Senate Bill 377 (PA
96-1435) allows individuals who have accumulated back taxes
between June 30, 2002, and July 1, 2009, to pay those taxes
penalty-free from Oct. 1 to Nov. 8 without being fined. Tax
delinquents who don't pay during the amnesty period will see all
interest and penalties double.
Officials hope that by providing an
incentive for tax delinquents to cough up their overdue obligations,
the program will bring in tardy tax dollars, as opposed to spending
state time and energy pursuing the tax delinquents.
The tax amnesty program was initially projected to return about
$350 million, a prediction based on projections from the state's
2003 tax amnesty program. However, recent data from the Commission
on Government Forecasting and Accountability and the Department of
Revenue indicate the program is more likely to return about $170
Also this week, two bills were signed into law to encourage solar
House Bill 6202 (PA
96-1437) changes the date when Commonwealth Edison and
Ameren are required to begin ramping up their renewable solar
requirement. Previously, the electric suppliers had a 2015
deadline, but they will now be required to show that 0.5 percent
of the power is purchased from solar sources by 2012. The
requirement will then incrementally increase over time, and 6
percent of power must be purchased from solar sources by 2015.
House Bill 5429 (PA
96-1436) creates a Homeowners' Solar Energy Act that will
protect homeowners' rights to develop, install and use solar
energy in their homes as long as they follow certain guidelines.
The law specifically prohibits homeowners associations and
condominium associations from prohibiting the installation of
solar panels, but it does not apply to buildings that are
greater than 30 feet in height.
Finally, late last week the Quinn administration released its
long-awaited internal investigation on the "MGT Push" program. The
report was released Aug. 13, just two days after the governor's
office refused to participate in a legislative inquiry into the
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The "MGT Push" program, which released hundred of inmates,
including violent offenders, almost immediately upon their arrival
within the state corrections system, was a "failure," according to
the retired judge charged with spearheading an investigation into
Former Judge David Erickson's report, first commissioned in
December, declared the Meritorious Good Time Push program a failure
and said the Quinn administration used the program as a means of
reducing prison populations, rather than rewarding inmates for good
The report said "inmates had to do little or nothing to
demonstrate 'meritorious' conduct deserving MGT Credit awards and
then, given the perceived irrevocability of MGT Credit, could do
nothing to jeopardize their awards.
"Under MGT Push and under the old MGT program, inmates were
labeled as 'meritorious' simply by virtue of being delivered into
The release followed the first meeting of a special Illinois
Joint Investigatory Panel on Early Release, formed by Senate
Republican Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, and House Republican
Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego.
The report prompted Radogno and Cross to again renew their
request for the administration to testify before the panel.
[Text from file sent on behalf of
Larry Bomke by Illinois
Senate Republican staff]