State Government

Illinois House votes to raise taxes; 15 Republicans join Mike Madigan in vote

Illinois House chambers in Springfield, Ill.  Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan conceded Friday morning that a budget deal won’t happen today, and implored the major bond ratings agencies not to downgrade the state’s credit rating to junk status. But House lawmakers offered up a glimmer of hope with a bipartisan 90-25 vote to approve an appropriations amendment to help fund it. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)
Illinois House chambers in Springfield, Ill. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan conceded Friday morning that a budget deal won’t happen today, and implored the major bond ratings agencies not to downgrade the state’s credit rating to junk status. But House lawmakers offered up a glimmer of hope with a bipartisan 90-25 vote to approve an appropriations amendment to help fund it. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House has approved an income tax increase as part of a plan to end the nation's longest budget standoff.

The House voted 72-45 Sunday on a 32 percent increase in the personal income tax rate. It would go from 3.75 percent to just under 5 percent. It passed with one more vote than necessary to take effect immediately.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will veto an income-tax increase that the House has approved.

Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago sponsored the measure. He says the increase is necessary to avoid financial catastrophe. Bond-rating houses have threatened to downgrade Illinois' creditworthiness to "junk" status without action.

More than a dozen Republicans voted for the measure. But some argued that lawmakers need more financial restraint.

Rauner issued a statement that decried "the largest tax hike in history and continue out of balance budgets with no real reform." The first-term governor insists on business-friendly changes and a statewide property tax freeze in return for agreement on a budget.

The tax increase goes back to the Senate for concurrence.

The House followed the tax bill with approval of an annual spending plan.

The vote was 81-34 for a budget that spends about $36 billion. Democrats point out that it's about $800 million less than what Rauner proposed last winter.

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