How much you'll pay in state taxes next year remains an open question, even as the Illinois House Thursday approved dozens of spending bills, that rely on a permanently higher tax rate. It sets the stage for a budget battle, just weeks before legislators are set to adjourn for the summer.
The Illinois House convened at 8 o’clock Thursday morning, and spent most of a very long day on the budget. Lawmakers began with a debate on funding Illinois' public education system, giving schools a slight increase over this year.
Illinois' General Assembly is heading into its final stretch. They've got a lot to resolve before their scheduled adjournment at the end of this month, including what to do about Illinois' income tax rate. It's scheduled to drop midway through the next fiscal year, but Democrats, including Senate President John Cullerton, want to make the current, higher rate permanent. WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky spoke with Cullerton about it earlier this week, and about why, despite the financial fights ahead, he's proud of the state.
New data suggests just how big a hit most school districts would take if Illinois' income tax rate rolls back as scheduled at the end of the year.
Illinois' budget could play out a lot of different ways. But under one scenario -- the one Gov. Pat Quinn says will be the case if tax rates aren't kept at five percent -- kindergarten through high school classrooms across Illinois will get $450 million dollars less from the state.
Illinois' pension overhaul is tied up in a court challenge. But even if it remains law, cuts to state employees' and public school teachers' retirement benefits will not solve the state's budget problem. That's the forecast from a report issued today by the University of Illinois' Institute for Government and Public Affairs. Amanda Vinicky spoke with the report's principle author, economist Richard Dye.