teachers supplies taxLocal lawmakers stand with educators, urge Congress to do the same

CHICAGO – A tax policy win for teachers in Illinois is now at risk of being undermined at the national level as Congressional Republicans and President Trump debate wiping out tax relief for teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies.

The federal debate comes just months after state lawmakers created a new tax credit in an effort to recognize the realities classroom teachers face. A trio of North Side state lawmakers is speaking out to defend teachers and criticize Republican efforts in Congress.

“That’s Washington and the White House going in entirely the wrong direction,” Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton said. “The reality is that teachers across the city, state and country spend their own money to make sure students have what they need in order to learn. The least we can do is give those teachers some degree of tax relief for those expenses. I can’t believe the Republicans in Washington would try to eliminate it.”

State Representative Ann Williams agreed Washington is going the wrong way on this issue.

Read more: Congressional Republicans try to undo win for Illinois teachers

SPRINGFIELD – The governor’s decision to sign a law protecting women’s reproductive health rights is an important step forward, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said Thursday.

Cullerton issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner signing HB 40.

“These protections ensure women have access to the reproductive health care of their choice regardless of economic status. It is an important step forward here in Illinois at a time when so much at the national level appears to be going backward.”

CHICAGO — A complete overhaul of how Illinois funds schools was signed into law Thursday, finally eliminating Illinois’ worst-in-the nation school funding formula and putting in place a framework to ensure the state’s investment in public education helps those most in need.

Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement:

“This is a historic but long overdue first step. Today, this law ensures schools across Illinois open and stay open for the school year. Going forward, it declares our commitment to fairness and equity in funding public education across our great state.”

SPRINGFIELD – Following the Senate’s approval of a sweeping overhaul of public education finance that’s been decades in the making, Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement.

“The state’s hated school funding formula is finally on its last legs. We are one signature away from overhauling the worst public school funding system in the nation. It will be replaced by one that recognizes fairness and equity and the individual challenges in each school in each part of our great state.

“This ensures that $350 million in new school funding that we included in our budget is prioritized for the public schools and students who need it the most.

“I support this plan because it ensures our schools stay open and that we will move forward with a fair and equitable system of funding public education.

“Keep in mind, none of this would be possible if not for the revenue plan we passed to stabilize our economy and provide resources for public education.”