The Illinois House will take the lead whether Illinois keeps its 5% income tax. It is scheduled to roll back at the end of this year unless legislators take action. In the past, sometimes the Illinois Senate has passed a controversial measure only for it to languish in the House. Not this time. Senate President John Cullerton says the Senate will vote on the tax question if and only if it first passes the House.
"We feel like the House shoudl take this up first. We have more Democrats here who are supportive of the measure. So we will wait and see what the House does."
House Speaker Michael Madigan recently said he does not yet have the votes to pass Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to keep the higher rate. Democrats hold supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. But the partisan ratio is most lopsided in the Senate, where there are 40 Democrats and 19 Republicans. That is more than enough votes to pass a tax hike without any GOP support. Cullerton says that is a difficult ask of Democrats, with an election ahead in November. Though the GOP says Democrats are crying wolf, Cullerton says if Illinois lets its tax rate drop, it will lead to devastating cuts.
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