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Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012

* This Reuters story is basically just a rewrite of some Illinois Policy Institute press releases

By Karen Pierog

CHICAGO, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Illinois Democratic lawmakers, facing the state’s own version of the fiscal cliff, are expected to use their newly won veto-proof majority in the legislature to solve the state’s impending financial crisis with permanently higher tax rates on personal income and corporations. […]

“The Democrats can install any agenda they want. They don’t need any Republican votes. My recommendation to Republicans is let them go forward and see if it works,” said John Tillman, chief executive of the Illinois Policy Institute, a nonpartisan public policy research group. […]

Predictions are that Madigan, who has been Speaker for 28 of the last 30 years, will pounce on the opportunity to make permanent temporary income tax rate increases approved in January 2011.

The Policy Institute and Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno were warning about a potential lame duck vote on the income tax hike for weeks before the election. I took a look at their warnings a while ago and found it to be without merit, partly because Senate President John Cullerton was completely opposed to the idea. The Sun-Times followed up

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) sounded the alarm in an online interview with the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think-tank.

Cullerton, however, told the Chicago Sun-Times that it’s an issue best left for candidates in the 2014 governor’s race to sort out rather than ramming it through later this month, early next month or in January. On Thursday, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) sent a memo encouraging lawmakers to be prepared for a six-day session in January, when passing legislation becomes easier.

“My thought would be timing,” Cullerton said. “We’d have an election for governor, and that would be the best time to have a debate about what the proposal ought to be.

“I’d think the Republican running for governor and Gov. Quinn, if he’s running, would have a proposal for what they want to do: Keep it at 3.75 percent, do other changes or make it higher than that.

“I just think it would be the best time,” he said. “We’d have an election.”

* Related…

* House eyes six-day January session

* Finke: Veto proof? Maybe, maybe not: So the threat of an override is real and could affect the relationship between the legislature and Quinn. But an override isn’t necessarily a sure thing, especially in the House where all the Democrats would have to be in agreement if it came down to a party-line vote. And despite House Speaker Michael Madigan’s reputation, the Democrats there aren’t a monolithic bunch.

* Despite big gains, Democrats still want GOP help on pension revamp

* Senate chief says compromise with Republicans still his goal

* Lame duck legislature could hatch gambling, pension deals

* Erickson: Not enough room for all the Democrats

* Editorial: Fix for state’s problems rests with Democrats

* Editorial: Not much faith in fiscal solutions

* Editorial: Backyard brawls - The war to keep spending money Illinois doesn’t have

* Editorial: Keep your promise

- Posted by Rich Miller        


11 Comments
  1. - The Captain - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 10:02 am:

    The other canard that just won’t die are the stories/rumors that now that Obama won the Feds are going to bail out state pensions, specifically the very large and troubled ones in blue states like Illinois and California. That kind of misinformation is detrimental to the conversation on the process for actual pension reform.


  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 10:11 am:

    Why would the GA wear the jacket for this now? Like Cullerton said, let the gubernatorial candidates lay out their budget visions (or hallucinations) in 2014.

    That’s how it went down in the Edgar/Hartigan race.


  3. - Tony - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 10:25 am:

    Don’t forget, it was Quinn who pushed the hardest to make the tax increase ‘temporary.” Madigan and Cullerton might have been able to muscle the vote for a permanent increase, but Quinn didn’t want that. Now he’ll have to spend the political capital to make it permanent if that’s what he wants.


  4. - siriusly - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 10:38 am:

    It’s not only about Quinn, I think the GA Democrats are sick of the GOP claiming that the tax increase can go away and they can cut their way out of it. If they leave it on the table for the GOP candidate to defend that position, they will have to have a plan not just rhetoric. It’s a great position for Madigan and Cullerton, plus it’s really just better policy for all of us when they don’t ram stuff through in lame duck sessions.

    The downside for them is that when Governor Quinn comes out saying he will push to make the tax increase permanent - some of those new House Dem members will probably get toasted. Congratulations freshmen - welcome to Springfield!


  5. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:34 pm:

    Seems trying to solve the gov employee pension issue in a lame duck session is lame in itself. The only doable idea I’ve heard is a cost shift to the suburbs for future teacher increases, but that doesn’t solve the unsustainability of most of the state, county and local pensions and other OPEBs due to benefits the public cannot afford. Absent some remakable improvements in the investment markets, these plans will require substantial cash or some benefit modification. But the “pension cliff” will not occur in the near future. All that the “do it in the lame duck session” crowd tells me is that the unions own the GA and its beholden members want some outgoing legislators to blame.


  6. - reformer - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    Predicting the Democrats will sneak throught a permanent tax hike is no lose for the IPI and the GOP. If and when the lameduck tax vote does not happen, Tillman and Radogno will claim credit for heading it off by sounding the alarm.


  7. - Proud - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    Save it for the the Gubernatorial elections….. so each candidate will promise to not only lower your taxes, they are going to eliminate them entirely….. They will say what they have to to get elected. Isnt that what was said about pension reform…wait until after the election? There is an election every 2 years and I personally am sick and tired of that excuse.


  8. - Thinker~Doer~Socializer~Feeler - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 3:53 pm:

    Whomever is the 2014 republican nominee, he or she better have a serious budget proposal to offer the public. In other words, give voters something by which to get an idea of his or her prowess as a fiscal steward. The fact that Bill Brady could not provide a budget or any substantive details about how he would have handled the budget problem really hurt his credibility in 2010.


  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 4:06 pm:

    –Whomever is the 2014 republican nominee, he or she better have a serious budget proposal to offer the public.–

    In the Edgar/Hartigan race, Hartigan made a lot of noise about how he was going to let both temporary tax increases expire.

    He got a lot of national publicity (think he liked that?) as a tax-cutting Democrat. David Broder wrote a “man bites dog” column.

    Edgar had the sober, reasonable position that a portion of the increase had to remain for the state to meet its moral and statutory responsibilities.

    Guess who won? Man does bite dog, sometimes.


  10. - reformer - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 6:36 pm:

    Unfortunately, the GOP has moved far to the right since Edgar’s day. It’s doubtful any candidate advocating making the temporary tax permanent could win the GOP nomination in 2014, despite the dire straits of the current budget, far worse than the one Edgar had to contend with.


  11. - Helmet Yawn - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 7:58 pm:

    So the HDems won so many seats there isn’t enough room on their side of the aisle? Priceless.
    Be careful what you wish for, I guess.
    I’m certain that Mr Speaker’s Decorator-in-Residence Tim Mapes can engineer a proper and period-correct solution for $10 million or so.
    Not that we would know, as Mapes’ Extreme Makeover expenses tend to be guarded about as tightly as the CIA
    Director’s e-oh, never mind.


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