PEORIA — U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood went to the spa over the lunch hour on Friday, but it wasn't to relax with a massage or a haircut.
Instead, it was to meet with employees, who at Five Senses Salon, Spa and Barbershop received from their boss a part of the company's savings under the Republican tax reform legislation passed over the winter.
Owner Paola Hinton took $10,000 in the savings they received under the legislation and returned it to her staff, giving each $500 in cash during an employee meeting earlier in the year.
LaHood, R-Peoria, was already familiar with large companies giving such bonuses from other media coverage, but was satisfied to hear of a local, small business doing so when his staff came across a social media posting.
"That's exactly what we wanted to do with the tax bill — the downstream effect, putting more money in the pockets of everyday Americans," he said speaking to the employees in their break room.
Each put it into something different, from car repairs to starting a health-fitness-weight-loss program to beginning a college fund for a child and bulking up a savings account for emergencies.
"That's what makes communities thrive," Hinton said afterward. "They were able to put it to use whatever their needs were. ... These are the individuals who work together as a team, and we want to reward that."
LaHood said the legislation was part of an effort by lawmakers to help jump-start the economy — and when asked about concerns the tax bill expanded deficit spending he agreed that reining in government spending also needs to be a priority.
Chris Kaergard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 686-3255. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisKaergard