Live blogging the tax hike debate

Live blogging the tax hike debate

Posted by JP on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 18:51

UPDATETax hike, gambling expansion approved
The Senate approved the tax increases 31-27 and followed up it up with gambling expansion that passed 30-28.
Here's how Daily Herald-area lawmakers voted on the two:

Local senators voting for the tax increases:
Don Harmon, Oak Park Democrat
Linda Holmes, Aurora Democrat
Dan Kotowski, Park Ridge Democrat
Terry Link, Waukegan Democrat
Michael Noland, Elgin Democrat
Arthur "AJ" Wilhelmi, Joliet Democrat
Local senators voting against the tax increases:
Pamela J. Althoff, McHenry Republican
Michael Bond, Grayslake Democrat
Dan Cronin, Elmhurst Republican
Kirk W. Dillard, Hinsdale Republican
Dan Duffy, Lake Barrington Republican
Susan Garrett, Lake Forest Democrat
Randall M. Hultgren, Winfield Republican
Chris Lauzen, Aurora Republican
John J. Millner, Carol Stream Republican
Matt Murphy, Palatine Republican
Carole Pankau, Itasca Republican

Local senators voting for gambling expansion:
Michael Bond, Grayslake Democrat
Don Harmon, Oak Park Democrat
Linda Holmes, Aurora Democrat
Terry Link, Waukegan Democrat
Arthur "AJ" Wilhelmi, Joliet Democrat

Local senators voting against gambling expansion:
Pamela J. Althoff, McHenry Republican
Dan Cronin, Elmhurst Republican
Kirk W. Dillard, Hinsdale Republican
Dan Duffy, Lake Barrington Republican
Susan Garrett, Lake Forest Democrat
Randall M. Hultgren, Winfield Republican
Dan Kotowski, Park Ridge Democrat
Chris Lauzen, Aurora Republican
John J. Millner, Carol Stream Republican
Matt Murphy, Palatine Republican
Michael Noland, Elgin Democrat
Carole Pankau, Itasca Republican

UPDATE: Tax hike debate
The Illinois Senate is currently debating an income tax debate and expanding the sales tax. I'll update quotes as they come and time allows.

“We’re going to be voting on an income tax bill this year and we are going to pass one. We think this is the best version.” -- Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat

“This is going to kill jobs.” -- State Sen. Dan Duffy, a Lake Barrington Republican.

"As a suburbanite who hears about property taxes all the time, with all due respect the property tax relief in here is a joke," said Hinsdale Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard. "It does nothing to control out of control school district and local government property taxes.”

“If we don’t do this, who you gonna cut?” state Sen. Rickey Hendon, a Chicago Democrat said to Republican critics. "The disabled? The senior citizens? Should the school children not have books? Should people with mental health problems just be put out in the street?"

State Sen. Linda Holmes, an Aurora Democrat:
“There is nobody that is in political office that wants to say ‘yes, guess what I’m one of the ones who voted for a tax increase.’ It is by no means an easy decision.
But on the other side of the coin we would be saying we have to make cuts. And even with this income tax cuts we still need to make cuts.”
“Let’s face it there are so many services that we provice as a state that are desperately needed by our residents.
We’re not dealing with a small problem. We’re dealing with a $12.4 billion problem. Are we all going to fee a little pain? Yes we are.”
“We need to be responsible and we need to take care of this problem.”
“I was a no vote on this until, as somebody who’d been a small business owner, the corporate income tax rate they wanted to raise to 7.2 was knocked down to 5 percent.”

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, a Quad-Cities Democrat:
"Nobody likes this vote. But we all went to the dinner. We all ate the lobster. Some even ate the steak and the salad."

Republican governor hopeful Bill Brady painted Democrats as the enablers of corrupt former Gov. Rod Blagojevich now nailing another economic nail in Illinois’ coffin with a tax increase.
“You have cost the state 750,000 jobs,” Brady claimed.

“The campaign is not now,” said state Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat. “The people of Illinois want an answer they don’t want you to sit on your butt and do nothing.”

State Sen. Donne Trotter, a Chicago Democrat:
“We haven’t raised taxes in 16 years.”
“We can’t buy the same milk, the same services with 1993 dollars.”
“Unlike the feds we can’t print money. We have to have a dedicated revenue stream. No tricks. We’re not saying this is going to be funded by a riverboat.”
"We’ve funded a lot but there’s stuff we can’t. Help us folks. Rock throwers. Put down your rocks and let’s get to the business of having a fine, good balanced budget.”
“We’re giving you cover. I don’t expect you to vote for it but you’ll benefit.”

State Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican:
“I think this is an absolutely horrible idea, but I know you don’t. I think it’s going to make things worse, not better and I believe that as firmly as you believe this is a good idea.”
“I don’t think these are bad people because they want to raise our taxes. I think they’re wrong.”

State Sen. Michael Noland, an Elgin Democrat:
"The voters have spoken over time. Previous legislatures have ignored this problem. You left it to the people to sort it out and they have. In '02 they voted in a Democratic majority. In '06 they voted in a super majority here. In '08 we picked up a few more seats."
“And they know what we do. They know how we meet the needs of the people. That’s why they sent us down here.”

State Sen. Martin Sandoval, Cicero Democrat, blamed the economic decline on Bush administration policies, invoking the credit crunch and the Katrina disaster in his floor debate.
“We sat here and took it in the pants,” Sandoval said. “Enough is enough.”
"It is not Democrats who put us behind the 8-ball. It was George Bush."

State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat:
"To be quite frank I want to go back home and make my father proud, and my mom proud … that I’m doing the right thing and I’m going to vote yes.”

Sen. James T. Meeks, a Chicago Democrat:
“I’m so grateful to God that this night has come.”


UPDATE: Check your local listings ...
The Senate is slated to take up a tax hike plan at 8 p.m. You can try to follow the video and audio feeds that are available at

UPDATE: Video tape rental?
The below list was cut and pasted from General Assembly's web site. Check out the last thing listed for being hit with the sales tax: "Rental of video tapes for home viewing"
Now ask yourself, when was the last time you rented a "video tape"?

Illinois currently doesn’t apply the sales tax on services such a movie rentals, carpet cleaning, dog grooming and a number of other such services. That could change under a budget-balancing plan being considered by the Senate.

If approved the 6.25 percent state sales tax would be applied to the following, for which there’s currently no sales tax:

Warehousing and storage
Travel agent services
Carpet and upholstery cleaning services
Dating services
Dry cleaning and laundry, except coin-operated
Consumer goods rental
Health clubs, tanning parlors, reducing salons
Linen supply
Interior design services
Other business services, including copy shops
Bowling Centers
Coin operated video games and pinball machines
Membership fees in private clubs
Admission to spectator sports (excluding horsetracks)
Admission to cultural events
Billiard Parlors
Scenic and sightseeing transportation
Taxi and Limousine services
Unscheduled chartered passenger air transportation
Motion picture theaters, except drive-in theaters
Pet grooming
Landscaping services (including lawn care)
Income from intrastate transportation of persons
Household goods storage
Cold storage
Marina Service (docking, storage, cleaning,
Marine towing service (including tugboats)
Gift and package wrapping service
Laundry and dry cleaning services, coin-operated
Other services to buildings and dwellings
Water softening and conditioning
Internet Service Providers
Short term auto rental
Information Services
Amusement park admission and rides
Circuses and fairs -- admission and games
Cable and other program distribution
Rental of video tapes for home viewing

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