Lawmakers return to Capitol after voting to raise taxes

Jul 04, 2017, 00:22
Lawmakers return to Capitol after voting to raise taxes

Saturday was the first day of the third straight year without a formal budget plan for IL, which has a backlog of unpaid pills estimated at $15 billion.

The bills passed with support from both Democrats and Republicans.

"The Democrats made matters more complicated by filing a new spending bill within the last 15 minutes", Durkin told reporters after meeting with his caucus.

The tax increase would bring the income tax to 4.95% and the corporate tax to 7%.

When a Democrat yelled back, other lawmakers had to get between them saying "knock it off".

"It's what my constituents asked me to do", Rep. Swanson said Sunday night of rejecting the tax increase.

Not all republicans sided with their party's majority opinion on SB 6.

One vote down, another to go, but the Governor's veto pen is already waiting.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he sent a letter to the bond rating agencies, "asking them to defer any further opinions relative to the credit rating of the state of IL, until we've had sufficient time to finalize our budget-making".

Several school district superintendents were also present for Sunday's vote. The Senate will also peruse a spending plan involving $36 billion dollars of funds which was approved by the House. Rauner ran on promises not to raise taxes or spending with a few exceptions.

"Today, we can change the very bad trajectory of the past several years", said the bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago said before the vote.

S&P rival Fitch Ratings, which now has IL rated two notches above junk, also issued a statement Monday citing "concrete progress".

"The majority in the General Assembly has chosen to hold innocent people, our most vulnerable residents and essential services hostage to pass an excessive, unwarranted tax hike", his statement continued.

"Under Speaker Madigan's direction, legislators chose to double down on higher taxes while protecting the special interests and refusing to reform the status quo". It's a repeat of the failed policies that created this financial crisis and caused jobs and taxpayers to flee.

The House voted 72-45 Sunday to increase the personal income tax rate by 32 percent.

"Illinois families don't deserve to have more of the hard-earned money taken from them when the Legislature has done little to restore confidence in government or grow jobs", Rauner said. "We must have a balanced budget, and if that means that we must increase taxes right now to do it, I, like one of my other colleagues, know I'm probably going to get primaried on this", she said, referring to the possibility of losing her seat in the next primary election. "We couldn't continue without a budget, overspending and cutting back services to any number of services that citizens want and benefit from". Downgrades are possible any day. The Senate then passed the measure into law with a 43-1 override vote.

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