From the Illinois Opportunity Project -
Illinois lawmakers will be headed back to Springfield shortly after the new year to vote on several key issues facing the state, the largest of which could be a vote to make 2011’s historic tax hike permanent (it’s supposed to begin sunsetting after FY 2014). This is not being openly discussed just yet, but politically, it makes sense to rush this through now, rather than have it be a major issue in the next gubernatorial election. Remember in Jan. 2011, the income tax increase was passed in both chambers less than 24 hours after it was written up.
Here are some of the most important pieces of legislation and issues that could receive votes within the next week:
- Making the Jan. 2011 record income tax increase permanent. The tax hike has cost the average Illinois family over $1,500 dollars. When passed, lawmakers promised it was temporary, but given the lack of spending reforms seen since then, it’s not surprising they want it made permanent. Learn more about this issue and contact your lawmakers.
- Pension reform. While it’s uncertain whether we will see an actual vote on any pension reform package, the Nekritz/Biss proposal will be likely be the center point of the discussion. That proposal is woefully inadequate to deliver the sort of reform we need to resolve the $200B in unfunded pension liabilities that our state currently has. Learn more about this issue and contact your lawmakers.
- Minimum wage increase. Illinois currently has the fourth highest minimum wage in the country, and new legislation could raise it to $10.25, making it the highest in the nation and a full $3.00 higher than all of our bordering states. This could be disastrous for job creation in our state. Learn more about this issue and contact your lawmakers.
- $4B borrowing package. State government has borrowed billions of dollars three times in the past decade, and it’s about time lawmakers stop using that as a crutch rather than tackle unsustainable spending levels. Learn more about this issue and contact your lawmakers.
- Medicaid expansion. With the state being late in making its payments, more and more doctors are refusing to take Medicaid patients. This results in long waits for patients and the Medicaid failing those people who need the help most. The solution is not to pour more people into this failing program. Learn more about this issue and contact your lawmakers.
- ObamaCare exchanges. Illinois should join the 20 states that have decided to opt-out of setting up its own health insurance exchanges. Our state does not need to add $100M in annual operating costs to its annual budgets, while receiving little to no benefit in return. Learn more about this issue and contact your lawmakers.
The Illinois Opportunity Project is an independent research and public policy enterprise that promotes legislative solutions in advance of free markets and free minds.