Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

June 22, 2009

Quinn, lawmakers heading to Springfield

(Continued)



Democrats have 37 members in the Senate, but they don’t have commitments from everyone that they will vote for a tax increase, Phelon said. Democrats have 70 members in the House.

House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman, Steve Brown, wouldn’t predict whether an income tax increase measure would be called for a vote and whether it had enough support to pass.

Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno said without support for a tax increase, she hoped lawmakers would pass a temporary budget that continued funding social services until the overall budget is resolved. She has said that if a tax increase is needed eventually, it may not have to be as large as Democrats want right now.

At Monday’s rally, Quinn got so caught up in the moment that he jumped up and down with exuberant supporters demanding that lawmakers pass a tax increase.

Joining Quinn at the rally were a handful of Democratic lawmakers, who implored their colleagues to pass an income tax increase to avoid massive budget cuts they say would be felt statewide.

“It is not a Democratic issue, it is not Democratic cuts. Guess what Republicans? It’s happening in your own backyard too,” state Sen. Iris Martinez yelled to the crowd gathered in Humboldt Park waving signs that read “Don’t cut me out” and “Please, please continue the funds.”

Martinez said the House needs take up a measure earlier passed by the Senate that would permanently raise the personal income tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent.

The bill was not voted on in the House, which rejected a two-year, temporary tax increase Quinn wanted that would have raised the rate to 4.5 percent.

Quinn said Monday a temporary tax increase was still the best way to go.

Besides the tax increase, other issues lawmakers will deal with include taking care of technical issues in the $28.3 billion statewide capital construction bill that lawmakers passed to do a host of public works projects.

Lawmakers may fix the bill, but the governor is trying to exert some leverage when it comes to signing it. Quinn said he doesn’t want to sign the bill until he gets a better budget from lawmakers.

“Everything comes together,” he said.

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