News Local/State

IL House Prepares For Sunday Tax Vote; Lawmakers Override 911 Veto

Illinois piggy bank.

A piggy bank carrying images of Illinois' state bird and flower represents the state's budget. Mike Thomas/Illinois Public Media

The Illinois House will vote Sunday on a revenue plan after all.

House Speaker Michael Madigan issued a statement saying he was "encouraged by the progress we continue to make." He said there would be a vote on the House floor Sunday on a tax hike plan "modeled on the bill supported" by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Madigan's statement suggests he will call legislation to enact a temporary income tax increase, which the governor has said he could support. But, Amanda Vinicky of Chicago public TV station WTTW reports on her Twitter account that St. Rep. Greg Harris (the House Majority Conference Chairperson) says he will call for a vote Sunday on Senate Bill 9, a measure that would enact a state income tax rate increase to 4.95% for individuals and 7% for corporations on a permenant basis. .

Earlier Saturday, Madigan rankled Republicans when he announced that there would be no votes on a deal to end a two-year stalemate this weekend. 

Madigan’s initial announcement promoted House Republicans to stand and chant in objection. One GOP member shouted "Speaker Junk" as Madigan left the floor. That's a reference to the promised downgrade of Illinois creditworthiness by bond houses if there's no budget deal. Madigan wrote the major agencies Friday asking for more time to seal a deal.

A $36.5 billion plan to rebuild Illinois' crumbling finances passed a critical House vote on Friday, but a final deal hasn't been reached.

Without a budget, the state comptroller will be unable to cover basic services ordered by courts, and road construction and Powerball ticket sales could halt.

Veto Of 911 Service Bill Overridden

In other legislative action on Saturday, lawmakers voted swiftly to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of a bill (SB1811) that raises telephone service fees and assures continued 911 emergency call-center operation in Illinois.

The House voted 90-22 to reverse the Republican governor and his objections to fee increases. The Senate followed with a 43-1 override tally.

Gov. Rauner blasted the fee increases as “an excessive, unwarranted tax hike.” In a statement, the governor also said: “While the majority in the General Assembly has been unable to move forward with a balanced budget, it has found the time to inflict further abuse on Illinois taxpayers.”

In the debate to override the veto, Republican St. Rep. Chad Hays of Catlin defended the fee increases and the revenue it would bring in as “billions invested in our communities, in new technology, in the technology of tomorrow”.

The last telecommunications act allowing fees to be collected and distributed for 911 centers expired Friday.

The measure sponsored by Harrisburg Democratic Rep. Brandon Phelps increases the telephone surcharge for emergency services. It would go to $5 from $3.90 in Chicago and from 87 cents to $1.50 in the rest of the state.