Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is wading deeper into the debate over whether Illinois ought to extend a higher income tax rate. He's still refusing to say how he would manage the state budget.
The Rauner campaign says it's making robo-calls to voters in seven House districts. These are key Democrats in the budget debate — most have previously taken positions against the higher tax rate.
Illinois lawmakers are going back to the drawing board on a state spending plan. Although Gov. Pat Quinn and top Democrats have been pushing for an extension of a higher income tax rate, House Speaker Michael Madigan says there isn't enough support for that.
With Republicans uniformly opposed to keeping Illinois income tax rate at 5 percent -- instead of letting it drop as scheduled at the end of the year — both Quinn and Madigan have been working to get 60 Democratic members of the House on board.
Then, on Wednesday afternoon, House Democrats met behind closed doors.
Democrats in the Illinois House on Wednesday handed a significant defeat to Governor Pat Quinn. Fewer than half are willing to go along with his push to extend a higher income tax rate. That could mean significant cuts in state spending. Brian Mackey reports on how Democrats backed themselves into this corner, and where they go from here.
Quinn has for two months been asking lawmakers to make 2011’s temporary income tax hike permanent.
A day after House Democrats said they're unwilling to extend Illinois' higher income tax rate, government observers are trying to figure out what happens next. Top Democrats say they're moving forward on an austerity budget, but things in the Statehouse are rarely as clear as they seem.
House Speaker Michael Madigan took a closed-door poll of his Democratic lawmakers, and found just 34 of the 60 votes needed to make the current income tax rate permanent.