Voters will weigh in on millionaires' taxes
SPRINGFIELD -- A plan to ask voters to weigh in on whether Illinois millionaires should pay more in income taxes is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk, and the governor says he'll sign it.
The Illinois Senate Thursday approved the plan to put on the November ballot a question asking whether incomes more than $1 million should be subject to an additional 3 percent tax. The ballot question wouldn't change the law and would only be advisory.
The money, according to the question, would be used to pay for schools if the extra tax was approved at some point by the General Assembly.
State Sen. Michael Noland, an Elgin Democrat, said he hopes lawmakers would eventually adopt the tax, which he says could create $1 billion for schools.
An original plan to add the extra tax was created by House Speaker Michael Madigan. It stalled earlier this year, and he advanced the ballot question in its place.
But Republicans claim the entire move is political, intended to drive Democrats to the polls in November.
"This is a gimmick, it's a stunt, it's a game, and everybody down here knows it," state Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican, said.
The Senate also approved a plan to ask Illinois voters if they think employers' prescription drug coverage plans should have to include birth control.
Republicans blasted this question as a stunt as well because Illinois law already requires insurance providers to cover contraception. That plan is headed to the House.