GENERAL ASSEMBLY
·        Jim Durkin re-elected as House Republican Leader.  The 57-year-old Durkin has led the House Republican Caucus since 2013. Leader Durkin was re-elected unanimously by his House Republican colleagues in a meeting held in Springfield on Tuesday, November 13. The choice will be finalized when the 101st General Assembly officially convenes in January 2019.  

With a focus on protecting and strengthening families and communities, Jim Durkin has spent his entire career working for the citizens of Illinois. Following his graduation from law school, Jim served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General. Jim continued his public service as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney. While working as an assistant state’s attorney, Jim served in the felony trial and narcotics bureaus. Jim currently practices law in the City of Chicago.

BUDGET
·        State revenue up in October.  The monthly report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) monitors State cash flow and economic trends.  The CGFA numbers depict continued healthy revenue numbers in October 2018.  Personal income tax receipts during the month were up by $145 million from October 2017, an increase of 9.9%.  Sales tax receipts increased by $71 million during the same time-span, a year-over-year increase of 10.7%.  The State’s sales tax numbers reflect receipts from an increasing proportion of retail sales made online to Illinois addresses.  Enforcement of Illinois sales taxes on online sales is now permissible under nationwide sales tax law.  The sales tax law change was approved by the Supreme Court earlier this year in its “South Dakota v. Wayfair” sales tax decision.  The positive numbers in Illinois’ two largest general revenue cash flow streams signaled a continued atmosphere of prosperity and low unemployment in many regions of the state. 

Not all cash flow numbers were positive in October 2018.  Negative numbers were posted in several areas where special excise taxes are levied.  Net proceeds from the Illinois State Lottery dropped by $12 million as gamblers moved to new platforms.  Riverboat casino tax revenues fell by $2 million in further affirmation of the same overall trend line.  Cigarette tax receipts dropped $5 million as Illinois reduced its consumption of tobacco products.  These trends away from so-called “sin tax” proceeds are expected to continue and the overall numbers reflect Illinois’ growing dependence on personal income taxes and taxes on retail sales.  CGFA released their October 2018 report on Friday, November 2.