterly earnings reports. Gov. Rauner, a multimillionaire with a direct interest in low tax rates for corporations and individuals, and Speaker Madigan, an elected official whose power depends upon raising and dispersing campaign cash from wealthy donors, both have an interest in preserving a 1% budget.  We oppose any budget deal between Rauner and Madigan that makes budget cuts or raises revenue from working people, rather than from corporations and the rich.

Instead, Gov. Rauner and Speaker Madigan must put the interests of people and the environment first by raising revenue from big corporations and the rich to invest in the common good. Specifically, we call on them to raise $12 billion annually by passing the LaSalle Street Tax and the progressive income tax, and by closing corporate tax loopholes. This money should immediately be invested in healthcare, education, human services and infrastructure, including a green energy infrastructure that transitions to reliance on renewable energy sources.

Fair Economy Illinois Leaders are available for interview on TV, Radio or for print coverage of Governor Rauner’s address.

Fair Economy Illinois calls on Illinois’ elected leaders to tax corporations and the rich as the only moral and sustainable solution to Illinois’ structural budget deficit. Fair Economy Illinois is a statewide alliance of urban, suburban and rural residents to fight the power of corporations and private interests in state government and to demand Illinois leaders invest in the common good.

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For Immediate Release – October 28, 2015

Kristi Sanford, 773-456-4024 or Kristi@iiron.org

As Illinois Enters Fifth Month without Budget, Moral Mondays Mass Mobilization Demands a Sales Tax on LaSalle Street

As Illinois enters it’s 5th month without a budget, a Cook County sales tax increase looms and Chicago approves the largest property tax increase in history, Moral Mondays Illinois’ demonstrators will gather Monday, November 2 at 10:30 am SHARP at the Thompson Center at 100 W. Randolph and march through the heart of Chicago’s financial district. They will demand that elected officials stop nickel and diming working people and raise revenue through a sales tax on what they call Chicago’s Wall Street – the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Known as the LaSalle Street Tax, this $1-$2 per trade sales tax would generate at least $10 billion in revenue annually for Illinois.

“You and I will soon pay 10.25% sales tax at the store.  Right now, big banks and corporations buying stocks and futures in Chicago don’t pay a cent.  A tiny sales tax amounting to less than .002% of the average contract value would scarcely be noticed by the big corporations that will pay it, but it would generate billions of dollars for vital resources that we need in our communities,” said Toby Chow of Fair Economy Illinois.  “Imagine all the people we could put back to work by rehiring laid-off teachers, fixing our crumbling streets and public transit and by providing the top quality education, infrastructure, healthcare and social services we desperately need.”

“There is immense wealth here in Chicago, but it is out of reach of those desperately in need. Rather than slowly impoverishing poor and middle class Chicagoans with tickets and garbage collection fees, we should implement a tiny tax on Lasalle Street. Rather than firing teachers, cutting childcare assistance, gutting Ceasefire and other services for those on the edge, we should tax LaSalle Street. Why hurt poor and middle class people when there is so much wealth around us?” said Rev. Tom Gaulke of Fair Economy Illinois. “We should not make cuts that hurt people who are already bleeding, but should just require banks and corporations to pay their fair share.”

In previous demonstrations, Moral Mondays activists have shut down LaSalle St. and Michigan Ave and have taken over the lobbies of Citadel, Morningstar and real estate billionaire Sam Zell. This is the 9th Moral Mondays Illinois demonstration demanding the legislature and governor tax corporations and the rich as the only moral and sustainable solution to Illinois’ budget crisis.

Moral Mondays Illinois is organized by Fair Economy Illinois.  Search #MoralMondaysIL on Twitter to learn more.

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