DuPage Committee Studies Graduated Income Tax

The state cannot raise the revenue it needs to meet the basic core services, not because these services have grown and are to expensive, it is because the revenue system has not allowed for adequate revenue growth.  The graduated income tax will allow the state to provide the services we need, reduce the debt and grow the economy.  

The Doings Newspaper reports the following

County Board member Laurie Nowak, a Democrat from Bartlett, wondered if the state’s financial condition was as dire as portrayed by Sandack, noting that the fourth quarter of 2013 had produced strong growth.

County Board member Elizabeth Chaplin, a Democrat from Grove, questioned whether the flat tax was really as fair as portrayed by those who want to retain the status quo. She said that recent years had seen cuts in services to seniors and education, and that when factoring in all the other taxes Illinois residents paid, the brunt of the tax burden fell on the shoulders of lower-earning taxpayers.

“It’s an unfair system,” she said. 

You can read the full story  here.

Making DuPage a Cool County

Although not mentioned in the article DuPage County Board Member Laurie Nowak District 6 is on the Environmental Committee and has done much work on the Cool County Initiative. Laurie spoke at the summit as well. Very proud of my colleague.

The Naperville Sun reports the following

If local activists have anything to say about it, DuPage County is in for a cool spell.
Success will depend on the participation of myriad sectors, from corporations to neighborhoods, nonprofits to governmental agencies.
That proposition was the basis of the 2014 DuPage Energy Summit, held recently at the Hotel Arista in far northwest Naperville. Titled “Making DuPage a Cool County: A plan for energy and economic stability,” the event drew business people, environmental advocates, residents and others with an interest in the effort to improve local air quality by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The DuPage effort is well underway.
When DuPage officials took on the Sierra Club’s Cool Counties challenge in September 2012, they established a target of decreasing countywide greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent from 2007 levels by 2020, and 20 percent by 2030.
“It’s a pretty audacious goal, but I think it’s a very achievable goal,” said summit organizer Brook McDonald, chairman of the Green Government Council and president and CEO of the Conservation Foundation, headquartered in Naperville.

You can read the complete story here.

Graduated Income Tax

As a leader and public servant, making decisions based upon the facts and sharing the facts with the public should be a priority. I am concerned about the unsupported information that is being spread about the progressive income tax also known as the graduated income tax.
The income tax increase that was passed in January of 2011 will begin to sunset in January of 2015, changing from 5% to 3.75%.  The state will lose an estimated 2 billion dollars in revenue in fiscal year 2015 and $5 billion in fiscal year 2016. 
In response to this, the General Assembly can choose to do nothing, and try to find a way to cut $7 billion from the already strapped discretionary budget. Another option would be to extend 2011 income tax rate of the 5%, continuing an inflexible and ineffective form of revenue collection.
The final option is a graduated income tax structure.  In order for this to happen both houses in the general assembly would have to pass a bill with 3/5 majority, allowing the proposed amendment language to appear on the November 2014 ballot. Then it would have to be approved by 60% of Illinois voters, or by a majority of those voting for the amendment. If passed, Illinois would then have the option of enacting a progressive income tax. 
It is important to remember that no bills have been, nor can be, proposed that determine the tax structure of a graduated income tax.  However, the whole point of this type of income tax is to tax those with a greater ability to pay with a higher effective tax rate, and provide tax relief to those in a lower and middle income brackets. A graduated income tax is fair and effective.
I would encourage the public to gather as much information as possible on the fiscal health of our state. A Better Illinois is a coalition of community leaders and organizations throughout the state that support this constitutional change as does the League of Women Voters.  Visit their website for information and make sure you know all the options, so when the time comes you can make an informed decision.

The League of Women Voters of Illinois website can be found here.
A Better Illinois website can be found here.

Jean Kaczmarek for County Clerk – Has Your Polling Place Changed

This information is being provided via Jean Kaczmarek for County Clerk

Has your polling place changed? If you live in DuPage County, there’s a one in four chance the answer is yes. Notifications were sent out recently. Also, you can go on-line to double-check your polling place and voter registration status. Please spread the word to neighbors, friends and family.

DuPage County IL Official Website – DuPage County Election Commission, Voter Status Lookupwww.dupageco.orgDuPage County IL Government Website with information about County Board officials, Elected Officials, 18th Judicial Circuit Court Information, Property Tax Information, and Departments for Community Services, Homeland Security, Public Works, Stormwater, DOT, Convalescent Center, Supervisor of Assess…

You can find her and like her facebook page here.

DuPage County Heating Site Locations

The National Weather Service is advising a wind chill warning for the DuPage County area effective 3 a.m. Monday Jan. 27 through 9 a.m. Wednesday Jan. 29 forecast of wind chills ranging from -25 to -45 degrees.

You can find heating site locations here.

This Week’s Meetings


DuPage County Heating Sites

The National Weather Service is advising a wind chill warning for the DuPage County area effective 3 a.m. Monday Jan. 27 through 9 a.m. Wednesday Jan. 29 forecast of wind chills ranging from -25 to -45 degrees.

You can find heating site locations here.

Metra Service Updates and Alerts

From the Metra website

To Metra Riders,
Safety is our number one priority! Extremely cold, potentially record-breaking temperatures are forecast for the Chicago area on Monday. As always, we will make every reasonable effort to provide a timely and comfortable commute.
However, trains are likely to be delayed. Please allow extra travel time to assure safe passage to and from your destination. In the interest of safety, we will be operating at reduced speeds, if necessary, to reduce the stress on the rails. Cold weather often leads to slower boarding and we therefore expect station stops to be longer than usual.
We urge passengers to use extra caution getting on and off trains safely. Metra will continue to utilize all possible measures available to combat extraordinary weather conditions, beyond our control, that could create unanticipated delays or service disruptions.
Metra will have extra engineering and mechanical personnel in the field over the weekend to keep our switches operational and have our locomotives and trains ready for service. This is difficult; work on switches and much of the routine train servicing must be performed outdoors, and the severe cold is as hard on our workers as it is on our equipment.
Complete service updates and alerts can be found here.

DuPage County Health Department News


Wed January 22, 2014
Gov. Pat Quinn has passed a proclamation designating Sunday, January 26 as Kawasaki Awareness day in Illinois. According to the Kawasaki Disease Foundation, an estimated 4,200 children are diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease (KD) each year. KD is a serious illness that causes an inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body and primarily affects young children under 5 years of age. More importantly, KD is a leading cause of acquired heart disease in children.

It is still unclear what causes KD and due to the fact that there is no test to detect this disease in children, it is important to understand the common signs and symptoms of this disease. Treatment within 10 days after the initial symptoms appear is essential to decrease the risk of heart problems.

A high fever lasting at least five days is the initial symptom of KD. Other signs and symptoms that many, but not all children will develop include; 
  • Large, swollen glands in the neck
  • A rash that often peels
  • Red shiny of dry cracked lips
  • Red, lumpy tongue (strawberry tongue)
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Swollen / red hands or feet
  • Joint pains
  • Extreme irritability 

Children with these symptoms are understandable very uncomfortable and irritable. Any parent whose child is suffering from a long lasting fever and any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Most children who receive treatment will recover completely from KD when detected early. However, about 25% of children that do not receive treatment will develop heart disease.

For more information on Kawasaki Disease, visit kdfoundation.org. For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook. 

Expertscape Logo

Expertscape Ranks Top Kawasaki Disease Doctors and Hospitals

Leading Kawasaki Disease Experts and Institutions Identified and Ranked Using Objective, Data-Driven Healthcare Tool


PRLog (Press Release) – Jan. 24, 2014 – PALO ALTO, Calif. — In conjunction with Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day this Sunday, January 26th, and as part of its continuing effort program to highlight expertise and excellence in healthcare, Expertscape.com takes pleasure in recognizing the world’s top institutions and medical specialists in the research and treatment of Kawasaki disease. The disease is characterized by extensive inflammation of the blood vessels, and the cause is still unknown. The Kawasaki Disease Foundation estimates that more than 4,200 children are diagnosed with the disease each year.

You can read the complete press release here.