State Representative Tom Cross (R)

Years served: 1993 – Present

 

Committee assignments: House Committee of the Whole; Executive; Joint Comm. on Government Reform (Vice-Chairperson) 

 

 

TAXES AND SPENDING

 

Cross voted for a huge electric rate increase.

Cross helped pass SB1652 – a huge electric rate increase sought by ComEd and Ameren. (2011)

 

Cross voted to raise sales taxes and fees.

Cross voted for HB255 significantly raising the sales tax on a number of grocery related items including beverages, candy, and health and beauty aids. Taxes on beer, wine and other alcohol were also hiked. HB255 also triples the driver’s license fee. Further, this bill legalizes video gambling for bars and taverns. You can call that a “voluntary” tax if you want – but it still represents a big tax hike. Those bars and taverns don’t just hand over a big cut of their gambling machine proceeds to the state out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s a tax that gets the state its share of the machines’ take. (2009)

 

Cross voted for the Democrats’ pork-bloated FY2008 $59 BILLION budget.

Cross’s vote for HB3866 demonstrates inability as a legislator to seriously address Illinois’ chronic fiscal crisis that’s attributable to out-of-control spending, an antiquated pension system, and government corruption. (2007)

 

Cross voted to allow the Mayor of Chicago to DOUBLE the telephone tax.

SB0837 would give Mayor Richard Daley the ability to raise the telephone tax from $1.25 to $2.50 per month for all customers. (2007)

 

Cross voted against electric rate relief.

In January 2007, a 10-year electric rate-freeze expired, exposing thousands of Illinois residents to huge increases in their electric bills. SB1592 provided $1 billion in rate relief to Illinois consumers. More importantly, the law establishes an independent Illinois Power Agency that will be responsible for planning and purchasing electricity at the lowest possible price for consumers. (2007)

 

Cross voted for Governor Blagojevich’s ALL KIDS universal health insurance plan.

Critics of HB0806, a bill that would cost $45 million in its first year alone, said they feared that such a sweeping offer could end up costing far more at a time when the state’s budget is already strained. The program can also be expected to turn Illinois into a magnet for families from other states desperate to insure their children. (2005)

 

Cross voted to increase the real estate transfer tax by $30 million.

SB0075 increased the cost of selling a house in Illinois by adding a $10 tax to closing fees. (2005)

 

Cross voted to allow non-Home Rule sales tax increases to double.

According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, SB0272 allows non-Home Rule municipalities to increase their sales tax 100%. Governor Blagojevich rightly vetoed the bill, but his veto was overridden. (2005)

 

Cross voted against reducing the taxpayers’ burden to the state pension fund by $1.1 BILLION.

According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, SB0027 limited end-of-career salary hikes for government school teachers and other government employees to 6% instead of the usual 20%. Such a reform would reduce state taxpayers’ contribution to state retirement funds by over $1.1 billion yearly. (2005)

 

Cross voted for Governor Blagojevich’s FY2005 Partial Operational Budget totaling $45.5 billion.

SB3340 included substantial increases for healthcare and education but did not address out-of-control spending. According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, after months of debate in the legislature, the FY2005 Capital Budget was passed totaling $9.1 billion. FY2005’s $54.6 billion state budget represented a 4% or $2 billion increase over the FY2004 budget. (2004)

 

Cross voted for a state income-tax increase that hits Illinois businesses for $29 million.

According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, SB2207 redefines that phrase “business income” in a way that benefits the big-spenders in Springfield. (2004)

 

Cross voted for a computer software sales-tax hike.

SB2205 raised state sales taxes on computer software by $64 million. (2004)

 

Cross voted for a $750 million pork spending bill.

SB1239 included $300 million in new pork spending and about $450 million to finish projects started by former Governor George Ryan. $556 million of the pork spending bill was vetoed by Governor Blagojevich. Cross voted to override most of the Governor’s line item vetoes. (2003)

 

Cross voted for a property tax hike to increase patronage employees’ pay.

SB1881 will cost taxpayers $31 million per year. Governor Blagojevich vetoed SB1881. Both Houses overrode the veto. (2003)

 

Cross voted to raise the state corporate income tax for industries that use heavy machinery.

SB0842 raised state corporate income taxes $59 million for industries that use heavy machinery. The tax will hit consumers of oil, coal, and graphic arts companies. (2003)

 

Cross voted for an income-tax hike on natural gas.

SB1733 is a $42 million income-tax hike on Illinois businesses that choose to purchase cheaper out-of-state natural gas. (2003)

 

Cross voted to keep the Illinois Death Tax alive.

SB1725 kept the Illinois Estate Tax alive, even as it was being phased out at the federal level. According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, this new death tax will cost Illinois taxpayers as much as $500 million per year by 2010. (2003)

 

Cross voted with the Democrats to eliminate income tax deductions

According to the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, SB1634 eliminated income tax deductions pivotal to businesses struggling to continue to operate during hard times. (2003)

 

Cross voted for Governor Blagojevich’s $10 BILLION bond deal

Cross voted to nearly double the state’s indebtedness with the largest bond issuance in Illinois history, by far. Cross’s vote for HB2660 also helped net controversial Republican National Committeeman Bob Kjellander $809,000 in “finder’s” fees. Kjellander is a key figure in an ongoing probe of corruption in Illinois. (2003)

 

Cross voted with the Democrats to greatly increase fees on Illinois trucking companies.

By greatly increasing the fee burden on Illinois trucking companies, SB0841 nearly destroyed the industry in our state. (2003)

 

Cross voted for 300 tax and fee increases (Governor Blagojevich’s FY2004 $52.6 billion budget).

SB1903 increased state spending by 9% (or $6.5 billion) by the end of fiscal year 2004, and imposed $350 million in tax hikes, mainly on Illinois businesses. According to the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, SB1903 added $2 BILLION to the cost of doing business in Illinois. (2003)

 

 

EDUCATION

 

Cross voted to exempt teachers, principals and school superintendents from FOIA disclosure.

At the urging of the teachers’ unions and just months after approving what was billed as a sweeping reform of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, Cross voted for SB315. The bill exempts from FOIA disclosure of performance evaluations for teachers, principals and school superintendents. Also supporting SB315 was the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 which seeks the same exemption for all public employees who receive performance evaluations. (2010)

 

Cross listened to the teachers’ unions and voted against a Constitutional Convention.

HB0025 urged the electorate to support the calling of a Constitutional Convention. The Illinois Education Association (IEA) and Cross fear giving taxpayers the opportunity to debate and decide upon school funding reforms in Illinois. Instead, the IEA and Cross want to keep the power in the hands of politicians whose votes can be easily bought and controlled by teachers’ union PAC money. (2007)

 

Cross voted to prohibit parents’ right to alternative education.

HB0232 prohibits the State Board of Education and school boards from establishing, maintaining, or in any way supporting any virtual schools or virtual classes for elementary or secondary students in this State. (2007)

 

Cross voted to increase education spending by nearly $600 million.

Cross’ vote for HB3866 proves he is incapable and unwilling to address the public education-spending crisis in Illinois. Instead of leading with bold reforms, Cross follows the Democrats’ dishonest argument that blames school failures on “not enough money.” (2007)

 

Cross voted for a $45 million taxpayer-funded experiment – Universal Preschool

According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, SB1497 will once again prove that “universal preschool” schemes yield benefits that simply do not justify the costs involved. (2006)

 

 

STEM CELL RESEARCH

 

Cross sponsored legislation seeking $1 billion for stem cell research.

HB3815 would have asked the General Assembly to let the voters decide by public referendum whether to issue $1 billion in bonds to fund stem cell research over the next decade in Illinois. Bond debt to create and fund the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute would have been serviced by a 6% tax on elective cosmetic procedures. (2007)

 

Cross sponsored legislation for taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research.

SB0004 was signed into law at the end of August 2007, capping off a long effort to proceed with all forms of stem cell research, including human embryonic. SB0004 became effective January 1, 2008. (2007)

 

Cross voted for what is referred to by some as the “clone and kill bill”.

HB3589 would have provided state funds for embryonic stem-cell research. This bill, cynically titled the “Ronald Reagan Biomedical Research Act” despite the former president’s strong pro-life convictions, was termed the “Embryonic Clone & Kill Bill” by critics. (2004)

 

 

ABORTION

 

Cross voted to allow a minor girl seeking an abortion to circumvent her parents’ authority.

According to the Illinois Family Institute, HB0317 would all but eliminate a parent’s right to be notified if his or her minor child seeks to have an abortion. This legislation is a blatant attempt to stop the Parental Notification Act of 1995 from going into effect. (2007)

 

Cross voted to impede pro-lifers’ freedom to protest in front of abortion clinics.

HB2486 would make it a misdemeanor to interfere with women entering abortion clinics. Pro-lifers said HB2486 would restrict free-speech rights of protestors. (2003)

 

 

GAMBLING

 

Cross voted for the most massive expansion of gambling in Illinois history.

Cross voted for SB744 which allows for five new casinos (including one Chicago-owned casino), slot machines at the state’s horse racing tracks, slot machines at Chicago’s two airports, more gaming positions at existing casinos, and slot machines and year-round racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. (2011)

 

Cross voted to allow video poker at truck stops and VFW halls and to make it more difficult to regulate gaming operators. 

Cross voted for HB4927 – a controversial video poker bill that state gambling regulators fear will allow operators of illegal machines to stay in business throughout the state. The bill requires a felony conviction on gambling charges before regulators could deny a license to operate video gambling machines in Illinois. HB4927 further expands gambling by adding truck stops and VFW halls to the list of venues that will be allowed to have on-site video gambling machines that make payouts to patrons. (2010)

 

Cross voted to allow video poker at OTB locations. 

Cross voted for SB744 allowing restaurants and bars attached to off-track betting locations to have video gambling machines. (2010)

 

Cross voted for a massive expansion of gambling.

Cross voted for HB255 – a massive expansion of gambling in Illinois. HB255 legalizes video gambling for bars and taverns, and permits Internet Lottery on computers and cell phones. Video gambling machines are often called the “crack cocaine” of gambling because of the speed of play and the rapid onset of addiction. (2009)

  

Cross voted for a massive expansion of gambling in Illinois.

Cross voted for the massive gambling expansion bill – HB 2651. Passage of HB2651 would have meant 3 new casinos, new gambling machines at racetracks, the introduction of electronic poker games, plus many other expansions. The good news is this irresponsible bill failed with 55 State Representatives voting “no” and 47 voting “yes.” A three-fifths majority was required for passage. The bad news is it was a big chunk of the GOP caucus led by House Minority Leader Tom Cross who was on Governor Rod Blagojevich’s side in trying to pass HB 2651. (2008)

 

Cross voted to subsidize horseracing through riverboat casinos.

HB1918 requires riverboat casinos that have gross receipts of more than $200 million in 2004 to pay 3% of their adjusted gross income to the Horse Racing Trust Fund. (2006)

 

Cross sponsored legislation to add 6,000 new gambling positions at riverboat casinos.

HB4112 would amend the Riverboat Gambling Act to allow the Illinois Gaming Board to offer a total of 6,000 new gaming positions, in blocks of 250 each. Incredibly, the bill also provides that ANY person may bid and be awarded the new gaming positions, regardless of whether the person is the holder of an owner’s license. (2007)

 

Cross voted to legalize video gambling in bars across Illinois.

HB1124 would have legalized gambling on video game “contests” of two or more in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, and other venues. [Cross abstained when the initial vote, but did vote “yes” to override the Governor’s veto.] Despite Cross’s support, the veto override failed in the House. (2007)

 

 

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

 

Cross voted to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.

Tom Cross, Ron Sandack and Ed Sullivan were the only Republican State Representatives voting YES on SB10. If not for these Republicans, the bill would have fallen short of the 60 votes needed for passage in the State House. Jason Barickman was the only Republican State Senator voting with the Democrats to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois. (2013)

 

 

PROTECTING OUR FAMILIES

 

Cross voted FOR legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Legalization of so-called “medical” marijuana failed in the House – but not for lack of trying by Cross who campaigned aggressively for passage of HB30. (2011)

 

Cross voted against internet filters in public libraries.

HB1727 required public schools and libraries to filter/block internet access to illegal obscenity, child pornography, and material harmful to minors. (2007)

 

Cross voted to allow alcohol to be sold near schools.

SB2445 removed the restriction that had prohibited alcohol sales within 100 feet of a school entrance. (2006)

 

 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

 

Cross voted for the Illinois DREAM Act.

Cross voted YES and helped pass the Illinois DREAM Act, legislation awarding special rights and benefits to undocumented immigrants in Illinois (SB2185). (2011)

 

Cross voted to force state and local governments to recognize “consular identification cards” issued by foreign governments.

SB1623 forces state and local governments to recognize the consular identification cards issued by foreign governments and commonly used by illegal Mexican immigrants. (2005)

 

Cross voted for in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

HB0060 allows undocumented immigrants to attend state universities at in-state tuition rates. (2003)

 

Cross voted to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses.

Cross voted for SB957, allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain temporary drivers licenses, making Illinois the most populous U.S. state to allow such licenses. (2013)

 

 

NANNY STATE 

 

Cross voted with the Radical Left for a ban on trans fats.

Cross voted with the Radical Left for a ban on trans fats on food served in restaurants, movie theaters, cafes, bakeries, and through school vending machines (HB1600). Fortunately cooler heads prevailed in the Senate where the nanny staters and their ridiculous bill were defeated. (2011)

 

 

REFORM (or the lack thereof)

 

Cross voted to exempt teachers, principals and school superintendents from FOIA disclosure.

At the urging of the teachers’ unions and just months after approving what was billed as a sweeping reform of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, Cross voted for SB315. The bill exempts from FOIA disclosure of performance evaluations for teachers, principals and school superintendents. Also supporting SB315 was the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 which seeks the same exemption for all public employees who receive performance evaluations. (2010)

 

Cross voted to water down ethics reform law.

Cross voted to exempt transportation projects from the new ethics law (SB761). Despite the awesome demands of riding around on a High Horse every day since Rod Blagojevich’s arrest lecturing about the need to reform Illinois’ culture of corruption – state lawmakers still somehow found time to gut their own brand new “landmark” ethics reform law. This of course would be the same ethics reform law these same lawmakers hailed as “a big step forward.” (2009)

 

Cross voted to make it more difficult for write-in candidate to get on the ballot.

SB662 changed the deadline for filing to be a write-in candidate to 61 days before an election. The purpose for this change is purely for incumbent protection. (2007)

 

Cross fecklessly looked to Democrat House Speaker Mike Madigan to rid the Illinois Republican Party of controversial National Committeeman Bob Kjellander.

Instead of taking serious and mature action, Cross introduced HB5861 asking the Democrats to help take care of the Kjellander mess, an issue which is solely a Republican responsibility.  House Speaker Madigan understandably just laughed at Cross’ idea. Madigan rightly told the embarrassed Cross to clean-up his own Republican house and to stop wasting the legislators’ time on what is a purely a matter internal to the State GOP. Kjellander could have been removed and replaced with an honest leader a lot earlier, if only Cross and his pals really wanted to get the job done. Cross and his buddies clearly had no such serious desire. Once again, Tom Cross proved he is all talk and no action. (2007)

 

Cross desperately opposes a common sense reform that would once again allow ALL Republicans to directly elect the senior leadership of their own Illinois Republican Party.  

Cross continues to keep rank-and-file Republicans from having the same voice all Illinois Democrats enjoy in their State Party. Cross opposes SB600 – returning to the better system of direct election Illinois Republicans used until the late 1980’s. Illinois has been a “Blue State” ever since the change to the easily corruptible system Cross dishonestly still protects.

 

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