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Question of the day

Friday, Feb 26, 2021

* On Wednesday, I wondered aloud if the story about Speaker Chris Welch’s comments on another graduated income tax vote were “actually anything beyond some public spitballing during a webcast.”

* Well, Speaker Welch did another event today, and Greg Hinz was the moderator

At the top of my list as moderator was asking Welch how serious he was when he suggested during an interview earlier in the week with the Economic Club that officials take another run at enacting a graduated income-tax amendment, one that would dedicate much of the proceeds to paying off $144 billion in state pension debt.

Welch described that as “spitballing,” saying he only was talking about what might happen “if” the subject returned again. Welch said the General Assembly will “probably not” revive the issue this spring, in time for a new referendum in 2022. But he also described the state’s current tax code as “unfair to working families,” a suggestion he’d still like to see some change.

* The Question: How do you think Speaker Welch is doing so far? Make sure to explain your answer.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - NIU Grad - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:31 pm:

    I think the transparency of floating ideas and thoughts before they’re fully formed is a bit refreshing. However, I think we’re all so conditioned by his predecessor’s limited public appearances to analyze his every word to figure out what his intentions are. As of now, I think the Speaker is still trying to get the lay of the land before putting together a plan. The downside is that the clock is ticking a bit.


  2. - Scott Cross for President - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    Very good. Suddenly thrust into the Speaker’s chair in the midst of a global health pandemic and financial crisis, Speaker Welch built out his leadership team, laid out his agenda, reset the rules and is moving forward cautiously.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:41 pm:

    I think Speaker Welch is doing fine right now.

    Started out with a quiet changing of the guard, seemingly a moving on with quiet leadership allowing the change as an evolving as opposed to loud change and fallout.

    Where Welch is green is forgetting that if he says something the weight of the words are heavy, and the measure of their meaning will commence.

    What I’m going to watch is the temperance and tone of thoughts and words during this Spring session. The Four tops, three still new by any measure, Welch will be measured more against his predecessor not against the other 3, two still as new as new is.

    The Durkin relationship might be the most challenging, as both feel out how the other could act and react to exchanges. The Durkin dynamic also has the super-minority underpinning, Welch can try to go it alone, try to work things bipartisanly, but how far will Welch want to increase the profile of the opposition leader who can’t get on the side of 50 seats.

    We’ll see. I think it’s been a learning process and in that light, Welch is doing fine.

    The politics and the realities of the map yet to be drawn and how to navigate those personalities with less than likely seats, Welch hasn’t had to show us, yet, that savvy.


  4. - Perplexed - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:43 pm:

    Maybe the word is “realistic.” Speaker Welch surely knew what he’d be asked and had time to think through his answers. As a result, the top of that story is sure to provoke a tremendous reaction:

    “He toned down talk that Illinois voters soon again may be asked to allow a graduated-income tax, but notably waded into another hot issue, declining to reject out of hand the possibility of amending the Illinois Constitution to limit government worker pension benefits.”


  5. - Occam - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:45 pm:

    When was the last time Speaker Madigan ever “spit-balled” anything in public?


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===last time Speaker Madigan ever “spit-balled” anything===

    Your point and how it relates to this question?


  7. - Bear3 - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    We have a new set of whantobes. No deal maker and leaders. Tough to find the facts


  8. - AD - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    He’s doing fine, but I’ll hold on grading him until the end of the semester and see how he does on the final exams in May. He can flunk January-April and get everything passed at the end of session and it be considered a success.


  9. - Gary Hart - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 4:16 pm:

    The new Speaker is putting himself out there which is a huge improvement for members. A lot of members struggled because the previous speaker would be in hiding and they would be left holding the bag.


  10. - west wing - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 5:46 pm:

    He’s doing some new things — more of a public presence — which is a good thing. His ethics reforms will help his caucus and the party to some degree. He needs to be careful about tossing out what it’s and too many ideas, unless he couches them in those terms and not as policy he may pursue. His words carry much weight now. He’ll get used to that.


  11. - Annonin' - Saturday, Feb 27, 21 @ 2:50 pm:

    Mr/Ms Gary Hart
    Guessin’ you either know no members or had a recent head injury. Most Members prefer options open. When someone takes a side some believe you should follow the leader. The members is then pinned down


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