CHICAGO May 22 The head of the Illinois House
of Representatives said on Thursday that the lack of support for
the governor's income tax plan means the chamber will redo the
fiscal 2015 spending bills that were passed last week.
Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters that
he instructed the chamber's appropriation committee chairs to
produce an alternative budget for a House vote next week.
"Thirty-four is a long way away from 60," Madigan said,
referring to the number of House Democrats willing to support
making Illinois' current personal and corporate income tax rates
permanent, versus the number of votes required for passage.
The higher rates, enacted in 2011, are scheduled to
partially roll back on Jan. 1, the mid-point of Illinois' next
Republican lawmakers complained that Democrats last week
ignored the chamber's agreed-upon $34.5 billion general fund
revenue target and instead passed $37.35 billion in spending
that requires revenue from the higher income tax rates. Governor
Pat Quinn, a Democrat, recommended in March a fiscal 2015 budget
that incorporated just over $2 billion from the higher tax
The fate of the tax increase is being tracked by Wall Street
credit rating agencies, which already have Illinois at the
lowest ratings among states largely due to its $100 billion
unfunded pension liability.
Both the House and the Democrat-controlled Senate are
scheduled to wrap up their spring session and the fiscal 2015
budget by May 31. Illinois' fiscal year begins July 1.
(Reporting by Karen Pierog and Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing
by Grant McCool)