Well, we are back to square one once again regarding the extension of the income
tax and the state budget. This past week both the House and the Senate passed a
budget plan without the necessary income to balance the state’s budget. In the
Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) $101 million was borrowed from state
funds to meet community services expenses. This represents 18% of the DDD
The extension of the state’s income tax remains alive because it was never voted
upon in committee but do not expect action on this sometime soon.
One thing is certain, legislators will not address the extension of the income tax
until the new year because any vote now requires a super majority after the May
31st legislative deadline.
So, our work is far from done. Over the summer and into the fall, you need to be
meeting with your legislators and have them visiting your agencies.
Your message remains:
Support the income tax extension.
Continue Rebalancing the disability system.
Support the Care Campaign efforts to increase Direct Support Professional
wages by $1.00 per hour.
On Wednesday at the Executive Forum we will be briefed on the DDD Budget by
Director Casey’s Budget Director Dan Blair. Dan will focus on the new DDD
budget and implications for community providers. It is likely payment cycles may
be increased or cuts of up to 3% could be on the table in the coming months.
Story from the State Journal Register follows on the income tax extension and the
race for Governor.
Tax question looms over governor’s race
By Sophia Tareen
The Associated Press
The end of Illinois lawmakers’ spring session leaves Gov. Pat Quinn pursuing
re-election in a position he wasn’t seeking: without the money he says is
necessary to avoid deep budget cuts, teacher layoffs and higher property
taxes, but not having to sign off on an income tax increase before the
The situation, with Democrats likely to seek new revenues after the election,
a summer of tough campaigning between Quinn and Republican Bruce
Rauner in a race that is expected to be one of the most expensive and
Quinn has openly advocated for an extension of the state’s 2011 temporary
tax hike, which cost a typical taxpayer more than $1,000 this year. But with
the election and voters in mind, fellow Democrats adjourned with an
alternative budget after coming up well short of the votes needed to back a
tax increase, despite the governor’s personal appeals to them.
On one hand, Quinn can claim he has been up front with voters, laying out
the state’s dire financial situation even if it meant embracing a politically
unpopular idea, while Rauner has remained mum about details of what he
wants to do if the tax rolls back in January and leaves a roughly $1.8 billion
On the other hand, Quinn faces voters who know he’s likely to quickly push
for the tax hike after the vote. And he wasn’t able to sway his own party on
his agenda, showing a lack of Democratic unity behind him and the persistent
challenge he has in influencing lawmakers in Springfield.
“He did put himself out on a limb, politically,” said Christopher Mooney,
director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University
of Illinois. “Now he basically gets the blame and none of the benefit.”
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, acknowledged last week as
lawmakers debated a budget that Democrats did not give Quinn what he
wanted in the midst of a steep re-election challenge. But he suggested the
tax question will define the election campaign in the months ahead, with
Quinn in favor and Rauner against.
“My expectation is you’ll have a clear line of division going into the election,”
he told reporters. “People can make their choice.”
Rauner and other Republicans have vowed to fight any tax increase. The
Winnetka venture capitalist has accused Quinn of “playing political games”
on the tax and released robocalls in Democratic lawmakers’ districts
pushing opposition to the tax extension.
“This phony budget is an unsurprising, yet tragic, conclusion to five years of
failure under Pat Quinn,” Rauner said in a statement.
But he has yet to release details of his own spending plan, saying only that
it is coming “soon.”
The Quinn campaign has seized on that, counting up the number of days
Rauner has gone without releasing a budget, starting from the time he
announced an exploratory committee last year. A recent Quinn video ad
pokes fun at the idea, saying in that same amount of time, humans could
travel to Mars and back.
Quinn’s office has defended his push for the extension as the “honest
choice.” His aides note how he met with lawmakers numerous times on the
issue, and Madigan called a special meeting of the House Democratic caucus
so Quinn could make his best case. Ultimately, fewer than half of the House’s
71 Democrats supported the measure.
“He doesn’t make decisions on the basis of how it impacts him politically,”
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said of the governor. “He wanted to
do the right thing, regardless of the political (impact).”
Quinn will go before voters having accomplished few priority items outlined in
a budget speech earlier this year: Despite Democratic supermajorities in
both chambers, the legislature didn’t approve Quinn’s idea to offer all Illinois
homeowners a $500 property tax refund or reduce a filing fee for a limited
liability corporation from $500 to $39. Nor has it yet increased the state’s
minimum wage, a big priority for Quinn and state Democrats in parallel with a
national push by the party.
“The governor has not been able to get everyone on the same page,” said
Jonathan Jackson at Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy
Institute. “Once again the Democrats have failed to get done what all three of
their major leaders contend is a matter of very high party and governmental
But even Democrats who bucked Quinn on the tax issue praised him for
“If there’s one thing you can say, it’s he in general does what he believes is
right,” said state Rep. Jerry Costello, a Smithton Democrat.
Associated Press writers Sara Burnett, Kerry Lester and Chacour Koop
contributed to this report.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423