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Madigan says he’s on board with legalizing pot, graduated income tax

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2018

* Amanda Vinicky

House Speaker Michael Madigan, who also chairs the Democratic Party of Illinois, gave indication on Tuesday that Democratic leaders will present a unified front.

He told reporters he’s had several “very friendly and very productive” conversations with Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker since last week’s election, and that he backs two of Pritkzer’s major campaign promises – legalizing marijuana, and moving from a flat to a graduated income tax. […]

Madigan helped to draft the current constitution, which forbids taxing on an income-based sliding scale; it would be difficult to amend the state constitution without his muscle.

It should come as little surprise that the two are in sync; finance records show Pritkzer gave $7 million to Madigan’s campaign committees, funding that helped Madigan achieve the supermajority.

* AP

Madigan said he believe Pritzker would pursue the marijuana and tax platforms he campaigned on. Pritzker believes taxes on legalized marijuana could bring in $700 million to $1 billion a year.

* Craig Wall

For Republicans, there is a cautious optimism about Pritzker’s promise of bi-partisanship.

“I spoke to him last week and I had a very nice conversation with him on election night and I’ll have to take him at his word, and so we will, like anything else I’ll operate in good faith until I’m shown otherwise,” said state Rep. Jim Durkin, House Republican Leader. […]

The same could not be said about the relationship between Speaker Madigan and Governor Rauner who was asked how he thought Rauner would be remembered.

“Oh, I’m not going to get into that, I’m just happy that he’s leaving,” Madigan said.

* Related…

* Barickman: Republicans Split On Legalizing Marijuana: “Republicans are split on this issue,” Barickman said. “There are certain Republican voters who are opposed to any form of legalization, including medical, which is the law of the land in Illinois. They’re opposed for a host of reasons, and I’m very respectful of that. I hear that. I’m not dismissive of their opposition. I’ve also heard from Republican party chairmen to tea party activists to plain old Republican voters who say, look, tax and regulate it. That’s the proper role of government on this one,” he added. “So there’s a group of Republicans who support the position I’ve staked out here.”

* Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker gives $7 million to House Speaker Michael Madigan-backed campaign fund: “It was probably a third of what was spent” on House races, Brown said. “We had a broad array of candidates — very good candidates — up and down the state and it helped up and down the state.” “You had this constant array of smears from the Rauner people and all their different allies, and you had to combat that,” Madigan said, referring to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who along with other Republicans painted the longtime speaker as the poster child for the state’s troubles.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

56 Comments
  1. - Downstate - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 9:49 am:

    They should amend the constitution for both the flat tax and pension lock so that they have all levers available to them!


  2. - JakeCP - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 9:55 am:

    Will Madigan get on board with Pritzker’s idea for establishing an independent commission that draws fair maps?

    I hope Pritzker will do the right thing when it comes to bi-partisanship. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a governor who successfully worked across the aisle.


  3. - Perrid - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 9:57 am:

    @Downstate, they still might not have that “lever”, even if they change the pension clause. There’s a pretty strong argument that you can’t retroactively make changes to take away rights. Going forward they could change pensions at will though. That is pretty much irrelevant, as Tier 2 is pretty skimpy as far as pensions go.


  4. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 9:58 am:

    Madigan getting on board with GIT is a big deal; they’ll still need to carefully structure the roll call vote around some vulnerable/recalcitrant members, but with the caucus he has and his experience doing just that, they can figure it out.


  5. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    Now that the Speaker is “on board” with more tax increases could he share with us what rates he is proposing or is certainty just a talking point?


  6. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    Wait, but Jeanne Ives said….


  7. - Chicago_Downstater - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    “‘I’m just happy that he’s leaving,’ Madigan said.”

    That’s gotta be the understatement of the year.

    As to the rest, I’ll be very interested to see the specifics now that we’re in governing territory. I personally hope we can at least get the marijuana legalization through this year. The Progressive Income Tax seems a harder lift though.


  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    –It should come as little surprise that the two are in sync; finance records show Pritkzer gave $7 million to Madigan’s campaign committees, funding that helped Madigan achieve the supermajority.–

    So, who’s the boss now?

    The guy with all the money in the Big Chair, who can dole out contracts, jobs, leases, etc., and decide who gets paid when? Or the guy who owes him for his majority in one chamber of the GA?

    How does power work, again?


  9. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    And it is starting, total Democratic control version 3. Will they get it right this time, we’ll see. If all they do is protect state employee unions revenue then continued failure will be the outcome.


  10. - Revenue Bill - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:03 am:

    @Downstate:

    If they amend the pension clause, it will be to extend protection to private retirement plans.

    Lawmakers are more likely to alleviate the pension funding shortfall by obliterating the 8/5 cap on the corporate tax rate, and corporations know it.


  11. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    ==So, who’s the boss now?==

    Madigan is still the better vote-counter. But that alone is only worth so much.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    71 and 36…

    Pritzker is gonna need those numbers for a progressive income tax, so might as well try to run it this GA

    To get those numbers, they’ll need to agree to the brackets, finally.

    I’m sure this discussion will be… heavily watched.

    Heavy lift, might as well start early.


  13. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    Such a beautiful prospect. Wishing everyone the intelligence to enact a responsible system that brings more criminal justice reform.

    The tax revenue and jobs are not panaceas, but we really could use the money. People would be paying taxes for weed instead of handing out obscene corporate welfare to mega-corporations.


  14. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    GOPers really shouldn’t take any advice from me but if a Republican representing towns like Eureka and Gibson City and Watseka can be on board for legal same-sex marriage and medical marijuana (and now recreational marijuana apparently) while drawing zero primary or general election challenge, maybe just maybe the GOP morality police in the collar counties was out of step with their electorate on these issues.

    Just one of many reasons suburban Republicans got their clocks cleaned earlier this month.


  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    –Lawmakers are more likely to alleviate the pension funding shortfall by obliterating the 8/5 cap on the corporate tax rate, and corporations know it.–

    Yeah, I’m sure they’re shaking in their boots.

    How many Illinois corporations actually pay that rate, or any income tax at all?

    The state corporate income tax is projected to generate about $2 billion this fiscal, about 5% of GRF. Hardly confiscatory.


  16. - wondering - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    Downstate: U.S. Constitution: Article I, Section 10 states that, “No state shall pass any Law impairing the obligation of contracts.”


  17. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    ==Now that the Speaker is “on board” with more tax increases could he share with us what rates he is proposing or is certainty just a talking point?==

    He isn’t proposing any rates right now, he’s saying he’s on board with a Constitutional Amendment that would let him propose such rates in 2021.

    You might want to actually learn the process before you complain.


  18. - wondering - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    Grand Son of Man: yeppers,but more than that, it is a double win, Marijuana goes from a tax consumer (police and court resources) to a tax generator. There will be a positive impact on property tax.


  19. - Ole' Nelson - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    I know we have an extreme amount of work to do as a state to correct our financial situation, but the feelings of optimism I have are such a pleasant change. I am confident that there are many major problems to deal with ahead, but for the first time in a long time, I feel hope.


  20. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    Wondering=== No state shall pas any law impairing the obligation of contracts.

    Tell that to state employees who have yet to receive their contractual benefits. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the state is not required to appropriate monies for its contractual obligations. So where do we go from here?


  21. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    ===He told reporters he’s had several “very friendly and very productive” conversations with Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker since last week’s election===
    Excellent news. I had been reading about J.B.’s conversations with other leaders and even Rauner, and was hoping that they’d be talking.

    A good working relationship with Mike Madigan is key to success in the job, and that has been lacking for a long time. Let’s hope it continues.


  22. - Steve - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    What’s great for Madigan and Pritzker is: they really don’t have to announce the future Illinois tax rates. Politicians in the future aren’t bound by what today’s state legislature pass as tax rates. All they have to do is change the Illinois state constitution which is what they and the voters want. An average rate in 2021 of 6% could be 7.5% a decade from now. The benefit of the flat tax is it makes raising taxes more difficult because it applies to everyone. Once you go to a progressive tax we will constantly hear: the wealthy can afford to pay more they are doing well. A top rate of 8% or more might not be that far off in Illinois .


  23. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    “A top rate of 8% or more might not be that far off in Illinois”

    It would be about time, after decades of the highest incomes being taxed so low, relative to all our neighbors except Indiana.


  24. - wondering - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    Generic Drone, that is far different than trying to nullify contract obligation, which was what Downstate was proposing. Besides, you misconstrue that decision. They declared in the letting of contracts, not constitutionally defined contracts, the contracts were conditional based on appropriations and those conditions were part and parcel of contracts.


  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    Republicans - legalizing pot is a no brainer.


  26. - SSL - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    Republicans should get fully on board with legalization of marijuana. It’s going to happen, and no one says they need to use it, just let others eat it, smoke it or rub it all over themselves. If JB thinks he can get $700 million to $1B in taxes from it, he’s already started sampling the stuff. That’s not going to happen.

    As I’m not in the 1%, I can’t wait to get my tax cut from the implementation of the progressive income tax. I take JB at his word that the wealthy need to pay more while the rest of us get a break.


  27. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    Of course madigan is for recreational pot—consumption tax raising $700+ mil, 60+% popular support, and 2,700 jobs. And most? Many? repubs are bucking the obvious.

    Pritzker campaigned on a progressive income tax and got elected by a wide margin. the devil is in the details, but this is not a surprise.i assure you a lot of research has already been quietly done. How will rates and brackets be set, and adjusted in the future? Same for exemptions. Will an extraordinary majority be required? Any limits on frequency or amt/% of increases? All accompanied by a ton of competing constitutional and financial analysis. I expect madigan to create a special commission to sort thru these issues.


  28. - Montrose - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    “A top rate of 8% or more might not be that far off in Illinois .”

    Steve - You are a big fan of making up numbers when it comes to a possible progressive tax.


  29. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    Do you think the voters should have an idea of what the proposed rates of a graduated income tax would be before voting on a constitutional amendment that will affect not only the “wealthy” but everyone who works for a small business in Illinois?

    JB promised to negotiate with the legislature, not hide the ball until 2021


  30. - RNUG - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    == Wondering=== No state shall pas any law impairing the obligation of contracts.

    Tell that to state employees who have yet to receive their contractual benefits. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the state is not required to appropriate monies for its contractual obligations. So where do we go from here? ==

    The State owes the money. But short of an extremely dire emergency, the state courts won’t intervene in what is rightly seen as the Legislature’s job to raise and appropriate funds. The recent budget I’m made it clear where the courts will and will not intervene.


  31. - Decaturland - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    New York State and Virginia just landed Amazon. Both states have higher income tax rates than Illinois.


  32. - RNUG - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    Impasse … Not I’m …


  33. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    ===Tell that to state employees who have yet to receive their contractual benefits. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the state is not required to appropriate monies for its contractual obligations. So where do we go from here?===

    Absent a new bankruptcy option for the states (and how that could pass US Constitutional muster), the money is owed and must be paid. I suppose a bankrupt state could offer IOUs to retirees, with a voluntary deferral of benefits to be paid back with interest at some later date. But that would just be another method of kicking the can down the road, not unlike all the other stuff that has been done and tried.


  34. - City Zen - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    ==after decades of the highest incomes being taxed so low, relative to all our neighbors except Indiana==

    As long as there’s a corresponding property tax decrease.


  35. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    “As long as there’s a corresponding property tax decrease.”

    I agree. The point is to reduce the tax burdens on many in the lower/middle income ranges, who pay more because of property taxes. Maybe marijuana revenue could help as well.


  36. - sharkette - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    You needed 60k patience per dispensary..
    I did the paperwork, almost pulled the trigger..
    However the state wanted a half a mil to them up front.. for a fee..
    Then 6 of the 52 things a patient was required to have only were allowed for a script..
    So now I think maybe less than 10k people have rx scripts for medi pot.
    And the fact is, Colo, and Cali and other states are losing buckets of business to illegal pot..
    fact is you can buy a gray market gunnie for $2, or a legal one for $4..
    Which are people going to buy?

    In other states they are back to illegal..
    Pot boat sailed 10 years ago folks


  37. - sharkette - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    Pot boat sailed 8 years ago,.
    People buy gray market gummies for 2 dollars now. Not legal ones for $4 in other states folks..
    Like Amazon, the worlds fair and tons of other opportunities State of Illness continues to sink


  38. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    Everyone will need some weed when the income taxes go up.


  39. - Steve - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    To - Montrose -

    The nature of progressive income taxation suggests I’m not making much up. The Illinois Legislature of 2028 isn’t bound by promises of today from Mike Madigan and JB Pritzker. Just ask New Jersey and Connecticut that used to be low income tax states.


  40. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    Right now recreational pot money goes 100% into the black market. Legal marijuana done the right way will reduce that and save costs on criminal justice. It will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in tax revenue and have sales revenue of perhaps a billion dollars or more a year.


  41. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    ==JB promised to negotiate with the legislature==

    He’s not the Governor yet. If he doesn’t do that when he takes office then by all means have at him. But maybe you put the brakes on your tired talking points for a month or two.

    You’re awful trigger happy for a guy who was a shill for a Governor who managed to accomplish absolutely nothing for 4 years. Now you want the whole shebang from a guy who hasn’t taken office yet.


  42. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    ==JB promised to negotiate with the legislature, not hide the ball until 2021==

    It’s 2018.


  43. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    =As long as there’s a corresponding property tax decrease.=

    Sure, as soon as the money flows to local governments. Until then don’t hold your breath, property taxes are not a state tax they are a local tax.

    Nothing will or should change with property taxes until revenue is sent to the locals to offset any property tax relief.

    And right now the conversation isn’t about property tax shift.


  44. - Earnest - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    >“Republicans are split on this issue,”

    Wonderful to hear–Republican legislators not under the control of Rauner, standing for their principles as a party but able to also represent the unique needs of their districts without threat of reprisal. Here’s hoping for a lot of this within both parties and between both parties in the coming years.


  45. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    Its going to be funny with cops busting people selling black market pot rather than illegal pot


  46. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    –Do you think the voters should have an idea of what the proposed rates of a graduated income tax would be before voting on a constitutional amendment that will affect not only the “wealthy” but everyone who works for a small business in Illinois?–

    I think the voters weighed in pretty decisively last week on Rauner and his Bots’ talking points.

    Lowest percentage for an incumbent governor since 1912. Congratulations.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===Do you think the voters should have an idea of what the proposed rates of a graduated income tax would be before voting on a constitutional amendment that will affect not only the “wealthy” but everyone who works for a small business in Illinois?

    JB promised to negotiate with the legislature, not hide the ball until 2021===

    … and yet, Pritzker won, by 15 points, Rauner humiliated.

    I’m pretty sure the legislature and the new governor will come to a comcensus that both will agree to, so Rauner and your Raunerism can opine… after the rejection


  48. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    It is guaranteed that if you raised taxes on the high income earners, they will hire smart lawyers and accountants to advise them how to change tax residency to a lower or no income tax jurisdiction (Texas, Florida, etc.) Just ask Connecticut and New Jersey about their exodus of high earners.


  49. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    Sorry, Anonymous @ 12:31 was me.


  50. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==And the fact is, Colo, and Cali and other states are losing buckets of business to illegal pot..
    fact is you can buy a gray market gunnie for $2, or a legal one for $4..
    Which are people going to buy?==

    Kinda like Blockbuster when they were losing business to Netflix and Amazon. they went from high prices to practically giving their rentals away before they closed.


  51. - SOIL M - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 12:54 pm:

    Count me as one Republican strongly supporting legalized pot. And looking forward to a shop close to the State Line. The problem I see is,given IL history, expect to see extremely high fees, slow movement to passage and writing the regs, and making it too over burdensome for small shops to grow and sell on their own. Learn from mistakes made in other states, get it moving as quick as possible, allow small independent businesses to grow and sell.


  52. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    ==Just ask Connecticut and New Jersey about their exodus of high earners.==
    Just ask New York and Virginia about their incoming high earners for Amazon’s headquarters.


  53. - Illinois Resident - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    Anyone think that they could legalize cannabis early next year in January or February. Then 6 months to implement. This is going to happen, why not get the ball rolling and tax revenue coming in. They have the votes to pass this right away.


  54. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Nov 14, 18 @ 6:10 pm:

    Republicans have a chance to influence the tax structure. If they just say no new taxes, they are useless.


  55. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Nov 15, 18 @ 6:10 am:

    I just have to ask, what is a grey market gummie?


  56. - anon2 - Thursday, Nov 15, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    If Durkin wants to help shape policy, then he has to provide some votes. He doesn’t get to demand changes, receive them, and then have his whole caucus voting no. Collaboration a two-way street.


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