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By Doug Finke
State Capitol Bureau
May 21. 2014 5:30PM
Madigan: Votes not there for tax hike
House Speaker Michael Madigan has ordered budget negotiators to prepare a new
spending plan that will contain steep cuts to state programs.
With little support among House Democrats to extend the temporary income tax
increase, House Speaker Michael Madigan has ordered budget negotiators to
prepare a new spending plan that will contain steep cuts to state programs.
Madigan emerged from a brief private meeting with House Democrats on Wednesday
to say two days of intense lobbying of members by himself, Gov. Pat Quinn and
interest groups with a stake in keeping the tax hike in place failed to win over
“Today we took a vote in the House Democratic caucus,” Madigan said. “There were
34 members of the caucus voting ‘yes.’ There were a little over 30 voting ‘no.’ ”
Democrats hold 71 seats in the House. Madigan said some members were absent
Wednesday. Extension of the income tax hike needs 60 votes to pass the House.
Republicans have uniformly said they oppose making the income tax increase
permanent as Quinn wants.
In light of that, Madigan said he’s instructed appropriations committees to begin
preparing spending plans based on the tax expiring. Various estimates have said the
state stands to lose $1.6 billion to $2 billion in revenue next year, mostly as a result
of the tax expiring.
Madigan said the new budget plan will be based on the resolution adopted the House
earlier this year that projected the state will have about $34 billion available to spend
in the next budget. Last week, the House approved a spending plan based on Quinn’s
“recommended” budget that spent close to $38 billion. Quinn said his budget plan
would avoid “savage” cuts to education and other programs.
Madigan said “it’s a possibility” that some House Democrats may change their minds
about making the tax hike permanent when they see the magnitude of cuts that will
He said he hasn’t entertained discussions about raising other taxes to help make up
Quinn’s budget office released numbers Wednesday showing the projected impact on
school districts if the tax increase is allowed to expire and cuts are made to education
spending. The office projected Springfield schools could lose more than $7 million.
Quinn addressed the House Democrats on Monday in a private meeting that lasted
more than two hours. Since then, he’s met with individual Democrats, trying to
convince them to support making the tax hike permanent, spokeswoman Brooke
Quinn’s office did not respond to Madigan’s statements about the tax vote and new
Madigan, too, said he’s spent the last two days meeting with Democrats about
supporting the tax issue, as have interest groups that face funding cuts if the tax
“Obviously, it’s a very difficult vote. It’s coming at a difficult time,” Madigan said of
opposition among House Democrats.
All members of the House are up for election in November. Those facing tough
challenges don’t want to vote on making a tax hike permanent just six months
before the election.
Madigan said he plans to continue working to make the tax hike permanent.
“However, the clock is ticking. We’re getting closer to the end of the month,”
The General Assembly is scheduled to wrap up its business by May 31.