Spring Legislative Session Wrapping Up
David From, AFP-IL State Director, commented on tonight’s midnight deadline for adjournment of the cheduled spring legislative session:
“Despite being given less than a week’s time to analyze the final proposal, the state’s $35.4 billion budget for the coming fiscal year (which begins July 1st) is being debated in the General Assembly. Today marks the end of the Legislature’s scheduled spring session. Constitutionally, and legislation passed after May 31st would require a three-fifths supermajority to become effective before next year. This is the largest budget in Illinois history at a time when more money than ever is pouring into the state’s coffers. In fact, the 67% temporary income tax hike in 2011 has resulted in a nearly 20% jump in revenue, with an additional $7 billion collected in just the first year alone. Yet it’s not enough.
Legislative leaders emphatically stressed the fact that this tax increase would begin to expire in 2015. In fact, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) reiterated after its passage, “This, again, is a temporary tax.” Well, is it? This budget sets the stage for an effort to extend or make permanent the tax increase, or, as some would hope, a switch from a flat to a progressive income tax. This budget does nothing to pave the way for the hike’s sunset.
Please recall that the hike’s proponents stated that the revenue generated would be used to pay down bills. Unfortunately, the money did not go to pay old bills & now some are looking to renege on the temporary nature of the increase by promoting a switch from a flat income tax to a progressive one. Thankfully, this incredibly harmful proposal did not see action, but will most likely continue to be a topic of debate as politicians and bureaucrats avoid making the tough decisions to increase government efficiency and decrease the amount of our hard-earned money Springfield asks us to forfeit. In introducing HJRCA 2, the legislation to implement a progressive income tax, the sponsor, Representative Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign), stated her belief that Illinois is ‘a wealthy state and a pretty low-taxed state.’ We disagree, representative.”