The movement for a progressive, or graduated, income tax in Illinois is moving forward. State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), sponsoring the measure, announced that a House version of the bill has been introduced, while his own bill passed a Senate subcommittee. “I don’t think it's about haves and have-nots,” said Harmon, asked about an emerging theme of the Democrats’ legislative and campaign agendas. “I think it’s about fairness. This is a fundamental issue of equity.”
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The switch to the graduated tax, in which people who earn more pay taxes at a higher rate – a system used by other states and by the federal IRS – requires a constitutional amendment, approved by Illinois voters. Before it can get on the ballot, a three-fifths vote of each chamber of the legislature is required. While the subcommittee passed Harmon's bill, it did not pass other proposed amendments. One would impose term limits of 10 years on lawmakers, though a petition drive may yet get a term limits amendment on the ballot. The other would move inauguration day up from January to December and prohibit the lame-duck legislature from meeting between the election and the inauguration.
SJRCA 40 (progressive tax) has passed, SJRCA 19 (term limits) and SJRCA 10 (lame duck) did not pass, the Senate Executive Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. SJRCA 40 advances to the Senate Executive Committee.