SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — Illinois lawmakers are discussing the possibility of giving apprentices a $1,000 tax credit.
Freshman Rep. Harry Benton (D-Plainfield) filed this proposal to help more people get into the trades. Benton is an ironworker by trade and knows that the country frequently faces a shortage of skilled craftsmen and women.
People participating in apprenticeship programs would be entitled to a tax credit equal to unreimbursed expenses for work equipment starting January 1.
“If they’re getting in, they’re paying for books, they’re buying tools, they’re getting into that first step,” Benton said. “Some of them incur thousands of dollars worth of costs to get started. This would be a step in the right direction to help them with that entry level component.”
Benton’s plan is backed by labor unions and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. House Bill 3678 is currently in the House Revenue Committee, but the plan could be included in budget negotiations over the final month of session.
Advocates said the legislation could encourage employment of people from disenfranchised communities. They argue that minorities, women, and veterans will have a greater opportunity to be placed in apprenticeship programs that lead to great careers.
“A tax credit for up to $1,000 of unreimbursed expenses means that apprentices don’t have to choose between bringing home groceries at the beginning of the week and buying necessities to help grow their future career,” said Frances Orenic, the acting legislative director for the Illinois AFL-CIO.
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April 20, 2023 at 09:31PM