Will lawmakers approve legislation making the higher income tax rate permanent?

May 19, 2014

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Monday to begin the final two weeks of the spring legislative session. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, the big question remains whether Democratic leaders can convince enough rank-and-file lawmakers to make a higher income tax rate permanent.

Although Gov. Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, and House Speaker Michael Madigan all support making the temporary 5-percent income tax rate permanent, Madigan in particular has had a hard time getting fellow House Democrats to go along.

Last week, a bare majority of 60 Democrats supported a spending plan that effectively assumed a higher tax rate but without actually voting on the tax. But then, the speaker put a hold on the legislation.

"We may want to amend those bills. We may want to amend those bills," said Madigan.

Asked if that means lowering spending amounts, he said.

"Amend. Amend. Amend."

Most people in Springfield, including Senate President Cullerton, are waiting to see Madigan's next move.Gov. Quinn has been talking privately with lawmakers. And according to the speaker, the governor is coming to a meeting of House Democrats Monday.