Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has called for a House vote on whether to increase taxes on residents who earn more than $1 million a year.
It’s only the latest in a series of votes that Madigan has called that aim to pulverize Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda, which takes aim at unions, urges reform of workers’ compensation laws, and seeks tort reform. Rauner, himself worth hundreds of millions of dollars, has opposed a constitutional amendment that would add a 3 percent surcharge on incomes greater than $1 million, saying it makes Illinois less competitive.
Madigan’s office announced the vote one day after the Illinois House put a blowtorch to Rauner’s right-to-work initiative, voting 72-0 in a partisan roll call that had most Republicans voting present with a handful taking a walk in protest of the vote. Republicans — including Rauner — decried Thursday’s vote as political theater.
Under the current law, all Illinoisans pay the same flat state income tax rate. Madigan says that asking multimillionaires to pay more would bring an extra $1 billion in revenue that he wants designated to schools in Illinois. Nearly two-thirds of voters backed the measure in a non-binding ballot in November.
“I’ve believed for a long time that Illinois schools need and deserve greater resources to help give students the best education possible, and that more needs to be done,” Madigan said in a statement. “January’s income tax rollback is putting greater pressure on schools’ finances and the state’s ability to increase funding for schools. Once enacted, this measure would bring needed relief for students and schools.”