Senate members returned to their districts this week, as reaction to the recently signed 67 percent state income tax increase continues to pour in from taxpayers, political commentators and editorial boards across Illinois, according to Senator Tim Bivins.

Also this week, several bills passed during the 96th General Assembly were signed into law, including a measure to encourage employment. The state also confirmed the agreement of the new private manager of the Lottery, while legal uncertainty continues over the status of almost 40 gubernatorial appointees.

Criticism of the new tax hike is drowning out praise for the increase, as national and statewide publications and business groups characterize the move as bad for employers and bad for the economy. Public reaction has been particularly critical of the decision to push the tax increase through during the lame-duck session, and there is significant skepticism that the spending caps will be maintained.

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