Senator Syverson’s Week in Review: November 5 – 9

Springfield, IL – The legislative agenda is set for the six-day fall Veto Session that begins Nov. 13, there’s important news for Illinois businesses, and residents can help give Illinois service men and women a touch of home with the Holiday Hero Drive.

In other news, the deadline for filing Illinois Business Income Tax has been extended, and the arrival of colder weather is a timely reminder about Winter Preparedness Month for motorists.

Veto Session Legislation

Senators and Representatives will be back at the Capitol beginning Nov. 13 to consider 37 separate pieces of legislation passed during the spring session, but amended or rejected by the Governor this summer.

The Governor used his Amendatory Veto authority to change 13 bills and executed Total Veto actions on 24 other measures.

Legislative measures on the Veto Session agenda include, business regulations, insurance, taxation, legal reforms, immigration, voter integrity standards, education, natural resources and the environment.

Unemployment Insurance Rates to Decline

Unemployment insurance rates will be lower in 2019 for more than 92 percent of the state’s employers required to register and pay state Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). IDES said Illinois business owners are on target to pay $240 million less in UI taxes in 2019 compared to 2018. UI taxes paid by Illinois businesses this year topped $1.9 billion. Employers are expected to pay $1.66 billion in 2019.

“The cost of doing business in Illinois has continued to decline for the vast majority of employers when it comes to Unemployment Insurance,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Even as our tax rates have been consistently dropping, our UI Trust Fund balance will close out the year at a near-record high of $1.9 billion even as we have paid off $930 million in bonds.” 

According to IDES, Illinois businesses paid $3.36 billion in UI taxes in 2012, which means the state has lowered the tax by 50.6 percent over the last seven years.  

Holiday Hero Drive

First Lady Diana Rauner is leading an effort to provide holiday cheer for Illinois members of the military.

The 2018 Holiday Hero Drive sends holiday cards and socks to Illinois service men and women, including those currently overseas. The drive is in partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO) of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), and the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association.

“Our active duty military and veterans have made countless sacrifices to preserve our way of life, and it is vital that we always remember and support our Illinois heroes,” Mrs. Rauner said. “Holiday cards and socks are simple gifts that can lift their spirits and show our men and women in uniform that we appreciate their service.”

Cards and socks also can be dropped off at one of more than 80 local Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) veteran service officer locations around the state or, at the Governor’s Mansion, 410 E. Jackson St., Springfield. IDVA runs 49 full-time and 35 part-time offices in 80 out of Illinois’ 102 counties. The offices are staffed by more than 60 individual Veteran Service Officers. Locations can be found here:

Cards and socks can also be mailed now through Nov. 20 to the following address: 

USO of Illinois – Holiday Hero Drive

333 N. Michigan Ave.

Suite 2226

Chicago, IL 60601

Illinois Business Income Tax Deadline Extended

The complexity of changes resulting from recent federal tax reform and the availability of guidance at the federal level has resulted in the deadline for abatement of penalties for late filing being extended to Nov. 15, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

The extension is for Forms IL-1120, IL-1120-ST, IL-1065 and IL-1041, and will be judged by “reasonable cause” on a case-by-case basis, provided the forms are filed on or before Nov. 15. The agency said requests for abatement should be made after a notice has been sent and received by the taxpayer.  The taxpayer’s request for abatement of late filing penalties due to reasonable cause shall be submitted by email to: or in writing at:

Illinois Department of Revenue Problems Resolution Division P.O. Box 19014 Springfield, IL. 62794-9014

November is Winter Preparedness Month

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the single most important thing you can do to help ensure safe winter travel is preparation. IDOT’s “Winter Weather – Get it Together” promotion recommends these common-sense rules and tips to stay safe:

Always wear a seat belt.
Slow down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking all are required in winter driving conditions.
Put down the handheld devices.
Be especially careful approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to icing.
Before you head out in bad weather, check the weather forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route. Drivers are encouraged to check for continually updated information on winter road conditions, weather radars, road and bridge closures and other traffic-related information. 

For more tips, visit IDOT’s website. You can also follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter for real time updates on Illinois travel throughout the winter.

For a list of suggested maintenance for your car, visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s winter driving website.

Dave Syverson

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