SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) voted on several pieces of legislation today that would update Illinois’ outdated tax structure and allow the state to implement a fair tax.

“For decades, our tax code has been rigged to give the richest Illinoisans a pass while placing our state's financial burden unfairly on working and middle-class families,” Van Pelt said. “Today, I voted to change that by supporting a fair tax.”

Van Pelt voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that would delete language prohibiting a fair tax and allow Illinois to tax lower incomes at lower rates and higher incomes at higher rates.

“I believe that millionaires and billionaires should pay their fair share, and that working-class families deserve a break,” Van Pelt said. “A bus driver should not pay the same taxes as a hedge fund manager, but that's what's happening under our current law. A fair tax will change that by requiring Illinois' wealthiest residents to pay more, while providing tax relief for 97 percent of Illinoisans.”

If the amendment passes the Illinois House with a three-fifths majority vote, it will be placed on the November 2020 ballot. If 60 percent of those voting on the question vote “yes,” the Constitution will be amended.

Van Pelt also voted to approve Senate Bill 687, which sets rates for a fair tax, providing the constitutional amendment is approved.

Under the legislation, 97 percent of taxpayers would see either no change or a decrease in their tax rate. Only the top 3 percent of earners would pay more.

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 and Senate Bill 687 passed the Senate today and now head to the House for consideration.


Category: Press Releases

DNACHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) demanded answers and sought solutions to the state crime lab’s backlog of DNA from nearly 700 murder cases during a Senate Public Health and Criminal Law committee hearing this afternoon.

“The backlog in murder DNA processing at the state crime lab is unacceptable,” Van Pelt said. “Technology exists to test DNA in under two hours, yet DNA from nearly 700 murder cases from the past few years is still backlogged. Law enforcement needs to be taking advantage of this technology. There are 700 families waiting for answers. They deserve closure.”

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Category: Press Releases

CBS2 murder DNA story 2 screenshotCBS2 Chicago - February 28, 2019 | original article

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some people in Chicago are now demanding answers after CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman first reported on dozens of unsolved murders dating back 20 years. Many of those investigations have been delayed by backlogs in analyzing DNA.

A group prayed and read off the names of the 50 victims at a community meeting Wednesday night.

CBS 2 disclosed that those women were strangled, their bodies dumped in abandoned buildings, alleys and even garbage containers. Some were even set on fire.

“I saw the piece that you did and it was shocking,” said Beverly Reed Scott, who organized the meeting.

Among the attendees was State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, who had previously asked police about a possible serial killer.

“And they assured us that there was not any evidence of it,” she said. “But with that piece that aired the other night on channel 2, it raises the question again that maybe there is.”

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Category: Latest

CBS2 video screenshot CBS2 Chicago - February 27, 2019 | original article

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago alderman and a state senator are demanding answers about the unsolved cases of 50 women’s murders after CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman asked last week if there is a serial killer loose in Chicago.

Beverly Reed Scott organized a meeting and plans to organize the community to press for action in the women’s cases. Attendees honored the 50 women with prayer and reciting their names.

Since 2001 they are some of the women who have been beaten, raped, and strangled; and had their bodies dumped in alleys, vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and garbage containers. Some were set on fire.

“I’d like to see the superintendent cry over these 50 women,” Scott said.

Meanwhile, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) says she’ll call for City Council hearings.

“There’s too many black women that lost their lives, and we don’t know what happened to them,” she said. “They just disappeared.”

As CBS 2 disclosed, Thomas Hargrave, of the Murder Accountability Project, believes that similarities in many of the cases point to a possible serial killer.

“We think it’s extremely likely that there are common killers in the Chicago series,” he said.

A cousin of the most recent victim, Reo Renee Holyfield, described his frustrations getting information from the police.

“They told us to just wait,” Ricardo Holyfield said. “Until CBS Pam came and told us that she dug a little bit more. When Pam came she spoke up loud enough that they gave all that stuff to us and we got a chance to put her to rest.”

“This is raising some questions that need to be answered,” said State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt. “I think these young ladies are falling between the cracks.”

The police department has previously told CBS 2 they don’t believe that at this time there is any actionable evidence that points to a serial killer in these cases. Police officials have refused to do an on-camera interview.

Category: Latest

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