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New bill would provide tax credits to people fleeing restrictive state abortion, trans, censorship laws

Thursday, Feb 8, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s HB5152

Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Creates an income tax credit for each individual taxpayer who (i) is a healthcare provider who, for the purpose of providing lawful health care services in this State, permanently relocates during the taxable year to this State from a State with more restrictive abortion laws or more restrictive laws concerning access to other lawful health care, (ii) is a patient or the parent or guardian of a patient who, for the purpose of receiving those health care services in this State, permanently relocates during the taxable year to this State from a State with more restrictive abortion laws or more restrictive laws concerning the access to lawful health care, or (iii) is a qualified cohabitant of a person described in item (i) or (ii). Provides that the credit is in the amount of $500. Creates an income tax credit in the amount of $500 for taxpayers who are public school teachers or qualifying cohabitants of public school teachers who permanently relocate to the State from any other State as a result of content-based restrictions on educational materials imposed by the taxpayer’s state of origin. Effective immediately.

Rep. Cassidy said she does not yet have a cost estimate for her proposal. But she said it’s “certainly much less than the benefit of new tax paying residents, not to mention additional health care providers and teachers.”

* Press release…

Rep. Kelly Cassidy has introduced HB5152 which seeks to assist people who are forced to relocate to Illinois as a result of attacks on health care access and free speech in their home states. Under the bill, any taxpayer who relocates to Illinois as a patient or household member of a patient is eligible for a $500 tax credit. The bill also provides the same credit for licensed healthcare providers or teachers and their households.

Since the Dobbs decision reversed decades of legal precedence protecting the right to choose granted under Roe v. Wade, states across the country have jumped at the opportunity to pass bills including bans on reproductive care, criminalizing assisting patients, prohibiting gender-affirming care, banning books, and attacking teachers. Countless families in these states are facing an impossible choice between remaining in their home state or accessing health care for themselves or their children.

“When I left Florida in 1991 seeking a place that was more accepting of the LGBTQ community, it took months of planning and expenses. When I imagine a family with a trans kid being forced to flee their home just to access care for their child, or a couple facing a devastating pregnancy outcome realizing they’re simply not safe where they’ve made their home needing to act immediately, it’s just overwhelming to contemplate,” said Rep. Cassidy who grew up in Florida and still has family there, “And as someone with 3 siblings who have retired from the Florida public school system in the last couple of years as teachers face relentless attacks on their ability to teach their students without fear, I am all too aware of the struggles they face.”

“Ron DeSantis is inflicting deep and lasting damage on Florida with his war on freedom that bans books, censor’s curriculum, whitewashes history, blocks healthcare and replaces facts and science with extremist propaganda,” said Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith. “We Floridians will be repairing the damage long after he has left the governor’s mansion. Conferences are canceling, talent is fleeing and the best and the brightest are abandoning our universities as he guts academic freedom. We are grateful that other state leaders are not only rejecting DeSantis’ extremist agenda, they are seeking ways to provide support for those who have relocated to safety as we rebuild a Florida that embraces inclusivity and dignity for all.”

“The nation is facing a war on people and their reproductive health care, as other states further strip away their rights. It is essential that Illinois keeps setting the standard as to what it means to be a safe haven state,” said State Senator Celina Villanueva (D – Chicago). “If we don’t step up, people will suffer and die because of the heinous ramifications of the downfall of Roe.”

“We thank Representative Kelly Cassidy for recognizing the hardships our patients are facing as they are fleeing their home states for essential health care,” said Jennifer Welch, Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO. “We are in favor of any legislative tool that continues to support Illinois as a haven state for sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion and gender-affirming care.”

“LGBTQ+ people and families in anti-equality, anti-family states are making deeply personal decisions, under cruel conditions, about their futures. Illinois must do what she can to support these families, especially to help offset the economic burdens that LGBTQ+ people and their families already disproportionately experience,” said Mike Ziri, Equality Illinois Director of Public Policy. Thank you to Rep. Cassidy for leading on this innovative pro-equality, pro-family initiative.”

The tax credit would be the first of its kind in the country and in addition to providing assistance to new residents of Illinois, it will provide an incentive to licensed health care providers and teachers to make their home in Illinois and help address shortages in those professions.

* From the governor’s office…

The governor will thoroughly review all the bills that pass the General Assembly and make their way to his desk.

Do you think he should support it?

       

12 Comments
  1. - Sad - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 2:52 pm:

    a WHOLE $500?! Wow, let me call the movers right now.


  2. - Dan Johnson - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 3:09 pm:

    So much better than money for out of state business to come here. Or money for billionaire sports teams.

    Economic growth comes from people moving here or staying here.

    She is onto something.


  3. - Steve - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 3:19 pm:

    You’d think working towards solving the Illinois public pension problem would be a better use of time and money than $500 tax credits.


  4. - JoanP - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 3:25 pm:

    @ Steve,

    One does not preclude the other.


  5. - Give Us Barabbas - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 3:28 pm:

    I can see it helping with an overnight hotel stay or something since they are traveling in from out of state


  6. - City Zen - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 3:31 pm:

    $500 isn’t going to move the needle. The ones who were planning to move here anyway will now also get $500, so kudos to them. But no one’s making an interstate move decision based on a one-time small tax credit. Silly performative arts.

    Teachers coming from certain states could lose out bigly in the long run due to WEP too.

    Let’s go big. How about a $50,000 tax credit (payable over many years) for STEM/SPED teachers who come other states for jobs at downstate school districts. Let them live income tax free for many years, get them hooked on horseshoe, then they’ll never wanna leave.


  7. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 3:35 pm:

    =You’d think working towards solving the Illinois public pension problem would be a better use of time and money than $500 tax credits.=

    2011 would like a word with you. Tier 2 largely resolves the issue, so does paying ones bills.


  8. - Norseman - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 4:03 pm:

    I like the idea, but agree the amount seems kinda low. Perhaps a deduction of moving expenses. Bringing taxpayers into the state is good. Besides, it would be fun watching the MAGA minds melt.


  9. - very old soil - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 4:11 pm:

    If this story gets picked up by the MSM or goes viral, it will be great for marketing Illinois to recent college grads among others


  10. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 4:13 pm:

    How about a property tax rebate for all those that lived here all their lives Has the governor’s commission on property tax relief or reform issued it report yet?


  11. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 4:38 pm:

    The governor should support the concept and sign legislation that is promising. The MAGA Party (the GOP no longer exists) has moved so far to the right. It won’t be coming back to the 21st Century any time soon.


  12. - loyal virus - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 8:30 am:

    Outstanding idea and shame on anyone who can read Rep Cassidy and Nadine Smith’s words who call this ‘performative’. People are coming to Illinois with barely gas money to get here and every bit helps. Rights and human decency shouldn’t stop at state lines but here we are. Also did you really use the acronym ‘SPED’?


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