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Constitutional amendment clears Senate

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* All 40 Senate Democrats voted “Yes” on the constitutional amendment…

* But three SDems voted “No” and one skipped the vote on the rate bill…

The three “No” votes were Sens. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Tom Cullerton and Suzy Glowiak. Sen. Rachelle Crowe didn’t vote.

* Meanwhile…

…Adding… Democratic Sens. Aquino, Cunningham, Hutchinson, Murphy, Peters and Villivalam voted “No.” Sen. Munoz did not vote…

…Adding… React…

Today Think Big Illinois Executive Director Quentin Fulks released the following statement after the Senate passed the fair tax resolution:

“Today represents another important step toward ensuring Illinois voters have the opportunity to decide if they want a tax system that lifts the burden off the middle class and forces the wealthy to finally pay their share. Think Big Illinois applauds the members of the Senate who stood up for our middle and working-class families and voted to pass the fair tax resolution.

“Think Big Illinois looks forward to continued discussions in Springfield, and remains committed to being a staunch ally for Illinois families in the fight to implement a fair tax and create a tax system that works for everyone.”

* Americans for Prosperity-Illinois…

This vote is an affront to taxpayers and it is disheartening that the Senate voted to give themselves a blank check paid for by beleaguered Illinois taxpayers. When politicians get more tax power, Illinoisans get higher taxes. We thank those senators who voted against the bill and now urge the House of Representatives to stand up for Illinois taxpayers and reject it.

* Ideas Illinois Chairman Greg Baise…

Today, the insider politicians in Springfield took the first step toward a massive Jobs Tax to punish middle class families.

It is clear that Governor Pritzker and Speaker Madigan will not rest until they have a blank check signed by the hardworking people of Illinois.

* Sen. Don Harmon…

After a decade of work to update Illinois’ outdated tax structure, Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) today earned Senate approval of a constitutional amendment that would allow for a fair tax.

The proposed constitutional amendment would remove language requiring a flat tax and allow the General Assembly to set lower rates for those making less and higher rates for those earning the most.

“We’ve had the same tax structure in our state for nearly 50 years,” Harmon said. “Middle-class and working Illinoisans have been hurt by our inability to modernize our tax structure to reflect a changing economy.”

The proposed amendment does not include specific tax rates, but, under legislation sponsored by Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), 97 percent of Illinoisans would get tax relief. Hutchinson’s measure only takes effect if voters approve the constitutional amendment.

“We’ve made great progress in putting our state back on a path to stability after years of chaos,” Harmon said. “We still have work to do, and the only options we have besides the fair tax are to raise taxes dramatically on everyone or enact deep, punishing cuts to state services.”

I’ll post more on the live coverage post.


  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    –Someone, sounding like Ozzie, shouted “I’m moving!”–

    If it really was Ozzie, somewhere in there would be a word starting with “f” used at least once as an adjective, a verb and a noun in some manner.

    I wonder if Ricky is feeling a little itchy with Ozzie hanging around Jerry?

  2. - City Zen - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    “Middle-class and working Illinoisans have been hurt by our inability to modernize our tax structure to reflect a changing economy.”

    Because nothing says modernization and recognition of a changing economy quite like ignoring inflation.

    “We’ve made great progress in putting our state back on a path to stability after years of chaos”

    Uh, didn’t you have some sort of leadership role during these years of chaos?

  3. - Nonbeleiver - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    Cullerton voted against it. Most interesting.

  4. - Nick Name - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    I wonder if what really angers Americans for Prosperity-Illinois and Ideas Illinois is that the poor will get a tax cut.

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===Most interesting===

    You realize that’s Tom and not John, right?

  6. - Nonbeleiver - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    Yes, but his district had many Congressional voters who went for HRC and not Trump.

    No way that John was not going to vote for it.

  7. - Seats - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    Did only SJRCA need the full 36 votes I take it? I was (wrongly) under the impression they all did, and the Estate repeal fell short.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    This is the easy part. The hard part is passing the CA in the House.

    As far as the usual and predictable opponents, the moneyed anti-tax, anti-union interests, they’ve had it better here in Illinois than many others. They’ve made lots of money in this higher-income state and paid low state income taxes for a very long time.

    Speaking of which, Ken Griffin says he’s staying in Chicago.,amp.html

  9. - Alex Ander - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    In a strange but of irony I bet Americans for Prosperity- Illinois would be against a flat tax for social security. (no max on who pays that 7.5%)

  10. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    “ensuring Illinois voters have the opportunity to decide”

    Can’t wait for the silence when Think Big gets asked about this principle in other contexts.

  11. - The Original Name/Nickname/Anon - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    Does Ozzie still have an income >$1M per year?

  12. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    “We still have work to do, and the only options we have besides the fair tax are to raise taxes dramatically on everyone or enact deep, punishing cuts to state services.”

    May the House Democrats not forget the brutal cuts that just happened because of the budget crisis and a multimillionaire’s quest to strip union rights. If they don’t like the graduated income tax, they need to put forth a plan. Their office demands it.

  13. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    == Did only SJRCA need the full 36 votes I take it? ==


    The rest of is just normal bills that only require a simple majority.

  14. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    As voters get ready to have the final say in whether or not Illinois shifts from a flat income tax to a graduated income tax the airwaves, Facebook profile and cable TV shows will be filled with endless ads about the Jobs/Fair Tax. The real winners will be the local media markets.

  15. - Anon - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    Keep the estate tax and put that $305 million toward the required yearly payment instead of punting on it at almost a billion a year for the next 7-8 years as they want.

    Eliminating the estate tax is about the most unprogressive policy there is, and I am flabbergasted at the people pushing so hard for the “fair tax” who seem just fine with eliminating a tax that by definition only effects the super rich.

  16. - Chris - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    what does an entrenched aristocracy of multi-generational, multi-millionaires have to do with Fairness?

    We NEED an exemption of some sort for bona fide family farms, and some accommodation for bona fide small businesses, whose assets may kick them into the estate tax territory, but could need to liquidate to pay the tax, but that is hardly a reason to allow the Pritzkers of the world to act like old world aristocrats.

  17. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 5:28 pm:

    If the voters pass the CA in November 2020 I wonder if the Republicans will have the gall to hold out their hands for new spending in their Districts. You bet they will. I wonder if they’ll thank the Democrats for their courageous votes? Not a chance.

  18. - JS Mill - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 5:35 pm:

    =Can’t wait for the silence when Think Big gets asked about this principle in other contexts.=

    The voters were not silent in 2018…so there is that.

  19. - Matt - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 6:06 pm:

    Why are we kicking the can on pension payments if we can afford to give back $300,000,000 to heirs via the estate tax?

  20. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 8:21 pm:

    The estate tax has been characterized as the death tax. It should be rebranded as protecting the transfer of wealth. The wealthy benefit from the courts and laws that assure the transfer of assets as the owner wished.

    The estate tax should be able to be paid over time. That can avoid the cash crunch that forces a sale.

  21. - CPA - Thursday, May 2, 19 @ 8:54 am:

    Watch out for the regressive taxes and property tax increases.

  22. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 2, 19 @ 8:56 am:

    –President Cullerton tells @whitesox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and @OzzieGuillen that the Senate just voted to raise their income taxes by passing a graduated tax.–

    I saw Horace Grant was with them, too. Didn’t know Horace had made-up with the Bulls.

    He could probably start on the team his old buddy Pax has put together, now in his 16th year as GM.

    If Jerry likes you, you’ve got a gig for life, regardless. See Hawk for further proof.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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