Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) proposed a constitutional amendment Thursday that would boost the state income taxes paid by those earning more than $1 million a year.
Under the proposal, a 3 percent tax would be incurred on all income over $1 million, which would bring in an additional $1 billion for schools each year, according to the House Speaker.
If the proposal passes through the Illinois General Assembly by May, it will appear on ballots for voters to either approve or deny during the November election. Madigan says he will work to get the bill passed through the state legislature in order to meet the ballot deadline.
Gov. Pat Quinn, who says he needs to look at the proposal, said the idea is worth investigating.
In addition to Madigan's proposal, voters might also vote on term limits for lawmakers if the effort spearheaded by GOP gubernatorial candidate and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner makes it on the ballot. Read more about Rauner's effort here.
UPDATE 1 (4:42 p.m.): President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers Dan Montgomery released the following statement in response to Madigan's proposal:
Given the drastic cuts to education in recent years, and the threat of cutting nearly $1 billion more in this year’s budget, we are encouraged by the Speaker’s proposal to invest more money in public education for our children. This is a very positive first step in moving us toward a fair tax system in Illinois, with higher rates for higher incomes and lower rates for lower incomes. It also begins to address our twin problems of inadequate and inequitable school funding, and we look forward to discussing it further.
UPDATE 2 (5:55 p.m.): A Better Illinois is also applauding Madigan's proposal, with campaign director Kristen Crowell releasing the following statement:
We agree with Speaker Madigan that millionaires should pay a higher tax rate than minimum wage workers and the middle class.
We appreciate the Speaker’s first step toward averting the pending fiscal cliff, and remain committed to long-term, structural reform that addresses our need for stable and sustainable revenues to invest in our state’s most important priorities – education, health and human services, and public safety.
Our campaign also remains committed to giving a voice to the 77% of Illinoisans who support a Fair Tax – including tax cuts for the overwhelming majority of lower and middle income families – by working with legislators in both chambers so voters can make the ultimate decision on this November’s ballot.