The Speaker of the Illinois House, Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), wants to put a referendum before November voters about collecting a three percent “surcharge” on income greater than $1 million.
Finding insufficient support for a referendum for a constitutional amendment, Madigan is turning to a non-binding question, which he has passed through a committee.
“I’m not moving away from representative democracy. I’m not doing that,” Madigan said, adding he preferred the constitutional amendment. “I’m simply putting this advisory question, and an advisory question on (raising) the minimum wage (from $8.25 to $10), for consideration by voters in the November election.”
Madigan says talk that those two questions are intended to drive Democratic turnout in a tough gubernatorial election is fodder for “cynics and critics.” He also rejected the idea of a Republican-sponsored advisory referendum on whether the income tax rate should stay at 5 percent or, as planned, recede to 3.75 percent. Wednesday the speaker said the proposition of voting to extend the 5 percent rate did not even have the support of half of his House Democrats.
Already, we’ll be voting on constitutional amendments to help crime victims, to discourage voter suppression, and, perhaps, term limits, redistricting, reducing the size of the legislature, raising the threshold to override a governor’s veto, and perhaps more.
HB 3816 has passed the House Revenue and Finance Committee.