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Lawmaker and Organizations Respond to House Budget Passage

July 4, 2017

More reactions are coming in after the Illinois House of Representatives voted to approve a state budget that included an income tax increase.

State Representative Charlie Meier was one of the Republicans who voted in favor of the budget and the income tax increase. Meier sent out a statement Monday, saying he realizes a tax increase is not going to be popular, but called the state “penniless.” Meier cited the threat of Illinois’ credit rating being downgraded to “junk” status as one of the biggest factors in his decision to support the measure. Meier said junk ratings would make it nearly impossible for Illinois to borrow money when needed for running essential state services. Meier said he is still hopeful that a compromise will be worked out that provides property tax relief and tax relief, and encourages the governor to veto the bill if those compromises don’t occur. Meier called his ‘yes’ vote the “least bad” option available to him.

The President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association said that “adding a permanent tax hike without reducing pension costs, lowering property taxes, or enacting economic development reforms is a recipe for disaster.” Greg Baise acknowledged that Illinois needs a balanced budget, but says companies also need stability from taxes.

Illinois Retail Merchants Association President Rob Karr said his organization supports new revenue, but not without meaningful reforms.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Todd Maisch called on the Senate to reject the plan passed by the House.

Kaskaskia College President Dr. Penny Quinn says she is still waiting to hear from the Illinois Community College Board about how much KC can expect. Because the Senate hasn’t approved a measure yet and Governor Bruce Rauner has indicated he will veto the current proposal, Quinn says the college is not basing its own budget decisions on the House’s bill yet.

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