Lawmakers go into Monday with taxes, gambling still on the agenda

and Jeff Engelhardt
Updated 1/9/2011 9:56 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- With only days remaining before lawmakers' terms end, the Illinois House adjourned Sunday evening with no talk of taxes.

Instead, lawmakers ended a program that ends free rides on mass transit for seniors and began moving legislation to reform the state's workers' compensation policies.

A plan to allow Arlington Park to have slot machines and build five new casinos in Illinois also is on hold.

So for a tax-increase plan that remains controversial, lawmakers are left with Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning to try to push it through.

And on Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn's inaugural will take up part of their day. On Wednesday, the new General Assembly is scheduled to be sworn in. When that happens, all legislation resets, and lawmakers would have to start from scratch.

In the meantime, the plan to raise the income tax rate 75 percent from 3 percent to 5.25 percent continued to draw the ire of lawmakers from both parties.

"Up until a couple years ago, we brought in more revenues than the year before and yet we spent more than what we brought in," said Rep. Sidney Mathias, a Buffalo Grove Republican.