* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service…
State Rep. Jeanne Ives on Sunday blasted her Democrat colleagues in the Illinois House for removing her as chief sponsor of a Senate bill that would increase taxes on Illinoisans by more than $5 billion.
Democrats, Ives said, “used a procedural move to take this bill from me, which must mean their only intent is a massive tax hike of over $5.4 billion on the hardworking folks in Illinois.” […]
Ives, an opponent of tax increases, filed to be chief sponsor of the bill in the House.
Earlier Sunday, Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, requested that Ives, R-Wheaton, be removed as the primary sponsor in the House. Hutchinson, who carried the tax hike bill in the Senate, requested state Rep. Will Davis, D-Homewood, be assigned as the primary sponsor.
On the House floor, Ives said taking the tax hike bill away from her was a partisan move to prevent a bipartisan conversation on taxes from taking place. She said Democrats ignore the state’s poor business climate.
Rep. Ives filed an amendment (click here) which stripped out all the Senate Democrats’ tax hikes and left intact the tax credits and tax reductions. The Senate sponsor wasn’t pleased and filed her motion to remove Ives as a sponsor and add Rep. Davis.
The House Democrats had been saying they didn’t want to make Ives a martyr by taking the bill away from her, but then she started amending the bill and they received a formal request for a sponsorship change. So, they went ahead and did it anyway.
* The Senate sponsor wasn’t the only one who expressed displeasure…
“It’s no time to be playing games with people’s bills, especially this budget bill,” State Rep. Linda Chapa Lavia (D – Aurora) said during Sunday’s meeting of lawmakers.
Republicans responded to those statements, saying that Democrats have no interest in forging any bipartisan consensus on a bill.
“Democrats are not interested in bipartisan support on what we should be doing with taxes,” State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R – Wheaton) said.
That would be more believable if Rep. Ives was interested in working out the differences. But as the Illinois Policy Institute notes, she’s “an opponent of tax increases.”
* But, whatever. It’s not like the House Democrats are interested in passing that Senate tax hike/revenue package anyway…
[Rep. Greg Harris] said there is concern about some of the things used by the Senate to come up with a balanced budget. That includes estimating $1.25 billion from changes to state employee pensions, $435 million from changes to state employee group health insurance and $300 million from the sale of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.
Harris said it is too early to count on savings from pension changes and that the health insurance savings has to be negotiated with unions. The Thompson Center is a one-time revenue, he said.
“I think if we are looking at the Senate and House budget, there’s about $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion worth of difference between them,” Harris said. “We’re not sure you can really book some of the revenues that the Senate booked.”