Lakeland Newspapers incorrectly report that two legislators violated their pledges to oppose tax increases in this year\’s budget.

WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform, the nation\’s leading taxpayer advocacy group, wants to set the record straight – Sen. Chris Lauzen (R-Aurora) and Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) did not break their Pledge to Illinois voters during the budget fight earlier this year. The Lakeland Newspapers incorrectly reported that these two legislators did break the Pledge.

The Lakeland Newspapers incorrectly reported last week that Sen. Lauzen and Rep. Franks voted for one or more of the four major tax increase provisions in Gov. Rod Blagojevich\’s (D) budget. These four bills were SB 1606 (casino tax hike), SB 1634 (elimination of R&D tax credits), SB 1733 (tax on out-of-state natural gas), and SB 0842 (excise and motor fuels tax hikes). Neither Sen. Lauzen nor Rep. Franks voted for these tax increases.

Had they voted for these bills, the legislators would have broken the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Pledge, a commitment to the voters of Illinois to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes," has also been signed by President Bush, 42 U.S. senators, 217 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, eight governors, four lieutenant governors, two attorneys general, four secretaries of state, and over 1, 200 state legislators.

"The Pledge is the best way a public official or a candidate for office can demonstrate his or her commitment to the hard-working people he represents, over the big-spending interests in Springfield," said taxpayer Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. "I am happy to report that Sen. Chris Lauzen and Rep. Jack Franks kept their commitment and did not vote for the bills in question. I call on the Lakeland Newspapers to clarify the record so these officials\’ reputations are not tarnished."

Copies of the Pledge and a list of current Pledge signers are available at, or by calling (202) 785-0266.