Senate President Emil Jones reiterated his position that “all options are on the table” as far as raising new revenues for school funding, and made it clear that he intends to force Speaker Madigan to get on board.
“We’ve got to raise revenue, no question about it, so all options are on the table,” Jones said. “We in the Senate are going to push it through. We’re going to make the House deal with it, make them stand up and be responsible.”
UPDATE: Here’s my take on Jones and Madigan, from my syndicated newspaper column.
Anyway, Jones did go on to say that an income tax, particularly in conjunction with a property tax swap, is not necessarily on the horizon.
Jones distanced himself from some education advocates’ long-held hope that the state will shift the burden of school funding from property taxes to income taxes. […]
“There are other possibilities out there,” Jones said Thursday.
“Some of the corporations have been getting away with paying no taxes,” he said. “We want them to pay. You raise income taxes, that hits the individual.”
That pretty much matches up to Gov. Blagojevich’s stance.
Meanwhile, House GOP Leader Tom Cross said raising the income tax doesn’t make sense.
GOP House Minority Leader Tom Cross said Friday he doesn’t favor raising the income tax to collect more money for the state, an idea the Senate’s Democratic leader has said is up for discussion.
But Cross is willing to discuss a gambling expansion to help pay for capital projects like building roads and schools. That could include lifting the limits on riverboat gaming positions and opening casinos in Chicago or elsewhere.
Jones also favors gaming expansion, by the way.
And the Tribune’s editorial page, which has far less influence over state government now that it ever has, started a series of editorials this past weekend calling for a tax hike coupled with various reforms.
This editorial page usually expresses skepticism about tax increases. But we will argue in this series that there is a substantial need to put school funding on a more stable footing. That will cost each of us more money–and allow us to insist that our schools deliver much more.