Area Lawmakers React to Illinois Budget Plan | Sugary Beverage Tax Put on Hold

Springfield

Thursday, July 6, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The Illinois House voted 71 to 42 on July 6 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a revenue bill “that will hike the personal income tax rate — while also voting to override two other budget bills,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Thursday.

For the first time in two years, Illinois has a full budget in place after after a two-year impasse, “the longest such impasse for any state in modern history,” according to a July 6 New York Times report.

“The decision to approve the budget, which includes an income tax increase expected to generate about $5 billion, came as Illinois was sinking deeper into fiscal misery,” the Times reports.

“The state is $15 billion behind in paying its bills; has delayed or stopped payments that have especially affected the elderly, poor and students; and has been warned that its credit rating could sink to junk status, the lowest for any state.”

In the run-up to, and after, the historic vote, local state lawmakers were vocal in their support of the measure.

After the State Senate voted to override Rauner’s veto earlier this week, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th), (whose district includes Bellwood, Broadview and Maywood, along with other western suburbs and parts of Chicago), said that the plan “would give our neediest populations and decimated institutions a fighting chance.

“Families, our most vulnerable populations and businesses alike need consistency,” Lightford stated. “It is time for Governor Rauner to set aside his political antics once and for all and do what he was elected to do, enact a budget.”

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th), whose district includes much of Proviso Township, praised the plan.

“The plan cuts state spending by nearly $3 billion, while protecting our seniors, supporting our most vulnerable citizens, revitalizing our violence prevention programs and funding our schools, colleges and universities,” he said.

In a July 6 Facebook post, uploaded as the House debated the governor’s vetoes, state Rep. Kathleen Willis (77th), (whose district includes all or parts of Bellwood, Maywood and Melrose Park), said that although the measure isn’t perfect, “we must do something. As one of my colleagues said last week the state hemoraging. This is a way to stop bleeding out. My view is that you must stop the bleeding before you can repair the damage.”

Sugary beverage tax blocked as budget cuts loom, says Preckwinkle

Soft_drink_shelf_2The cost of sugary beverages sold in Cook County were set to go up one penny per ounce this summer, but a Cook County Circuit Court judge blocked the inevitable from happening.

Now, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is warning that if the judge keeps the tax from taking effect by August, the county would have to cut 10 percent of its budget.

Per the Chicago Tribune, “In a letter dated Monday sent to all county elected officials, bureau chiefs and department heads, Preckwinkle budget director Tanya Anthony said analysts would be providing them ‘a recommended course of action’ to meet spending cuts needed if Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak doesn’t lift a temporary restraining order that’s preventing the penny-per-ounce tax from being levied.

“Kubasiak stopped the tax, which was supposed to go into effect Saturday, after the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and several grocers sued the county to permanently block it on the grounds it is vague and unconstitutional.

“The county was counting on $67.5 million to be collected through Nov. 30 via the tax on pop and other drinks.”

Read the full Chicago Tribune article here. VFP

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3 thoughts on “Area Lawmakers React to Illinois Budget Plan | Sugary Beverage Tax Put on Hold”

  1. 25% of the state taxes goes to pay state worker pensions (soon to be 28%),the next 25% is medicaid…thats over half the state budget. $15B behind in payments from a $36B budget. No real reforms from from Madigan and his followers. In the meantime, my property tax bill is $12000 and climbing, state income tax is now 5%, sales tax 10%+, huge beverage tax on the way, gas tax is high and more I probably didn’t count yet. Pretty soon your average working person is going to be one of the “states most needy and vulnerable” to quote Lightford and Welch. Also pretty soon a lot of us are going to “former” Illinois taxpayers; none of this is sustainable and all our elected officials can do is pass blame to Rauner. All of us better wake up before its too late, none of this current path is sustainable!

  2. I find it really interesting that the lawmakers in the state of Illinois had to pass the budget plan, before the state of Illinois had to go to “junk” and the residents had to spend a lot of their tax dollars.

    To State Sen. Kimberly Lightford: You are stating that “It is time for Governor Rauner to set aside his political antics once and for all and do what he was elected to do, enact a budget.” I am surprise that you are now blaming the House Speaker Mike Madigan who was also responsible of the not passing the budget plan. His choices seemed unethical and really brought Illinois down. Think about it!

    1. They never blame Madigan, he controls the campaign purse strings they all need to get reelected. Here is one everyone forgot–Madigan intentionally let the 5% tax rate expire just before Rauner got sworn in so Madigan could blame the tax increase on him; Look it up. It was pure politics. Madigan also has a super majority, so could have got the budget passed any time the last 2 years, politically better to blame Rauner though. Whether you like him or not, at least Rauner tried to get some things done to change the situation in Illinois. Madigan has become the most despised man in the state, almost 40 years in the role and look at all the damage he caused for us and future generations. We can’t seem to get rid of him. No one knows how we will ever clean up the fiscal mess…oh wait I forgot, its called raise taxes again!

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