Reaction from legislative leaders to Gov. Pat Quinn's budget speech is strong. The only surprise, arguably, is that the controlling Democrats are behind the proposed extension of the five percent income tax. “If we wish to continue to provide the level of services that we've become accustomed to, for education and other purposes,” said House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), “then the income tax increase should be extended.”
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“There are so many horrible things that could happen” by allowing the income tax to recede to 3.75 percent after 2014, as planned, said Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). “We're going to keep the taxes the way they are, but we're going to give back a whole bunch of money in property tax relief, more than $1.2 billion.”
“I don't believe that we can tax our way to prosperity,” said the House minority leader, Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). “The other side of the aisle believes otherwise.”
“Remember, this is the guy that said we're going to solve the problems with the two (percentage point) income tax” increase passed in 2011, Durkin's Senate counterpart, Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), said of the governor. “If we're looking for truth-tellers, I think we need to look elsewhere.”
Would the heavy lifting be in a fall veto session or a January lame duck session?
“My expectation is that we will resolve this before the end of the spring session,” was Madigan's response.
Madigan and Cullerton made their remarks to Illinois Public Television.