With the state budget locked in heavy debate and both houses taking a short hiatus, Rockford leaders are critically concerned about the future of Senate Bill 1395 (July 1, 2007, collection date for sales tax collection). The governors signature is needed on the bill by Friday, June 22, for the city to have the opportunity to begin collecting taxes in time for the summer construction season.
With the potential for the bill to become lost in the last-minute budget talks, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) has turned to the very constituency that voted the referendum into action.
Morrissey said: I urge our citizens to contact Governor Blagojevich and their representatives in Springfield and remind them of the importance of the referendum to our community. If we lose the ability to collect taxes on July 1, we lose the ability to start our road projects this year. Our citizens are the best advocates for our community, and Springfield will listen to their collective voice.
Aldermen have added their voice to the mayors request. Ald. Ann Thompson-Kelly (D-7) said: A call or e-mail to the governors office and your elected representative will act as the reminder that we are here, we are watching, and we are concerned.
Community leaders have weighed in on the delays in Springfield. Bob Trojan, president of Rockford Linear Actuation, Inc., said: We need to get the work started on rebuilding our roads and infrastructure. The construction season is upon us; the planning, bidding and contracting for this important work must start immediately; otherwise, we could miss the current contracting season. I would urge passage of Senate Bill 1395 before July 1.
Tom Dal Santo, business manager for Laborers Local No. 32, added: The governors delay in signing this bill is a delay for our union members to work this summer. I have a total of 600 construction workers that need to put food on the table and need hours for health insurance. It is essential to our local that this bill be signed in time for a July 1 collection.
Citizens may contact their elected officials as follows:
Governor Rod Blagojevich: Office of the Governor, 207 State House, Springfield, IL 62706, phone: (217) 782-0244 or (312) 814-2121; TTY: (888) 261-3336; http://www.illinois.gov/gov/contactthegovernor.cfm
Chuck Jefferson: Springfield Office: 279-S Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-3167; (217) 557-7654 FAX; District Office: 200 S. Wyman St. No. 304, Rockford, IL 61102; (815) 987-7433; (815) 987-7225 FAX
Dave Syverson: Springfield Office: Senator, 34th District, 103C Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-5413; District Office: 200 S. Wyman St., Suite 302, Rockford, IL 61101; (815) 987-7555, (815) 987-7563 FAX
Dave Winters: Springfield Office: 221-N. Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62707; (217) 782-0455, (217) 782-1139 FAX; District Office: 3444 N. Main St., Suite 80, Rockford, IL 61103; (815) 282–0083, (815) 282-0085 FAX
Ron Wait: Springfield Office: 219-N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0548, (815) 782-5257 FAX; District Office: 411 S. State St., Belvidere, IL 61008; (815) 547-7771, (815) 547-7767 FAX
from the June 20-27, 2007, issue