* Champaign News-Gazette…
Rauner said he would favor a gradual reduction in income taxes — not an immediate repeal — after the Legislature this summer increased the individual income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent.
“What we need to do is roll that income tax hike back over time. It won’t happen day one but if we can reduce it in the future years, bring it down over time — a lot of states have no income tax, I’m not advocating that necessarily — but I’d like to bring it back to 3 percent, where it used to be for a long time,” the governor told reporters.
Asked if his call for reducing the income tax “over time” was an admission that the tax increase was needed, Rauner said it wasn’t.
“No, absolutely not, just the opposite,” he said. “We’ve got to shrink the spending in order to keep a balanced budget. That’s why it takes a couple of years to do.”
You’ll recall that Rauner made the exact same pledge to roll the rate back to 3 percent during the 2014 campaign.
Washington University School of Medicine doctors who had stopped seeing new patients insured through the state of Illinois changed course November 1 and began accepting them again. That could be seen as progress.
After all, Illinois’ two-year state budget impasse — a political fight between the state’s Republican governor and Democrats who control the General Assembly — left health care providers in and outside the state struggling to serve patients while dealing with payments that were up to two years overdue.
Some of the Washington University doctors, those who practice at outpatient clinics, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, had decided to stop accepting new patients insured through Illinois’ State Employees Group Insurance Program a year ago because of the payment delays.
Even though the state still owes Washington University $14.5 million, the medical school’s decision to rescind any previous restrictions was a recognition that the Illinois General Assembly passed a budget this past summer — over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto — and recently took action to hasten repayment of debts to the school and other vendors waiting on state payments, a university spokeswoman says.
* Despite outflow of high earners, Dem gov. candidates push progressive tax
* Rauner suffers more veto losses than usual after fellow Republicans vote for more overrides
* State owes CWLP $5.5 million; holiday lights will still go up on Capitol