Quinn To Meet With House Democrats On Budget, Taxes

May 19, 2014

Gov. Pat Quinn, seen in this 2013 file photo, will make his case for an extension of the income tax at a meeting of House Democrats Monday afternoon.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Monday to begin the final two weeks of the spring legislative session. The big question remains whether Democratic leaders can convince enough rank-and-file lawmakers ... to make a higher income tax rate permanent.

Although Gov. Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, and House Speaker Michael Madigan all support making the temporary 5-percent income tax rate permanent — Madigan in particular has had a hard time getting fellow House Democrats to go along.

Last week, a bare majority of 60 Democrats supported a spending plan that effectively assumed a higher tax rate — but without actually voting on the tax.

But then, the speaker put a hold on the legislation.

"We may want to amend those bills," Madigan said. "We may want to amend those bills."

Asked if that means lowering spending amounts, he said, "Amend. Amend. Amend."

Most people in Springfield, including Cullerton, are waiting to see Madigan's next move.

Gov. Quinn has been talking privately with lawmakers. And Monday afternoon, he's scheduled to meet with House Democrats in order to make his case.