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May 8, 2000


Governor George H. Ryan today signed legislation providing tax relief through the expansion the state's Circuit Breaker program to increase the number of seniors who are eligible for assistance.

"The winners of this program are the senior citizens of this state who will see lower costs on medicines because we have expanded the coverage and they will be able to keep more of their tax dollars," Ryan said. "We had a successful spring session, and credit goes to the members of the General Assembly who worked very hard to meet the needs of the people of Illinois and to prepare this state for the future," he said.

Ryan signed House Bill 3872 to put those standards in to law during a ceremony with the bill's chief legislative sponsors and supporters including representatives from American Association of Retired Persons, social security coalition, pharmaceutical companies and disability groups.

House Bill 3872 provides for an increase in the eligibility levels for the circuit breaker program to save taxpayers $35 million in each of the next three years. Income eligibility levels will increase from $16,000 to $28,480 for a 2-person household and to $20,000 for a single-person household. The pharmaceutical cap is increased from $800 to $2,000 annually and will include new coverage for drugs affecting Alzheimer's Disease, glaucoma, Parkinson's Disease, cancer and the treatment of respiratory diseases.

The FY 2001 budget also helps homeowners and low-income families with $350 million in new tax relief. The 2001 tax relief plan will allow for a one-time property tax rebate later this year and create an earned income tax credit to help the working poor.

The chief sponsors of House Bill 3872 are House Republican Leader Lee Daniels, R-Elmhurst; House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago; Rep. Andrea Moore, R-Libertyville; Rep. Beth Coulson, R-Glenview; Rep. John "Jack" McGuire, D-Joliet; Sen. Christine Radogno, R-LaGrange; Sen. Patrick O'Malley, R-Palos Park; Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford; Sen. Duane Noland, R-Blue Mound; and Sen. Ed Petka, R-Plainfield. House Bill 3872 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2001.


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