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*** UPDATED x1 - Hearing at 1 o’clock *** Madigan introduces advisory referendum on millionaire’s tax surcharge

Thursday, May 22, 2014

* From an amendment introduced today by House Speaker Michael Madigan

The State Board of Elections shall cause a statewide advisory question of public policy to be submitted to the voters at the general election to be held on November 4, 2014. The question shall appear in the following form:

    “Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income greater than one million dollars?”

It ain’t ever boring around here, that’s for sure.

*** UPDATE *** From Madigan’s spokesman in comments…

Expect the Speaker to testify on behalf of this topic at the House Revenue Committee about 1 p.m.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


45 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    So if tens of thousands of people sign a petition to put something on the ballot we have to challenge that, but if we want to start becoming the land of the advisory referendum, that’s cool….

    So do you think he looks at himself in the mirror with a weariness about what he has to do to try to keep the Democrats in full power or does he marvel at his brilliance.


  2. - Norseman - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    As a long suffering Cub fan, I want a referendum on dumping the Northern Cardinal as the State bird.


  3. - OneMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    How about one proposing a 10% extra tax on all members of the bar….


  4. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    yawn


  5. - steve schnorf - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    turnout in November


  6. - Walker - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    I don’t like this tactic, and favor tough decisions made by those elected to make them. This shouldn’t be on the ballot.

    But, I am a bit curious to see if the political memes of “get it from the rich” and “for the kids” outweigh the ever-powerful “no new taxes period.”


  7. - OneMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    The trick against this (again it is advisory) is to play to the perception that anytime something is ’supposed to go to education’ it just means money is freed up for other stuff and education doesn’t get more…

    before you go nuts, please note I said perception…


  8. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    Enough already, Madigan! I am beginning to feel that the ballot is going to resemble something out of the State of California, but the residents of Illinois do not have the freedom to propose too many of their own referenda questions and Proposition 13 will not be on the ballot here!


  9. - Anon - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Some Republicans favor advisory referendums, as evidenced by Reboletti’s proposed tax extension referendum and by Rauner’s proposed marriage equality referendum. If it’s good enough for those issues, why not this one?


  10. - RNUG - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    If we’re going to govern by referenda, can we just eliminate the GA and save the money?


  11. - the Patriot - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    I think Madigan knows he can’t turn this state around or his legacy. He will be the most influential politician in one of the worst periods in state history. Running more millionaires out of state will only lead to more unemployment and compound his inevitable failed legacy. Might was well pander for a few hat tips, it works for Quinn.

    Little disappointed the Speaker has been reduced to such pathetic tactics. I wish he would just retire so at least you can respect how ruled.

    What was once one of the most feared men in America is going to be reduced to a joke in the pages of history.


  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Is there any empirical evidence that advisory referenda influence voter turnout? Of is it just a hunch?


  13. - Steve Brown - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Expect the Speaker to testify on behalf of this topic at the House Revenue Committee about 1 p.m.


  14. - Wensicia - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    Should we submit a referendum on governing by referendum?


  15. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    There is no way on earth that an amendment defining marriage will ever be presented to the Illinois voters.


  16. - Langhorne - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Has anyone drafted voter info booklets, in case any of the CAs get on the ballot? Or will it take a special session?


  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Lets all wave Bye Bye to the last few people of means in Illinois. Way to attract new business!!
    I can hear the water pouring into this sinking ship!


  18. - Barney - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    how embarrassing. the speaker of the house is now left with calling non-binding resolutions on ideas his own caucus has rejected all the while the state budget is in tatters and the Dem Governor’s entire campaign platform is on the verge of disintegrating. Please tell me more about the Dem “coordinated campaign”…


  19. - OneMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Anon — Those were not bright ideas either..


  20. - Anon - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    == There is no way on earth that an amendment defining marriage will ever be presented to the Illinois voters.==
    But Rauner advocated a referendum on same-sex marriage. If gauging public opinion is appropriate on one issue, why is it so wrong on another?


  21. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    –Lets all wave Bye Bye to the last few people of means in Illinois.–

    Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, Crain’s reports housing prices rose in every Chicago area zip for the first time in seven years.

    Seems kind of counter-intuitive, housing prices going up when everybody is fleeing the state.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140426/ISSUE01/140429919/where-home-prices-are-rising-the-most


  22. - OneMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    So annon do you think what both Rauner and Madigan proposed should go in front of the voters..

    or

    Do you just not like Rauner?


  23. - steve schnorf - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    I think reports of the Speaker’s death are greatly exagerated


  24. - truthteller - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    If the income tax is not extended, someone making $1 million annually will get a $20,000 tax cut. If someone makes $1.5 million,she would be paying an extra $15,000 ($500,000 x.03) if Madigan’s plan was effectuated . That individual would still be $5000 ahead of the game.
    It would be far better if the Speaker were to devote his considerable legislative skills to passing the extension than to dreaming up schemes that help no one because they don’t become law


  25. - OneMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Come on, lets not kid ourselves, this is about turnout, nothing more.

    Looking forward to the aren’t puppies cute ballot item


  26. - Steve - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    I think this might help Mike Madigan’s property tax appeals business. Isn’t that why Madigan got into politics?


  27. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    It is remarkable that as millions of dollars, many months, hundreds of thousands of signatures from Illinois citizens, and the clear “will of the people” according to public polls are being fought tooth-and-nail by the Speaker…

    He can wake up in the morning, decide he likes the idea of some type of millionaire’s tax again…

    and have more progress made on “his” issue of choice by the end of that same day than all those millions of dollars, man-hours, voices and signatures of others will achieve by the end of this month.


  28. - Walker - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    Steve: Awesome humor.

    Calls out some of the other nonsense people love to imagine about Madigan.


  29. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    And while he obviously didn’t wake up today and decide to do this, despite his going back and forth on a “millionaire’s tax” as recently as last month, this also has everything to do with turnout and nothing to do with caring about education.

    Turnout for one party, and one party only. His party.


  30. - Frenchie Mendoza - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:54 pm:


    It is remarkable that as millions of dollars, many months, hundreds of thousands of signatures from Illinois citizens, and the clear “will of the people” according to public polls are being fought tooth-and-nail by the Speaker…

    He can wake up in the morning, decide he likes the idea of some type of millionaire’s tax again…
    —-

    He’s an elected official. He’s gotten the votes from the folks that voted him into office. I want my elected officials to make decisions. I happen to like most of the decisions Madigan makes. There are some I don’t like. But that’s okay. Madigan is okay in my book.

    The thing about Rauner, see, is that he doesn’t hold public office. In a partisan election, Rauner got a slight majority of votes. I understand that. I don’t like it, but I understand it. However, Rauner is not an elected official. He’s some business guy with no prior political experience. Much of his own business experience is questionable. But that’s another matter.

    Still, I want the “I’m nobody” folks like Rauner — and like myself, actually — to have an exceedingly high and especially costly bar to promote public policy. I don’t want someone like Rauner to say, “Okay, let’s just have a referendum about gay marriage.” — and then have that appear on the ballot. I don’t Rauner to all of a sudden wake get the nudge from his advisors to “have a referendum on birth control” — and then, BLAMMO: a referendum on birth control appears on a statewide ballot.

    As far as I’m concerned, Rauner remains an unelected nobody. He’s someone that wears crappy watches and thinks a Carhartt jacket gives you downstate “working joe” cred. He’s also the same guy apparently that had a cigar room in the Sears Tower. Go figure. I don’t know many folks eating at Sprouts in Quincy that can have a smoking room in the Sears (Willis) Tower.

    I do see a couple of guys wearing Carhartt jackets at Sprouts in Quincy. That’s nice. They drive motorocycles, too, and dualies and whatever else. But I don’t want those guy putting referendums on statewide ballots either. If they wanna play, they, too, should pay.


  31. - Ahoy! - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Is Madigan ok with an advisory referendum on the income tax increase?


  32. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    ==Turnout for one party, and one party only. His party.==

    Well, duh.

    ==the clear “will of the people” according to public polls are being fought tooth-and-nail by the Speaker==

    Thank goodness we don’t always do what the “will of the people” want.


  33. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    == Thank goodness we don’t always do what the “will of the people” want. ==

    lol. Speaker knows best. Always.


  34. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    I liked it better when Madigan was the one whose name was not spoken for fear he would appear.


  35. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    Frenchie Mendoza - there seems to be an important contradiction in there, but maybe I misunderstand.

    If we prefer our elected officials make decisions and do not like referendums, them how should we feel about Speaker Madigan putting such important issues as the minimum wage up for a referendum?

    Should we disagree with both Rauner and Madigan for wanting to do so? Or only Rauner? And how do we square that with a preference that our elected officials make decisions? And does it make any difference that it wasn’t just Rauner pushing this particular referendum, but major donors and supporters from both parties?


  36. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    @FKA:

    I guess my point is that when it comes to making laws the will of the people isn’t always the best course of action. In some cases the will of the people would try and overrule the Constitution.


  37. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Here’s a better advisory referendum for the ballot. Should Michael J. Madigan immediately retire from politics for putting advisory referendums on the ballot for purely political reasons?


  38. - Frenchie Mendoza - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 2:16 pm:


    If we prefer our elected officials make decisions and do not like referendums, them how should we feel about Speaker Madigan putting such important issues as the minimum wage up for a referendum?

    I’m okay with referendums — the idea, I mean. I used to live in a town that every year tried to pass a referendum to better fund the local schools. It failed every year. The schools deteriorated. No one wanted to pay more, but everyone wanted to complain about the schools falling apart. I never understood that, but I graduated. Then I left town. C’est la vie.

    My point isn’t that referendums are bad. My point is that it should be hard and expensive for nobodys like Rauner to advocate public policy on a statewide ballot. The original poster made the distinction about the time and money involved to pose a question on a ballet for someone like Rauner versus someone like Madigan.

    I assume the “ballot” is essentially a political and tactical battleground. The curatorial (and legal) impulse to manipulate the battleground to one’s advantage should be strong and complex.

    And it is. And that is good.


  39. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    Hey if the chess game is getting out of hand, just muck up the board. The Speaker is using all available tricks in attempt to fend off the inevitable in November.


  40. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    I’ll give Madigan a pass on this one. He’s been working very hard to get important things passed this year, and things have not worked out too well for him so far.

    He tried before to do the millionaire tax that we saw was popular in a poll, but it died. He’s trying to get the votes for the income tax increase extension, but that’s not working out for him. The minimum wage increase can’t get passed during his session.

    I give him a pass because Madigan is at least working. Rauner, on the other hand, still has no plan.


  41. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    GoM, its all politics. Policy takes a backseat. The Speaker’s work ethic does not change from election to election.


  42. - countyline - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Madigan and the Dems are in charge with super-majorities in both houses of the GA. If they want any of these things, man-up and pass them. You are elected to make decisions, make them.


  43. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 3:10 pm:

    Some of us have been giving Madigan too much credit for being so sly and crafty in terms of making issues out of topics like to hype Democratic voter turnout in November. It turns out the National Democratic Party is urging such tactics because the polling data looks most unfavorable and they need to stir up their core constituencies. The GOP may be short on ideas, but according to the polls the Republicans are positioned to win more contests. Hence, the gimmicks.


  44. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    “GoM, its all politics. Policy takes a backseat.”

    If the Democrats had enough votes to pass the millionaire tax increase or the tax increase extension, it would be more than politics, because they would have passed one or the other–same with the minimum wage.

    If the end result is to pass laws in the future that can’t be passed today, why not try to gin up turnout to get politicians to act?

    Speaking of ginning up turnout, what about a gazillion Obamacare repeal attempts and now Benghazi again?


  45. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    == The curatorial (and legal) impulse to manipulate the battleground to one’s advantage should be strong and complex. ==

    Appreciate your reply. There is some common ground here, Frenchie Mendoza. I am unsure if my reply to Demoralized is moderated at the moment or not, but in some ways we are saying similar things.

    It should be hard for the public to get these things on the ballot. Perhaps it should also be a bit more difficult for legislative initiatives. These referendums should not be abused or manipulated, much less for the benefit of one candidate or one party. Unfortunately, politics and reality are not always fair, are they? I suppose it is what it is.


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