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Saying "Illinois' fiscal house was on fire," newly inaugurated Governor Pat Quinn this month signed legislation temporarily hiking the state's personal income rate by 67-percent and raising the corporate tax rate by 46-percent. Democrats passed the controversial tax hike in the final hours of the lame duck session of the 96th General Assembly with the bare minimum of votes needed and without any Republican support.
Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, said the move was necessary to help close an historic 15-billion dollar budget hole, calm Wall Street fears about the state's bottom line, and protect vital state programs like education and human services. Republicans criticized Democrats for the size of the increase and for not making deeper cuts in state spending before raising taxes.
On this episode of WSIU InFocus, Democratic State Representative John Bradley of Marion, Chair of the House Revenue and Finance Committee, and Assistant Senate Republican Leader David Luechtefeld of Okawville debate the tax issue and discuss further steps that may be needed to balance the state budget, including borrowing and program cuts. The program length Interview is hosted by Illinois Lawmakers Statehouse Correspondent and WSIU-TV producer Jak Tichenor and WSIU Radio Morning Edition host Jennifer Fuller.
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