Advocates have been moving for months to give Illinois a progressive income tax. Instead of the same flat rate for everyone, those who make more would pay more. As Hannah Meisel reports, supporters are finally getting specific.
Backers of the plan argue most Illinoisans would get a tax cut.
Senator Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, says this provides the state a new choice, instead of extending the 2011 income tax hike or making deep cuts to services.
In a speech that could be pivotal for both his re-election campaign and for the state's finances, Governor Pat Quinn will Wednesday present his annual budget proposal. His administration is tight-lipped about what he has in mind.
Illinois lawmakers — at least most of them — have agreed the state has about $35 billion dollars to spend next year.
But as House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says,
"How we distribute that money and divvy it up is a whole different analysis."
More than a month after he was supposed to outline his financial agenda for the state, Governor Pat Quinn will deliver his budget address this week. He has promised to give a long-term plan as well. But some legislators fear Illinois will go the opposite route and adopt a partial-year budget.
During his budget speech Wednesday, Gov. Quinn will presumably answer the question he has avoided answering for months: what should Illinois do about the temporary income tax increase, set to rollback in January? That's midway through the next fiscal year.
Federal agents were searching for child pornography when they seized computers from former state Rep.
Keith Farnham's home and offices this month.
Search warrants released by the Illinois House Saturday seek documents "concerning minors visually depicted while engaged in sexually explicit conduct" from computers in Farnham's Elgin home and office as well as his Springfield office.
The Illinois legislature's discussions over state spending are getting heated. On Friday, Lawmakers heard from agencies facing massive budget cuts.
Eight agency heads told Senators how painful it'd be to cut 20 percent from their operations. That figure is based on a projected billion-dollar shortfall next year, when the temporary income tax hike begins to sunset.
It could mean less funding to schools, fewer state police patrols, closure of prisons and mass layoffs.
Political experts anticipate the Illinois gubernatorial candidates could spend more than 100 million dollars in the next eight months.
University of Illinois Springfield political science Professor Kent Redfield says Republican nominee Bruce Rauner and incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn should attract big money from donors both in- and out of Illinois.
"It’s both a contest between these two people and the interests of the state of Illinois but it’s also drawing a national conflict involving labor and big business," he said.
The election returns in yesterday’s Illinois primary were not even in before the candidates for governor started attacking each other. Republicans chose wealthy investor Bruce Rauner to take on Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn. Brian Mackey looks at the surprisingly close election results, and what’s ahead for the campaign.
Rauner spent millions more dollars than all his rivals combined, and had huge leads in the polls. But in the end, he only won by three percentage points. Of course, a victory is still a victory.
Bruce Rauner narrowly won the Republican primary for governor. He'll face Governor Pat Quinn, who is aiming for a second full-term. Neither of the wins were surprising, but the margins were.
Quinn was basically guaranteed Democrat's nod, after former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley dropped out of the running in September.
Still Quinn's so-called "token" opponent, Tio Hardiman — who had no money to really run a campaign — grabbed 28 percent of the vote. That's largely being viewed more as "anti-Quinn" than "pro-Hardiman."
After months of campaigning, Illinois voters go to the polls Tuesday. But turnout for recent primary elections has been quite low.
Jim Tenuto, with the State Board of Elections, says fewer than one in four registered voters has pulled a primary ballot in recent years. And leading up to the primary, things have been calm this year, too.
"This election seems very quiet as far as phone calls and inquiries," he says. Tenuto says there's no way to predict turnout, but he says early voting is down 14 percent from the last election in 2012.
Treasurer Dan Rutherford is remaining quiet in the final hours of his campaign for Governor. He also plans on the unusual move of keeping the Election night party for his Illinois gubernatorial bid closed to reporters.
Spokesman Brian Sterling says Rutherford will issue a statement Tuesday at a Pontiac location separate from his party. Sterling declined to comment further on Sunday.
Most Republican candidates running for Illinois governor are spending the last day before the primary election day traveling around the state.
State Sen. Kirk Dillard plans to be in East Alton, Marion, Champaign and suburban Chicago on Monday. State Sen. Bill Brady's schedule includes stops in Springfield, Peoria, Urbana, Marion and Chicago. Businessman Bruce Rauner is wrapping up a three-day statewide tour and has a get out the vote rally Monday evening in Hickory Hills.
Candidates are making their final pushes for support ahead of Tuesday's elections. It's all about getting out the vote.
As they travel the state on St. Patrick's Day, each of the Republicans seeking the party's nomination for governor are hoping for some luck they can carry over to election day.
While polls show private equity investor Bruce Rauner ahead, Sen. Kirk Dillard has seen his support rise in recent weeks. At an Dillard rally last night in Springfield, his onetime boss, former Gov. Jim Edgar, said primary results are hard to predict by polls.