Senate Week in Review: January 21-25, 2019

As the spring legislative session resumes January 29, more than 550 legislative proposal have already been filed for consideration by lawmakers. 

In other news, warming centers can help residents manage the predicted bitterly cold weather across the state, and tax filing season is under way. 


New Legislation Introduced

While the new legislative session is just getting started, there are already 75 new legislative measures filed with the Senate, and 484 proposals have been filed for consideration in the House of Representatives.  Over the next several months, the legislation will be heard by dozens of committees – in each chamber – before final votes are taken, most of which occur in May.

New legislation is assigned to committees, based on subject matter.  Each committee will hold one or more public hearings, hear testimony – for and against the proposals – before taking an initial vote.  Once a proposal wins committee approval, it moves on to the respective chambers for additional debate and approval.

The Illinois General Assembly has a detailed explanation of the legislative process on the “How a Bill Becomes a Law” webpage.

Lawmakers return to the State Capitol January 29.  Senate Committee hearings are already scheduled.

Warming Centers Provide Relief

Some of the coldest temperatures of the winter season are predicted over the next week in Illinois.

Designated warming centers are located throughout Illinois.  The centers are listed alphabetically, by county, at https://www2.illinois.gov/services/GOV/warming-center.

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, there have been 664 cold-related deaths in Illinois over the last ten years (2008-2017).

Income Tax Filing Begins

Both the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) begin accepting 2018 individual income tax filings on January 28.

Illinois taxpayers can file their Forms IL-1040 for free using the IDOR’s website MyTax Illinois.  Federal income tax filers can use www.irs.gov/freefile to find the IRS Free File software product that matches their situation.

According to IDOR, state taxpayers can use the state website to make payments, check the status of their Illinois Individual Income Tax refunds using the Where’s My Refund? link, and look up their Illinois-Personal Identification Numbers, amounts of any estimated tax payments they have made, and (when necessary) amounts reported on Form1099-G. 

More than six million individual Illinois income tax returns were filed in 2018 with 86 percent of them filed electronically.  IDOR anticipates direct-deposit refunds will be issued approximately four weeks from the time an “error-free, electronically-filed return” is submitted.  The filing deadline to submit 2018 individual state and federal income tax returns is April 15.