Sen. Michael E. Hastings

SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) joined his colleagues to champion a package of proposals to help put money back in the pockets of working families in the South Suburbs.

Hastings is sponsoring a plan to wipe out the state sales tax on clothing, shoes and school supplies for 10 days in August to give consumers an economic boost as they go back-to-school shopping. As proposed, the sales tax would be lifted from Aug. 5 to Aug. 14.

“As a parent, I know back-to-school expenses can be expensive. The prices of pencils, notebooks, new clothes for our growing little ones, and more add up – especially for families with multiple children,” said Hastings. “This proposal recognizes the reality that families across the state face and should help lower the bill on their back-to-school shopping.”

This measure is part of a comprehensive tax relief plan proposed by the Illinois Senate Democrats plan that would wipe out state taxes on groceries, stop higher gas taxes and deliver income and property tax refund checks to families across the state.

Under this plan, the state would directly deliver relief checks valued at $100 per person and $50 per child to state taxpayers making up to $250,000 individually or up to $500,000 jointly. A household of four could see a $300 check.

Hastings believes this plan puts money back in the hands of consumers.

“The pandemic was tough on all of us,” Hastings said. “These tax relief refund checks can be used to support local businesses, make a car payment or pay your utility bills – it is up to you.”

The relief checks would likely come in early fall. Lawmakers estimated more than 97% of state taxpayers would get a check.

Senate Bill 1150 also includes property tax relief checks of up to $300 that would be mailed to taxpayers.

“This plan brings direct relief to homeowners in the South Suburbs,” Hastings said. “What better way than to give them the freedom to choose how they wish to spend that money.”

The plan also includes:

  • Wiping out the state’s sales tax on groceries for six months and stopping a higher gasoline tax increase from happening this summer.
  • Providing a $500 tax credit for anyone who served at least 9 months in the previous year as a volunteer firefighter or EMS provider.
  • Giving educators a tax credit of up to $300 for supplies bought for their classrooms.
  • Increasing to the Earned Income Tax Credit to help lift low-to moderate income families out of poverty through promoting work and expanding economic security.

The plan, unveiled in legislation filed Friday in the Senate, totals more than $1.8 billion in economic relief. It could be voted on in the coming days as the legislative session heads toward a planned adjournment on April 8.

During Hastings’ time in the Senate, Illinois has received multiple credit rating upgrades including Moody’s Investors Service, S&P and Fitch. Illinois’ has also reported to have paid back the bill backlog and has been paying its bills in about 15 business days since July 1, 2021.

“Our responsible fiscal decisions have put our state on the trajectory for economic growth and given us the opportunity to pay it forward and give money back to taxpayers,” said Hastings.

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CONTACT SENATOR HASTINGS

Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
20855 South LaGrange Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

Senate Chambers