FILE – In this March 20, 2015 file photo, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

In a letter dated on June 30, 2017, Governor Brunce Rauner announced that he cannot sign SB1839 because lawmakers inserted a major tax hike into the bill.

Unfortunately, those lawmakers also inserted a major tax hike into this bill, a tax that’s both excessive and unwarranted, and that I strongly oppose. The tax hike is large for the people of Illinois, but it’s particularly massive for the people of Chicago. Chicago 9-1-1 fees are already the highest in America. This extreme increase is unfair and indefensible. But the majority in the General Assembly is using the threat of cancellation of 9-1-1 services on Saturday as leverage to force this tax hike through over my opposition.

IAD has been advocating pushing this bill and wrote several letters urging Governor Bruce Rauner to sign this into law. In their latest letter, dated on June 29th, 2017, they wrote,

Communication access should not be used as a political pawn. SB1839 is not in any way related to the general budget discussion, primarily addresses regulatory issues and extends the repeal date of the Illinois Telecommunications Act. Specifically, SB1839 ensures 9-1-1 funding remains and Deaf, DeafBlind, Late Deafened, Speech-Disabled and Hard of Hearing Illinois residents will continue to benefit from the Illinois Relay Phone System and numerous telecommunication devices ITAC distributes.

With funding mechanisms established in the Telecommunications Act, ITAC has been a valuable resource to the greater community since 1988. ITAC continues to distribute various telecommunication devices, including TTYs, alerting devices, DeafBlind communicators, etc. We need your support to ensure the community’s communication access standards and experiences are not diminished or disrupted.

Since the Goveror voluntarily vetoed this bill, this bill still can be made into law only if lawmakers make several changes to the bill, if those changes are made, he will sign the bill into law.

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Thomsen Young

Founder of SG