Springfield, IL – Illinois Senate Republican legislators today committed to opposing any tax increase offered in the lame-duck session of the General Assembly. Led by Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), members of the Republican caucus also called on their Democrat colleagues to join them.
“We won the battle this legislative session in defeating the Democrats’ plans for yet another income tax increase, but we didn’t win the war,” Leader Radogno said. “The Democrat leaders and Governor Pat Quinn have all but admitted they will raise taxes after the November election. The people of Illinois need to join us in the effort to block their maneuvers.
“We’ve already seen their playbook. In the middle of the night in a January 2011 lame-duck session, Democrats voted to impose the largest income tax increase on families and employers in the history of our state,” Radogno said.
“Outgoing lawmakers, who are no longer accountable to the voters, should not be approving such controversial legislation, especially tax increases,” Radogno continued. “We have introduced a resolution that makes it clear we oppose tax increases during the fall veto session and any following lame-duck session. We’re going to ask our Democrat colleagues to join us, but we’re hoping it is their constituents who force them to join us in making this commitment.”
A lame-duck session would convene after the November elections, prior to the seating of newly elected members of the House of Representatives and Senate.
The Republicans called on their Democrat colleagues to support the Senate Resolution and block tax increases during that time period.
“It is a fairly simple ask,” State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) said. “We are encouraging our Democrat colleagues to tell the taxpayers of Illinois where they stand on tax increases in the months before the new General Assembly is seated. If they aren’t willing to support the resolution and commit to opposing these eleventh-hour deals, fair enough. At least then everyone knows their position on the issue.”
State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) warned her constituents experienced a lame-duck “bait-and-switch” following the 2010 election. Then-State Representative Careen Gordon promised voters she would oppose an income tax increase. However, after being defeated, Gordon broke her promise and supported the 2011 multi-billion dollar tax hike.
“Illinois voters don’t trust politicians and the past three governors have given them plenty of reasons to feel that way,” Rezin said. “Candidates should be honest with the voters before and after the election. When Governors and legislative leaders cut deals and offer jobs to lame ducks to change their votes it undermines trust in all elected officials. Legislators should always be accountable to the voters.”
“Clearly, the Democrats are pushing a budget filled with gimmicks and accounting tricks just so they can wait until after the election to pass a new tax increase,” said Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). “We need to shore up support now to guarantee real tax relief for all citizens of Illinois.”
Several legislative proposals to limit the powers of lame-duck legislators – or eliminate the session altogether – have been bottled up in the House and Senate this spring session.
Senate Bill 1516 was introduced by State Senator Mike Connelly (R-Naperville) to provide that in odd-numbered years, bills passed prior to the convening of the new General Assembly require a three-fifths vote of the members elected to each house.
Constitutional amendments were also proposed with similar restrictions on lame-duck legislators, including SJRCA14 by State Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), SJRCA10 by Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) and SJRCA15 by State Senator David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville).