Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs with State Senator Toi HutchinsonSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) passed a plan out of the Senate today that would allow legal cannabis businesses in Illinois to use the banking system. Due to federal and state banking regulations, most legal cannabis businesses are operating on a cash-only basis.

“As conversations continue on whether or not Illinois will legalize adult-use cannabis, we have legal businesses involved in the cannabis industry that are not able to use banks,” Hutchinson said. “Operating on a cash-only basis exponentially increases the chances of fraud and criminal activity.”

Hutchinson’s proposal – contained in Senate Bill 2023 – would prohibit the Secretary of Illinois’ Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) from issuing an order against, penalizing or discouraging financial institutions from providing financial services to cannabis-related businesses.

Last year, the legal medical cannabis industry in Illinois took in $136 million in revenues.

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Fair tax presents best path forward for Illinois

03282019CM0363RSPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers in the Senate and House on Thursday presented a series of choices facing Illinois taxpayers as the state continues to dig out from an economic downturn and four years of turmoil under the previous governor.

“Taxpayers have three choices. They can say they’re OK with slashing funding for schools, universities and senior services, which would raise property taxes. They can say they’re OK with a 20 percent tax increase for every Illinoisan. Or we can update our income tax structure so that the wealthiest 3 percent of Illinoisans pay more,” said State Senator Toi Hutchinson, chair of the Senate Revenue Committee and a Chicago Heights Democrat. “I think it’s crystal clear that a fair, modern tax system is the direction we should go.”

Hutchinson was among the lawmakers who gathered Thursday at the Capitol to lay out the options for taxpayers and discuss the merits of a fair tax system in Illinois. Joining her were State Senators Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), and State Representatives Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) and Arthur Turner (D-Chicago).

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Hutch frerichsSPRINGFIELD – Last year, the legal medical marijuana industry in Illinois took in $136 million in revenues. Federal and state banking regulations, however, mean most marijuana businesses are operating on a cash-only basis.

State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) joined with Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs this morning in passing a proposal out of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee that would help address the issue.

“Right now, we have an existing legal medical marijuana program that is being affected by these outdated banking regulations,” Hutchinson said. “These are issues that these businesses are dealing with right now. While there are conversations on whether to legalize recreational marijuana sales, regardless of the outcome of that legislation, we still must address the barriers facing medical marijuana companies.”

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05242018CM0474RSPRINGFIELD – A working family of three who earns up to $41,560 per year would be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) under a proposal by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) that passed the Senate Human Services Committee Tuesday afternoon.

“Working families are finding it harder and harder to afford the ever-increasing cost of child care,” Hutchinson said. “For many families, it makes more financial sense for one parent to stay at home rather than work at all. And for single parents, the cost is often overwhelming.”

Hutchinson’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 1679, would raise the income threshold for qualifying for CCAP from 185 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, for a family of three, 185 percent of the federal poverty level represents $38,443 per year. Under Hutchinson’s plan, families of three could earn up to $41,560 and still qualify for the program.

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