Faith in Progress

Faith in Progress

Al Sharp, Executive Director of PCG, shares his perspective on key issues of the day.

Illinois needs a fair tax. The current flat-rate income tax structure is unfair, inadequate, and unjust. We ask you to stand with us and _A Better Illinois_ and support a constitutional amendment that allows a fair tax—a graduated income tax.

The coal industry in Illinois costs more than it contributes to the state’s economy according to a recent report by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and Downstream Strategies.

The wisdom that emerges through the listening campaign gives CRS the insights we need to create plans for community and legislative campaigns that respond effectively to the issues raised—and heard—in over 1,000 face-to-face conversations.

The new concealed carry law bans loaded and concealed weapons in a number of places across Illinois, including hospitals, buses, polling places, schools, BUT not in churches and other houses of worship.

Throughout the session, our organizing, advocacy, and coalition efforts led to good results in Springfield--all of which will make a positive difference for children, youth, families and adults who live in poverty.

With adjournment of the Illinois General Assembly set for the end of May, there is urgent work to be done on the 2014 budget. We need to close some tax loopholes in order to reduce some of the proposed cuts to services.

Everyone in Springfield is talking about guns this spring. Most of the debate has been about a new conceal-and-carry bill, mandated by the Illinois Supreme Court, and a ban on assault weapons. But that's not enough. Illegal handguns account for most of the gun deaths--murder and suicide--in the United States.

Two years ago, when the Illinois House failed by a narrow margin to pass a bill to legalize medical marijuana, patients and their families in the gallery wept openly. Eight days ago, a revised House Bill 1 was approved by a vote of 61-57. The chamber was filled with shouts of joy.

We have all heard stories about persons who live in low-income communities and cannot obtain the hospital services they need because they do not have health insurance. An amendment to the Fair Patient Billing Act, passed in 2012, will make things better for them. We just have to get the rules right.

The mid-point of the 98th Session of the IL General Assembly is fast approaching, and legislators are considering hundreds of bills. This is a crucial time for faith-rooted advocates to add their voices to the political process.

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