SPRINGFIELD - There's one thing both Democrats and Republicans in the Illinois House are agreeing upon during this lame duck session at the Capitol - that it should take more than a simple majority vote to raise taxes after an election and before the subsequent inauguration.
In Illinois' political history, that time frame has been one wrought with tax hike votes in the legislature - and lawmakers that are not returning to serve in the following session can often be lured into supporting tax hikes when they would not have supported if they were returning.
Democrat State Rep. Jack Franks introduced Constitutional amendment HJRCA0062 to the House State Government Administration Committee Wednesday morning, and it passed committee unanimously. It now awaits vote on the House floor. Franks' hyphenated co-sponsors include House Democrats Jerry Costello II and Linda Chapa-LaVia as well as Republicans David McSweeney, Robert Pritchard and Mark Batinick.
“This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue; this is about accountable government,” Rep. Batinick said. “Lame duck legislative sessions should be held to a higher standard when it comes to passing any bill that would raise taxes on Illinois families. Our bill would raise the bar and make it harder for political pressure exerted on lame duck legislators to support a last-minute tax increase result in enough votes to pass such a proposal without bipartisan support.”
The proposed amendment provides that "a bill passed on or after the date of a general election but on or before the second Wednesday of January following the general election that would result in the increase of revenue to the State by an increase of a tax on or measured by income or the selling price of any item of tangible personal property or any service may become law only with the concurrence of three-fifths of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly."
Those who have signed onto the proposal include both Democrats and Republicans, including Rep. Jack D. Franks - David McSweeney - Mark Batinick - Jerry Costello, II - Robert W. Pritchard, Linda Chapa LaVia, Carol Sente, Kathleen Willis, Thomas Morrison, Michelle Mussman, Sam Yingling, Jay Hoffman, Sue Scherer, John C. D'Amico, Natalie A. Manley, Cynthia Soto, Martin J. Moylan, Frances Ann Hurley, Daniel V. Beiser, Luis Arroyo, Patrick J. Verschoore, Lawrence Walsh, Jr., Andrew F Skoog, Litesa E. Wallace, Sonya M. Harper, Katherine Cloonen, Eddie Lee Jackson, Sr., John Bradley, Monique D. Davis, Thaddeus Jones, Fred Crespo, Silvana Tabares, Robert Rita, Brandon W. Phelps, Anthony DeLuca, Margo McDermed, Randy E. Frese, Charles Meier, Mike Fortner, Grant Wehrli, Chad Hays and Thomas M. Bennett.