* Background is here if you need it. ILGOP press release…
ICYMI: Speaker Welch’s first priority is a tax hike
Just one month into the job, new Speaker of the House Chris Welch has proposed that Illinois Democrats should try again to pass a constitutional amendment implementing a progressive income tax.
“We have to tell the voters what we’re going to do with that money,” Welch said during a virtual event hosted by the Economic Club of Chicago. “I certainly think tying that new revenue to pensions would be a winner.”
ILGOP Spokesman Joe Hackler responded, saying, “What the new Speaker doesn’t understand is that the people of Illinois did not reject the Madigan-Pritzker tax hike amendment because they were confused on what the revenue would be used for. They rejected the tax hike amendment because new revenue would be sent to Springfield to be squandered by the same corrupt politicians and Democratic party that got us into this financial crisis in the first place.”
Speaker Welch’s ill-conceived proposal not only shows a lack of judgment, but it also reveals his true priority: paying off those inside state government while the rest of us pick up the tab.
As more and more former elected officials and insiders are indicted as part of former Speaker Madigan’s corruption scheme (including just last night), Democrats in Springfield continue to plead for more money. The reality is that the Madigan-Pritzker tax hike amendment was defeated overwhelmingly last year because Illinoisans don’t trust the corrupt insider system that has controlled state government for years.
Sometimes, it takes a while before new leaders fully appreciate how every word they say will be examined and even twisted. Welch never said it was his first priority, for instance, but he walked right into this.
Even so, the ILGOP appears to prefer magic fairy dust to actual solutions. “Just make it go away and never bother us again” is not a constitutional option here.
*** UPDATE *** Sean Anderson on behalf of Speaker Welch…
As usual on this subject, Illinois Republicans have nothing constructive to offer because their only solution is to cut programs and services for underserved populations and communities of color. They can send their little press releases to play petty politics, but the Speaker is focused on having serious conversations to find solutions that benefit working class people across the state.