AP NEWS

The Latest: House sends income tax rates to Gov. Pritzker

May 31, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on action in the Illinois General Assembly (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

The Illinois House has approved tiered state income tax rates that would take effect if voters approve switching to a system that hits higher incomes harder.

The House voted 67-48 Thursday to approve the plan by Riverside Democratic Rep. Mike Zalewski (zuh-LEH’-skee). It’s part of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s effort to implement what he calls a “fair tax.” The state currently assesses a 4.95% flat rate on all taxpayers.

Republicans denounced the idea. They say it will drive the rich from the state and hurt small businesses.

Voters will decide on whether to jettison the flat-rate structure in a constitutional amendment question in November 2020 after the General Assembly OK’d sending the issue to the ballot. Pritzker campaigned on the issue and contends 97% of Illinoisans would pay no more in taxes because those earning less than $250,000 would pay no more than the current 4.95%.

The rates set in Thursday’s action start at 4.75% for incomes up to $10,000 . They jump significantly to 7.75% over $250,000 and top out at 7.99% for single filers earning more than $750,000.

The rates would take effect in 2021 with voter approval.

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Online

The bill is SB687: www.ilga.gov

Rate structure: https://bit.ly/2vtQwmX

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11:30 a.m.

The Senate will take up expanded protections for abortion after committee endorsement.

The Public Health Committee approved Grayslake Democratic Sen. Melinda Bush’s measure Thursday. Abortion is legal in Illinois because decades-old statutes restricting it have been overruled by court rulings.

But at least six Republican-leaning states have placed steep curbs on the procedure in recent weeks. Conservatives hope that legal challenges on the issue will land in the U.S. Supreme Court. President Donald Trump’s two appointees to the court have expressed opposition to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Illinois Democrats fear an adverse high court decision could undo the legal rulings that protect abortion availability in Illinois. Bush’s legislation would codify those court rulings.

The plan won House approval Tuesday and Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker supports it. Bush expects a Senate vote before Friday’s schedule adjournment.

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The bill is SB25.

Online: https://bit.ly/2K8PCEV

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5:25 a.m.

Legalized marijuana use is on the move in the Illinois General Assembly with two days remaining in its spring session.

A measure to legalize pot could appear in the House Thursday. It won Senate approval Wednesday night 38-17.

But lawmakers must also decide on an annual budget, a multibillion-dollar construction program, sports betting , abortion protections and more. They are scheduled to adjourn their spring session Friday.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed a $39 billion budget in February. It counted on several new sources of revenue such as from nascent marijuana and sports betting industries.

Chicago Democratic Sen. Heather Steans says tweaks to her marijuana bill mean it will produce less revenue. But Steans says lawmakers are crafting a budget that doesn’t rely on those uncertain finances. She would not elaborate.

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