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Kotowski: Taxpayer donations to charity should be protected

“The only way we can earn back the public’s trust is if we stop reckless spending.”—State Senator Dan Kotowski

Springfield, IL – When he learned that the State of Illinois took money taxpayers thought they had donated to charity, State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) decided to act. Earlier this week, he passed legislation out of committee that requires the State to quickly send the charities their money.

“This is an issue of responsibility and public trust,” said Kotowski, one of the Senate’s lead budget negotiators. “When people learn that we are taking money meant to go to charities, they lose faith in government. The only way we can earn back the public’s trust is if we stop reckless spending.”

When Illinois residents are filling out their tax returns, they are given the option to donate some of their tax refund money to one or more charities of their choice. In the past, the governor’s office swept nearly $2 million from these charitable funds to use for general state spending. After learning that these charities were not receiving the money donated to them by Illinois taxpayers, the General Assembly decided not give the governor the authority to sweep these funds last year. Senator Kotowski’s legislation guarantees that the charities are protected and paid the money they are owed.

“The people of the State of Illinois have said that giving money to these charities is a priority,” Kotowski said. “This is the people’s money. Spending it in any other way is just wrong.”

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