House Speaker Michael Madigan
A key subcontractor working on the campaign to promote President Barack Obama’s health care law in Illinois is a Chicago political strategy consulting firm owned by three former aides to some of the state’s most-powerful Democrats.
Illinois lawmakers continued to grapple Wednesday with a new state budget, as Republicans ripped majority Democrats for spending beyond their means with a plan even Democrats acknowledge leaves “big unanswered questions” about the state’s finances.
Having given up on extending Illinois’ temporary income tax increase — at least for now — the Illinois Legislature is moving forward with a scaled-back budget that could lead to layoffs, further delays in paying the state’s bills and a post-election vote to make the tax hike permanent or generate some other source of revenue.
House Speaker Michael Madigan emerged from a Memorial Day caucus meeting and told reporters that he was dropping the idea of making the 5 percent income tax permanent — and crafting a budget blueprint that holds the line on spending but is not the “doomsday” plan the House overwhelmingly rejected on Friday.
The proposal would place a non-binding resolution on the November ballot asking voters if the Illinois Constitution should be amended to add a 3 percent surcharge to incomes of more than $1 million.
Rep. Derrick Smith is a Chicago Democrat who’s charged with accepting a $7,000 bribe. He is scheduled to go to trial May 28, but the Legislature isn’t scheduled to adjourn until May 31.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn tried Monday to persuade House Democrats to extend the state’s temporary income tax increase to avoid what he says would be “savage” budget cuts, but emerged from a roughly three-hour meeting with lawmakers still well short of the votes he needs for approval.
Weeks after it became clear Illinois Democrats were struggling to find the necessary votes for legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage, House Speaker Michael Madigan began advancing the issue by another route, in a move laced with political calculation.
House Speaker Michael Madigan said Wednesday that his chamber’s effort to pass a budget without first securing all the needed revenue would aid a push to make an income tax hike permanent, but his colleagues in the Senate were not happy with the unusual move.
The board of the State Universities Retirement System voted Thursday to accept an interpretation of last year’s state-pension reform law that says the law won’t inadvertently cut university retirees’ pensions.
With the help of wealthy donors and a bipartisan group of politicians, a petition to end the gerrymandering of Illinois election districts was presented Thursday, but it faces a stiff constitutional challenge that could keep the question off the November ballot.
An Illinois House committee has voted a second time to approve $100 million in state funding to bring Barack Obama’s presidential library and museum to Illinois.
Illinois voters will consider a constitutional amendment this fall aimed at scuttling attempts at voter suppression after Senate action Thursday.
The legislation sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan overcame earlier resistance after the Chicago Democrat removed language mentioning the tax increase. Opponents feared they’d be blamed for a Chicago tax increase.
A fast-tracked plan to overhaul two Chicago city-pension programs slowed in the Illinois House Thursday, as nervous lawmakers said they fear backlash for a massive property-tax increase even if they don’t directly approve it.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to reform two underfunded employee pension systems quickly took its first step toward approval in the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday.
The day after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called for making Illinois’ temporary income tax increase permanent, a proposal to impose an additional tax on millionaires was sent to the House floor Thursday.
The Illinois Legislature approved a historic plan Tuesday to eliminate the state’s $100 billion pension shortfall, a vote that proponents described as critical to repairing the state’s deeply troubled finances but that faces the immediate threat of a legal challenge from labor unions.
Illinois’ legislative leaders briefed other lawmakers Friday on details of a breakthrough agreement for solving the state’s $100 billion pension crisis, leaving them four days to study the plan before facing a vote that could be crucial for the state’s financial condition and their own re-election plans.
After more than five months of work, Illinois’ legislative leaders announced Wednesday they’ve reached a deal to help solve the state’s $100 billion pension problem, considered the nation’s worst.