Tax hike up in the House

Tax hike up in the House

Posted by JP on Sun, 05/31/2009 - 15:19

UPDATE: Live blogging the House debate

Four Daily Herald-area House members voted for the temporary tax increase:
Aurora Democrat Linda Chapa-LaVia
Northbrook Democrat Elaine Nekritz
Vernon Hills Democrat Kathleen Ryg
Waukegan Democrat Eddie Washington

All others voted "no"

The vote:

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat:
“In order to sell that back home we need to say we’re not going to give you the same old Illinois government.”
"We’ve done some significant ethics reform."
“Without these revenues … our nationally leading MAP program … is going to be wiped out.
"Without this we’re not going to be able to operate the Amtrak service we have.”

State Rep. LaShawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat:
“I gotta tell you I represent an area where people are getting killed every day, we have crumbling roads, bridges. People killing people because of a lack of services.
The last thing I want to do today is vote for a tax increase. But I know if I don’t vote for a tax increase things will get worse.”
“I don’t want to vote for a tax increase but I have to.”

State Rep. Karen May, a Highwood Democrat.
“We need reform and belt tightening, but I think we made great strides.”

House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego invoked Barack Obama’s message in criticizing Democrats’ handling of the budget and why Republicans are embracing the last-minute tax plan.
“This is not easy, you can’t be flippant and cavalier about the struggles we’re going through.
We want to make it better. But we heard a constant word in the last presidential race – change.
We’ve done absolutely nothing in the last six months to change this state, this culture this mindset to running government.
We are five hours away form the end of session and what are we doing? The same thing we do every year: here’s a budget, here’s a revenue stream. Take it or leave it.
It’s time we acknowledge it isn’t working."

“If we are going to help those people that are relying on our money, we need to change. We need to have them acknowledge things are going to be a bit different down the road.”

"Don’t take our “no” as an unwillingness to participate," Cross said.
"You can’t come over to us on the last night and say, “let’s be bipartisan. Let’s do the right thing for the people of Illinois.”
“If this bill doesn’t pass with 60 votes on your side of the aisle … the real question is are you playing politics and why and for whose benefit?”
"We’ll be back. I don’t know when. We may be back in three weeks, three months.
We’ll work with you then."
“Just like those folks that are struggling that need our money, the people that you’re going to for money need to know we’re conscience of what they’re going through.
People are scare right now. They’re losing their jobs. They can’t make their house payment. The price of gas is climbing.”
“You haven’t made the case yet to those folks and you’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Rep. Dave Winters, a Rockford Republican
"Your only answer is higher taxes."

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, a Chicago Democrat, said the tax hike is voted down the consequences would be "apocalyptic"
“This is not a dress rehearsal”

State Rep. Bill Black, a Danville Republican, wondered where all this financial responsibility was a year ago when House Democrats approved a budget $2.5 billion out of balance and dared then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to balance it.
"Isn’t that exactly what you did a year ago at this time?
Isn’t that exactly what you voted for on your side of the aisle? Did you take responsibility for what you did last year? No that’s Governor Blagojevich’s fault.”
"I hate to stand here a year later and tell you I told you so, but we told you so."

Here's the details of the plan:
4.5 percent personal income tax
7.2 percent corporate income tax
Increases in place from July 1, 2009 to July 1, 2011
Should raise $4.5 billion in state revenue.
Earned income tax credit 7.5 percent for 2009 and 10 percent for 2010.

State Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat and supporter of the plan.
"I don’t think it’s any great surprise, no elected official wants to vote for a tax increase.
It’s easy to say we’ll just vote no and not have to answer questions back home.
We’ll just vote no and let the State Board of Education make cuts.
The harsh realities of what we face here today in our state budget are if we don’t do something, the mentally ill will be heart, the developmentally disabled will be hurt, … seniors will be hurt, children will be hurt, college students will be hurt."

“Ladies and gentlemen we were elected to lead, not make decision on political expediency,” Lang said.

State Rep. Roger Eddy, a downstate Republican: "In the big picture … does this balance the budget?
State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat and the tax hike sponsor: "It does not quite. There would still be belt tightening. There’d be the need to shave off a billion dollars.

State Rep. John Fritchey, a Chicago Democrat, called the temporary tax hike the political equivalent of a “drop kick”
"It sure as hell isn’t going to win you the game."
"At some point in time we’re going to have to figure out how to address the structural deficit of this state. We need a long term answer to a long term problem"

“We can afford to raise taxes. We can’t afford not to,” said state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat sponsoring the temporary tax hike.

UPDATE: Illinois House takes up temporary tax
The Illinois House has just taken up a temporary tax increase. I'll post comments as they come and time allows

UPDATE: GOP unified and tax hike ping pong
House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego says Republicans aren't putting votes on any tax hike plans. This comes as the House might take up a different tax hike plan than the one the Senate approved, though it doesn't appear there are enough votes for either.

Unless the House and Senate agree on something, nothing happens.

A growing theory/conspiracy is nothing will happen and a partial, bare bones budget will end up on the governor's desk. That budget would run out of money at some point in the year, quite possibly in the middle of the Democratic primary pitting Gov. Pat Quinn against Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who happens to be House Speaker Michael Madigan's daughter.

The income and sales tax hike that came over to the Illinois House from the state Senate last night was approved by a House committee early this afternoon.

Lawmakers have gone behind closed doors for talks among the party members. Democrats are seeing if they have the votes and Republicans are seeing if everyone's going to vote against it.

No word on when it might be voted on other than probably before midnight.

After midnight, it requires a 3/5ths vote for approval and that's simply not going to happen.

The Senate is headed to committees and be assured those who voted for the tax hikes last night are twisting some arms in the House hoping to get it approved, same can likely be said for the opponents who want to make sure the GOP members band together and are a unified "no".

The whole scenario puts House Speaker Michael Madigan in an interesting situation. He's a near mythical figure at the Capitol for the power he wields yet its the new Senate President, John Cullerton, who bit the bullet and got a budget-balancing tax hike approved while the House has been unable to do much of anything other than pass partial and doomsday budgets that effectively punt the problem off for a few months.

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