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Amazon received more than $112 million in EDGE tax credits in 2016

From Illinois Policy April 2017

Amazon received more than $112 million in EDGE tax credits in 2016

In exchange for more than $112 million in tax breaks, Amazon promised to expand its Illinois operations and hire 7,200 new employees in Aurora, Monee and Joliet.

In exchange for more than $112 million in tax breaks, Amazon promised to expand its Illinois operations and hire 7,200 new employees in Aurora, Monee and Joliet.

Amazon.com received more than $112 million in tax breaks from Illinois’ tax credit program, the Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, in 2016.

The ecommerce giant, currently valued at $430 billion, had three separate EDGE deals with the state in 2016. Under the terms of the three deals, Amazon promised to create 7,200 jobs at facilities in Joliet, Aurora and Monee.

The first deal was signed July 22, 2016. Under the terms of the agreement, Amazon pledged to expand operations at its Joliet fulfillment center by hiring 1,500 new employees and promising an unknown capital investment by May 24, 2017. On top of that, Amazon also agreed to open a second fulfillment center in Joliet slated to create 2,000 new jobs by April 19, 2018. Though the timeframe and precise amount was redacted from the EDGE agreement with Amazon, the DCEO lists the estimated value of the credit for the Joliet deal at $71.5 million.

The other two deals were reached Dec. 15, 2016, just two weeks before the EDGE program initially expired. Under the deals, Amazon agreed to open fulfillment centers in Aurora and Monee, with the Monee facility scheduled to create 2,500 new jobs by May 2018 and the Aurora center to create 1,200 new jobs by October 2018. Amazon received a tax deal worth more than $27.8 million for the Monee agreement and more than $12.89 million in tax breaks for the Aurora agreement.

And the tax breaks didn’t just end with EDGE.

Amazon was wooed at the local level as well. The city of Aurora gave Amazon a property tax abatement worth $400,000.

While some praise EDGE, there is no evidence the program has been effective. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity claims EDGE has created 34,000 jobs, but since the turn of the century Illinois has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs, and Illinois’ workforce has contracted by 170,000 since its peak before the Great Recession. And despite the fact Illinois spent more than through EDGE since the program began in 2001, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability’s March 2017 report shows that Illinois state revenues are declining, a sign Illinois may be on the brink of recession. Illinois’ massive tax burden and its anti-growth policies are fueling this exodus of people. EDGE will not fix Illinois’ jobs environment. Since Amazon’s announcement of its plan to build in Aurora, other large employers have left. In April 2017, Caterpillar announced it was closing the machine production plant portion of its Aurora facility, costing the city 800 well-paying jobs, proving that taxpayer-funded favors to handpicked companies will not make a municipality or state more competitive for attracting jobs.

However EDGE’s proponents are fighting to continue and revitalize the program. Though EDGE was extended in January 2017 after it briefly expired, EDGE’s extension runs out April 30, meaning that if nothing is done, EDGE will expire for good. Currently, two proposals are on the table to revamp EDGE. House Bill 2744, supported by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by State Rep. Michael J. Zalewski, D-Riverside, would transform EDGE into the Business and Employment Development Tax Credit Act. The measure would cap credits to $50 million a year and set a five-year duration for each credit and would allow the new tax credits to be given to companies that retain workers, which is illegal under current law. HB 2744 also contained no sunset provision, meaning that unlike EDGE, the law wouldn’t expire and would be permanent. Fortunately for taxpayers, HB 2744 may never see the light of day as it has been re-referred to the dreaded House Rules Committee, a prolific legislative graveyard where bills go to die.

The other measure, Senate Bill 2071 sponsored by state Sen. Pam Althoff, R-McHenry, would rebrand EDGE as the Transforming, Helping, and Reviving Illinois’ Versatile Economy Job Creation Tax Credit Act, or THRIVE. Under this reincarnation of EDGE, credits would only be applied to new hires and collected over 10 years, or 15 years if the company locates to a poor or heavily unemployed area. But under SB 2071, the new hires don’t have to actually be from Illinois, as companies moving in from out of state that bring along full-time employees are considered to be new employees for the purposes of the law. SB 2071 currently sits in the Senate Revenue Committee where it has been postponed and a new May deadline has been established, giving the Senate Revenue Committee more time to consider the bill.

The General Assembly should dismiss these proposals. EDGE is not only ineffective but is also bad for taxpayers. When leaders at both the state and local level give sweetheart tax deals to multibillion-dollar corporations like Amazon, they put Amazon’s share of the tax burden onto everyone else. Lawmakers at the state and local level should seek real reforms that make Illinois more affordable for taxpayers and more competitive for jobs, not engaging in corporate welfare.

TAGS: Amazon, Aurora, cronyism, DCEO, EDGE: Economic Development for a Growing Economy, jobs, Joliet, Monee, tax credits

Source: Will County News

Summary of the Homer School District 33C Board of Education Meeting April 25, 2017

Summary of the Homer School District 33C

Board of Education Meeting

April 25, 2017


    Deb Martin, President      Elizabeth Hitzeman, Vice President      Karen DeFilippis, Secretary

Adam Briner, Member  Kevin DeSchaaf, Member  Christine Marcinkewicz, Member  Russ Petrizzo, Member                                                                                     



At the April 25th Board of Education meeting:

  • Goodings Grove PTO representatives thanked Board members for their time and effort and welcomed the new Board members, who were elected April 4th and seated April 25th


  • Teachers Union representative Cathy Clayton reported that the majority of PARCC testing is done and thanked outgoing Board members Barb Wilson, Angela Adolf, Amy Blank and Ed Campins for their commitment to students, teachers and staff. She also congratulated the newest Board members: Adam Briner, Karen DeFilippis, Kevin DeSchaaf and Christine Marcinkewicz


  • Support Staff Union representative Susan Koziarski thanked the outgoing Board for their service and welcomed the new Board members, saying the Union looks forward to working with them


  • The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:



  1. Dawn Scuderi – Library Media Specialist, Hadley Middle School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year
  2. Gwen Grant – Behavior Support Specialist, District, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year


Letters of Intent to Retire

  1. Patti Andrews – guidance counselor, Schilling School, subject to compliance with the applicable requirements of TRS and the District’s collective bargaining agreement; previously accepted by Board in 2015 to be effective at the end of the 2018-2019 year; changing effective date to end of the 2016-2017 school year
  2. Carol Capadona – Administrative Assistant to the Director of Special Services, effective August 1, 2017


Leaves of Absence (Beginning and end dates open to modification)

  1. Linda Marciniak – paraprofessional, Hadley Middle School, effective March 28, 2017 through the end of the 2016-2017 school year and will return for the 2017-2018 school year
  2. Pamela Potempa – paraprofessional, Goodings Grove School, effective April 13, 2017 for an undetermined amount of time
  3. Teresa Kocanda – Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, effective April 24, 2017


            Employment Recommendations

  • Carmel Hoak – Extended School Year principal, effective June 12, 2017 through June 30, 2017
  • Elizabeth Creek, Eileen Schulz, Katherine Sisto and Dorota Stasik – Title I ESL Summer Bridge teachers, effective June 2017
  • Kathryn Walsh – psychologist at school to be determined, effective August 21, 2017
  • Michelle Brandon – special education instructional teacher, Schilling School, effective August 21, 2017
  • Abel Orelove – 6th grade teacher, Hadley Middle School, effective August 21, 2017
  • Alexandria Yahl – 5th grade teacher, Hadley Middle School, effective August 21, 2017
  • Carol Dicksen – 6th/7th grade Boys Volleyball coach, effective for 2017-2018 school year
  • Deborah Fleming – 8th grade Boys Volleyball coach, effective for the 2017-2018 school year


  • The Board reviewed and approved the 2017-2018 Coaches Handbook


  • The Board reviewed and approved the 2017-2018 Athletic Handbook


  • The Board reviewed and approved the revised job description and job title for Mechanic (Assistant Mechanic and Assistant Mechanic Maintenance Person)


  • The Board reviewed the April 4, 2017 Consolidated Election results:
    • Karen DeFilippis, 1,875 votes
    • Christine Marcinkewicz, 1,749 votes
    • Kevin DeSchaaf, 1,415 votes
    • Adam Briner, 1,161 votes


  • President Barb Wilson administered the Oath of Office to newly elected Board members: Karen DeFilippis, Christine Marcinkewicz, Kevin DeSchaaf and Adam Briner


  • The Board adjourned Sine Die and took a brief recess to acknowledge and celebrate the service of outgoing Board members Barb Wilson, Angela Adolf, Amy Blank and Ed Campins


  • The new Board was seated and elected Deb Martin President; Elizabeth Hitzeman Vice President; and Karen DeFilippis Secretary


  • The Board reappointed Cindy Patrick as recording secretary


  • The Board confirmed Mulcahy, Pauritsch, Salvador & Co. LTD as the District’s Auditor


  • The Board adopted a resolution to appoint Christi Tyler, Interim Assistant Superintendent for Business, as District Treasurer


  • The Board adopted a resolution identifying designated depositories for Fiscal Year 2018


  • The Board re-appointed the law firms of Whitt Law and Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton and Taylor LTD as the District’s legal counsel


  • The Board named 22nd Century Media (Homer Horizon) as the District’s official newspaper of record


  • The Board made the following committee appointments:
    • Finance Committee – Russ Petrizzo and Elizabeth Hitzeman with Kevin DeSchaaf serving as Alternate Member
    • IASB Delegate – Karen DeFilippis with Adam Briner as Alternate Delegate
    • Joint Committee – Christine Marcinkewicz and Adam Briner


  • The Board established the date and time for Regular Board meetings for Fiscal Year 2018. Meetings will be held the fourth Tuesday of every month (except for November and December) at 7 p.m.




The Next Regular School Board Meeting is May 30, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.



Source: Will County News

Constitutional attorney: Trump’s America is a Constitution-free zone

Constitutional attorney: Trump’s America is a Constitution-free zone


trump sessions

This piece, written by John W. Whitehead, was originally published by The Rutherford Institute.


Somebody give Attorney General Jeff Sessions a copy of the Constitution.

And while you’re at it, get a copy to President Trump, too.

In fact, you might want to share a copy with the nation’s police officers, as well.

I have my doubts that any of these individuals—all of whom swore to uphold and defend the Constitution—have ever read any of the nation’s founding documents.

Had they actually read and understood the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, there would be no militarized police, no mass surveillance, no police shootings of unarmed individuals, no SWAT team raids, no tasering of children, no asset forfeiture schemes or any of the other government-sanctioned abuses that get passed off as law and order these days.

Just take the policing crisis in this country, for instance.

Sessions—the chief lawyer for the government and the head of the Justice Department, which is entrusted with ensuring that the nation’s laws are faithfully carried out and holding government officials accountable to abiding by their oaths of office to “uphold and defend the Constitution”—doesn’t think we’ve got a policing problem in America.

In fact, Sessions thinks the police are doing a great job (apart from “the individual misdeeds of bad actors,” that is).

For that matter, so does Trump.

Really, really great.

Indeed, Sessions thinks the nation’s police forces are doing such a great job that they should be rewarded with more military toys (weapons, gear, equipment) and less oversight by the Justice Department.

Excuse me for a moment while I flush what remains of the Constitution down the toilet.

Clearly, Sessions has not been briefed on the fact that it has never been safer to be a cop in America. According to Newsweek, “It’s safer to be a cop than it is to be a fisher, logger, pilot, roofer, miner, trucker or taxi driver.”

You know what’s dangerous?

Being a citizen of the American police state.

Treating cops as deserving of greater protections than their fellow citizens.

And training cops to think and act like they’re soldiers on a battlefield.

As journalist Daniel Bier warns, “If you tell cops over and over that they’re in a war, they’re under siege, they’re under attack, and that citizens are the enemy—instead of the people they’re supposed to protect—you’re going to create an atmosphere of fear, tension, and hostility that can only end badly, as it has for so many people.”

Frankly, if there’s a war taking place in this country, it’s a war on the American people.

After all, we’re the ones being shot at and tasered and tracked and beaten and intimidated and threatened and invaded and probed.

And what is the government doing to fix this policing crisis that threatens the safety of every man, woman and child in this country?

Not a damn thing.

Incredibly, according to a study by the American Medical Association, police-inflicted injuries send more than 50,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms every year.

Yet as Slate warns, if you even dare to criticize a police officer let alone challenge the myth of the hero cop—a myth “used to legitimize brutality as necessary, justify policies that favor the police, and punish anyone who dares to question police tactics or oppose the unions’ agendas”— you will be roundly denounced “as disloyal, un-American, and dangerous.”

As reporter David Feige concludes, “We should appreciate the value and sacrifice of those who choose to serve and protect. But that appreciation should not constitute a get-out-of-jail-free card for the vast army of 800,000 people granted general arrest powers and increasingly armed with automatic weapons and armored vehicles.”

The fact that police are choosing to fatally resolve encounters with their fellow citizens by using their guns speaks volumes about what is wrong with policing in America today, where police officers are being dressed in the trappings of war, drilled in the deadly art of combat, and trained to look upon “every individual they interact with as an armed threat and every situation as a deadly force encounter in the making.”

Mind you, the federal government is the one responsible for turning our police into extensions of the military, having previously distributed billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment to local police agencies, including high-powered weapons, assault vehicles, drones, tactical gear, body armor, weapon scopes, infrared imaging systems and night-vision goggles—equipment intended for use on the battlefield—not to mention federal grants for militarized training and SWAT teams.

Thus, despite what Attorney General Sessions wants you to believe, the daily shootings, beatings and roadside strip searches (in some cases, rape) of American citizens by police are not random occurrences, accidents or isolated, anecdotal examples of a few bad actors.

Rather, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is what happens when you allow so-called “law and order” to matter more than justice: corruption flourishes, injustice reigns and tyranny takes hold.

Yet no matter what Trump and Session seem to believe, nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Americans must obey the government.

Despite the corruption of Congress and the complicity of the courts, nowhere does the Constitution require absolute subservience to the government’s dictates.

And despite what most police officers seem to believe, nowhere does the Constitution state that Americans must comply with a police order.

To suggest otherwise is authoritarianism.

This is also, as abolitionist Frederick Douglass noted, the definition of slavery: “I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.”

You want to know what it means to be a slave in the American police state?

It means being obedient, compliant and Sieg Heil!-ing every government agent armed with a weapon. If you believe otherwise, try standing up for your rights, being vocal about your freedoms, or just challenging a government dictate, and see how long you last before you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded government-issued gun.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

Source: Will County News

Trump News April 26, 2017


President Donald J. Trump is committed to building an economy that works for all Americans, not just the chosen few. Today, he will roll out the first details of his tax plan, which will reform the complicated tax code, slash rates, and empower companies and workers to create jobs and keep more of their money in their own pockets.


  • 11:20AM: President Trump gives remarks and signs the Antiquities Executive Order – Watch LIVE


  • 12:30PM: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence
  • 1:30PM: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
  • 2:30PM: President Trump participates in a federalism event with Governors and signs the Education Federalism Executive Order
  • 3:00PM: President Trump drops by a briefing the White House is hosting for Senators regarding North Korea
  • 4:30PM: President Trump holds a National Teacher of the Year event





President Trump participates in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s National Days of Remembrance.
Read More

President Trump gives remarks to the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly.
Watch Video

President Trump leads a farmers roundtable and signs the Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Executive Order.
Read More
Read the Executive Order
Watch Video


Photo of the Day:

President Donald J. Trump signs the Executive Order Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America with Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead).
View Photo

President Trump’s 100 Days of Historic Accomplishments.
Read More
The Facts


Watch yesterday’s press briefing with Sean Spicer and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross:

Read Transcript

Read the press briefing by Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke on the Executive Order to Review the Designations Under the Antiquities Act here.

Today, a press briefing will be held at 1:30PM ET with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn. Watch it LIVE here.


  • Washington Examiner: White House promises Trump’s tax reform package will help middle class
    Read More

Source: Will County News

Trump Ends Obama’s African Ebola Amnesty

APRIL 25, 2017  Judicial Watch
In a refreshing move, the Trump administration is eliminating one of Barack Obama’s many outrageous amnesty initiatives, this one involving illegal immigrants from African countries affected by the Ebola virus a few years ago. The Ebola amnesty scandal got buried in the hoopla of the administration’s broad executive order protecting millions of illegal alien Mexicans and Central Americans, but it was just as alarming. Launched in 2014, the Ebola reprieve was issued separately—and quietly—via a Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a humanitarian program that’s supposed to be short-term.

Under the plan, the administration designated Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone for TPS for 18 months. That’s how it always starts—for a short period of time then it grows into years. Before you know it, illegal aliens who benefit from TPS for humanitarian reasons are legal residents enjoying all the generous perks—free education, food stamps, medical care etc.—that Uncle Sam has to offer. This scenario has been repeated over the years under both Republican and Democrat administrations. For instance, “temporary” protection for Hondurans and Nicaraguans has been extended over and over again thanks to a hurricane (Mitch) that hit the Central American countries more than a decade and a half ago.

Another recent example is the TPS the Obama administration gave to nearly 50,000 Haitians after the 2010 earthquake. In mid-2011 the former president’s first Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, renewed it through 2013 and when that temporary order expired the Haitian TPS got extended yet again until the end of January 2016. “The Secretary has determined that an extension is warranted because the conditions in Haiti that prompted the TPS designation continue to be met,” according to the extension announcement. “There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in Haiti based upon extraordinary and temporary conditions in that country that prevent Haitians who have TPS from safely returning.” Recent news reports have revealed that the Trump administration may finally end the Haitian protected status, which may deport some 50,000 Haitians living in the U.S. illegally due to a natural disaster that occurred seven years ago.

The first Ebola amnesty was issued in November, 2014 “due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa.” Besides nationals of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, it also covers “people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries,” according to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement issued under Obama. The protected Africans were not only shielded from removal but also received authorization to work in the U.S. like all other illegal immigrants benefitting from TPS. When the “temporary” protection expired, the Obama administration simply extended it in March 2016. At the time, the administration acknowledged that there had been “significant improvements in the conditions in all three countries,” but the “lingering effects” of Ebola and “recovery challenges” supported the six-month extension, which expires on May 21.

This month the Trump administration announced that the African Ebola TPS will be terminated for illegal aliens from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “To provide sufficient time for an orderly transition, the Department of Homeland Security gave beneficiaries under these three designations 8 months advance notice of the expiration by publishing 3 notices in the Federal Register on Sept. 22, 2016 (one for each country),” reads a USCIS statement issued last week. “These notices urged individuals who did not have another immigration status to use the time before the terminations became effective in May to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible.” The announcement further says that the widespread of transmission of Ebola virus in the three countries that led to the protected designation has ended.


Source: Will County News