A proposed constitutional amendment to levy an additional tax on incomes over $1 million came up three votes shy of passing in the Illinois House Wednesday.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's proposal to add a 3 percent surcharge on income over $1 million, which would raise some $1 billion for schools each year, garnered support from 68 lawmakers. The bill required 71 "yes" votes for passage.
House Republicans opposing the measure questioned the revenue estimates associated with the proposal and raised concerns that it would result in wealthier individuals leaving Illinois.
Madigan released the following statement Wednesday after the proposal failed in the House:
For the second time in less than a year, Republican legislators have rejected the wishes of their constituents and opposed a measure requiring the top 1 percent to pay more to help boost education funding in Illinois.
This proposal is not a partisan issue. An advisory question on this matter was put to voters in the 2014 general election and it received over 60 percent support statewide. The people of Illinois spoke - they believe a surcharge on millionaires is a good way to get our schools the help they need. We should listen to the wishes of our constituents, not big business or the 1 percent who would put profits ahead of our children's education. Unfortunately today, Republicans again failed to listen to their constituents.
This constitutional amendment would give Illinois residents the ability to decide whether the state constitution should be amended to increase the income tax on multi-millionaires to provide additional dollars for schools across the state. All revenue from this proposal - an estimated $1 billion annually - would be distributed to school districts on a per-pupil basis.