Latest News

State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, issued the following statement today in response to Governor JB Pritzker’s Budget Address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly:

Rep. Joe Sosnowski listens to the
Governor's Budget Address.
“With Illinois facing a yearly exodus of nearly 50,000 residents, I'm not sure how $5 billion in new taxes proposed by the Governor is going to help. The Governor offered an old playbook we’ve seen before in Springfield for years - tax, borrow and spend. Governor Pritzker’s pension plan relies on more borrowing, pseudo-pension holidays and kicking the can further down the road. In fact, these are the same pension gimmicks that Rod Blagojevich relied on for his phony budgets for years.

"The Governor’s budget offers no property tax relief. It does nothing to help job creators. It does nothing to pay down the state’s $8 billion backlog of unpaid bills. Unfortunately, this was a speech based on keeping campaign promises and increased spending instead of dealing with the fiscal realities of our state.” 



On February 14, 2019, the Illinois House of Representatives passed SB 1 with a vote of 69 to 47. SB 1 increases the Illinois minimum wage from $8.25 per hour to $15 per hour. This increase will be rolled out over the next 6 years in a ramp-up schedule as shown below.

Date                       Minimum Wage
Current                   $8.25/hr
January 1, 2020      $9.25/hr
July 1, 2020            $10/hr
January 1, 2021      $11/hr
January 1, 2022      $12/hr
January 1, 2023      $13/hr
January 1, 2024      $14/hr
January 1, 2025      $15/hr

This minimum wage increase will cost the state over $1 billion because current employee contracts will go up as a result. This increase will also drive up costs to local schools, universities, non-profits, park districts, day care centers, and many others. All of these costs will be passed along to local taxpayers, many in the form of higher property taxes. Rushing through a minimum wage increase in this manner will drive businesses from Illinois, especially in communities close to the state line.

"Treating the rest of the state as if it has the same strengths as Chicago is simply illogical," Rob Karr, IRMA's president, and CEO said to the Daily Herald. "No one else has 55 million visitors a year." They argued for a regional alternative -- a $15 rate in Chicago within five years, a $13 rate in the suburbs within seven years and an $11 rate for downstate communities within five years. The state of New York voted a minimum wage increase similar to the plan that IRMA suggested as can be seen in the chart below:
Rockford has long been known for its manufacturing. One business contacted me last week. This manufacturing company has been in business here for over 40 years. It employs 250 people and, instead of layoffs, cutting employee benefits or raising prices, this business will be moving to Wisconsin as soon as possible.

When Governor J.B. Pritzker took office last month he spoke of bipartisan cooperation while the state tackles the challenges still facing it. With the House currently made up of 74 Democrats and 44 Republicans, yesterday’s vote of 69 to 47 clearly fell along party lines. Many Republicans expressed their concern during the House debate before the vote that none of them were asked to the table to negotiate the terms of the bill. Enhanced tax relief for small businesses and other pro-business reforms may still need to be addressed to mitigate the damage done by this legislation. 
Sincerely,

Joe Sosnowski
State Representative, 69th District

State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, issued the following statement today following final passage of legislation to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 per hour by January 1, 2025:

“This minimum wage increase will cost the state over $1 billion because current employee contracts will go up as a result. This increase will also drive up costs to local schools, universities, non-profits, park districts, day care centers and many others. All of these costs will be passed along to local taxpayers, many in the form of higher property taxes. Rushing through a minimum wage increase in this manner will drive businesses from Illinois, especially in communities close to the state line.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 1, now goes to Governor Pritzker to be signed into law. Illinois’ minimum wage will go up to $9.25 per hour on January 1, 2020 before increasing to $10 per hour on July 1, 2020 and increasing $1 on January 1 of each year thereafter until reaching $15 in 2025. 


State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, has been appointed Republican Spokesperson on the Revenue & Finance Committee for the 2019-2021 legislative term, a role that positions him to play a leading role in upcoming state budget negotiations. Committee assignments for the 101st General Assembly were announced today as the Illinois House of Representatives prepares to reconvene on Tuesday, February 5. 

The Spokesperson is responsible for leading the efforts of the minority caucus within each committee; including questioning witnesses who provide testimony at committee hearings, being the lead advocate for caucus positions on legislation assigned to that committee, and negotiating with the Committee Chairperson to reach bipartisan consensus on as many bills as possible.

“As Spokesperson, I will be a voice for Stateline area families and taxpayers on reforming the Illinois budget and fighting for meaningful, lasting property tax relief,” Sosnowski said. “We have a lot of challenges to face together in the coming months, yet I am cautiously optimistic about the new tone being set in Springfield placing an emphasis on bipartisanship. It’s time to translate rhetoric into results.”

State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, made the following the statement today after the Illinois House of Representatives voted to adopt HR 59, Speaker Madigan’s iron-fisted rules governing the legislative process for the next two years. The vote of 73-42 was along partisan lines: 

“Business as usual in Springfield will continue for at least two more years as a result of today’s disappointing vote. We are supposed to be a representative democracy, where all Illinois residents from are represented equally. Unfortunately, that is not the case right now in the Illinois House of Representatives. Today we offered an alternative set of House Rules containing reforms that would foster an environment of individual legislator empowerment, regardless of partisan affiliation. Unfortunately, the Speaker did not allow this option to be considered. Instead of breaking the Speaker’s stranglehold on power, the House voted today to maintain the status quo.”

The alternative set of House Rules co-sponsored by Representative Sosnowski containing reforms was introduced as HR 62. Despite having a total of 44 sponsors, the resolution was denied a floor debate or vote. The five reforms contained in HR 62 include:

State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, has signed as co-sponsor of an amendment to the Illinois Constitution filed in the House of Representatives on Thursday that would take the decennial process of redrawing legislative districts out of the hands of politicians in Springfield and instead establish an independent remap commission to ensure that districts are not drawn primarily to favor one political party over another.

The amendment Representative Sosnowski has signed on to co-sponsor is HJRCA 10, introduced by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs.  The amendment presently has 43 co-sponsors.

“It is long past time that we give voters the ability to end the practice of politicians choosing their own voters,” Sosnowski said.  “There is no mistaking that the current redistricting process is deeply flawed and must be reformed.”