* Speaker Madigan yesterday…
“The governor has spoken at length about a lame duck tax increase. I think it’s very interesting. I think that we ought to listen to the governor and work with the governor and that’s what I plan to do.”
* Gov. Rauner was asked about Madigan’s comment early this morning…
“That’s a little goofy. I mean, the speaker came out a year ago in December and said ‘Hey, let’s start with putting the income tax back up to 5 [percent] and go up from there.’ I mean that was a quote. I mean, I’ve never been an advocate for higher taxes. I’ve always fought against them. I’m trying to get more efficient government. So, for the speaker to [laughs] it’s a little, a little humorous.
“But, anyway, and at this point he seems to have backed off of pushing for a tax hike right now and has kinda said ‘Let’s just do stopgap budgets, like we’ve done seven stopgaps in the last two years. Let’s do more of those going forward.’ That’s not solving our problems. That’s going to push more employers out. That’s going to raise more taxes in our future, ’cause it’s more deficits today, more borrowing today. We need balanced budgets and reforms to grow our economy.”
So, the logical follow-up question would be: Doesn’t that make you in favor of a lame duck tax increase just like Madigan said you are? And if Madigan has, as you say, “backed off pushing for a tax hike right now,” doesn’t that erode your position?
But, hey. Morning shows.
Concerned over a possible post-election tax increase, state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, filed a proposed constitutional amendment that would require three-fifths House and Senate supermajorities to raise taxes until the new General Assembly is seated after the election. Lawmakers in past sessions have used the post-election lame-duck session, and its lower threshold to pass bills, as a way to enact significant legislation while avoiding voter wrath.
Franks, who will be sworn in next month as McHenry County Board chairman, said getting it onto the House floor for a vote, at the very least, will put House members on the spot regarding their willingness to raise taxes if a much-discussed “grand compromise” state budget package comes to fruition.
“My goal is to get a majority of the House of Representatives to support my measure, and once I do that, we’re on record as not wanting to increase taxes during the lame-duck [session],” Franks said.
Under the Illinois Constitution, the threshold required to pass legislation that takes effect immediately increases from a simple majority to a three-fifths supermajority – or 71 House members and 36 senators – with the end of the spring session May 31. But it decreases back to a simple majority – or 60 House members and 30 senators – on Jan. 1. That gives lawmakers after each November election a window to pass controversial legislation until the new General Assembly is sworn in on the second Wednesday in January, which this time around falls on Jan. 11.