UPDATE x1: In response to this article, Patty Schuh, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, told Illinois Review:
"The Senate GOP Caucus – from Leader Radogno to every member there – McCarter, Connelly, Murphy, Rose, Rezin, Lahood, etc – said the tax has to be temporary – as they promised. We didn’t support it in the first place and don’t now."
Schuh says the "discussions" the GOP is open to are about the Democrats' budget proposal, not tax hikes. However, Senate President John Cullerton said last week that the budget they were working on had a $2.9 billion shortfall. That shortfall puts pressure on the Democrat-controlled General Assembly to continue the 2011 tax hike, and implement a graduated (progressive) income tax in order to meet their revenue demands.
Still, Schuh insists that Republicans want the income tax hike to remain "temporary," something that could - by definition - be accomplished with a slow decrease over time, which Radogno hinted at when she recently said she’s open to a gradual, rather than immediate, rollback of the 2011 increase.
SPRINGFIELD - As the time nears for a vote on whether to make the 2011 temporary income tax permanent, the Democratic super-majority in the Illinois Senate is calling for "bi-partisan cooperation," which is political-speak for wanting Republican votes in order to share the electoral fallout from voters in the fall.
At a press conference in Springfield Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said the Republican caucus is open to the requested discussions, but says there are three requirements in order to gain GOP support: 1) Fixing the state budget, 2) Restoring fiscal discipline, and 3) Commiting to budget savings.