ILLINOIS (KFVS) - House Speaker Michael Madigan said on Wednesday, April 20 that, after House Republicans voted against a proposal that would fund certain state programs through a millionaire surcharge, Illinois residents have once again been ignored.
"For the second time in less than a year, Republican legislators have rejected the wishes of their constituents and opposed a measure requiring the top one percent to pay more to help boost education funding in Illinois," Madigan said in a statement released Wednesday.
Madigan said that this is not a partisan issue, and a 2014 questionnaire put to Illinois voters during the general election showed that at least 60 percent were in support of the surcharge.
"The people of Illinois spoke – they believe a surcharge on millionaires is a good way to get our schools the help they need," he said. "We should listen to the wishes of our constituents, not big business or the one percent who would put profits ahead of our children's education.
"Unfortunately today, Republicans again failed to listen to their constituents."
Madigan said this constitutional amendment "would give Illinois residents the ability to decide whether the state constitution should be amended to increase the income tax on multi-millionaires to provide additional dollars for schools across the state."
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin disagreed with Madigan's regarding the House's rejection of the proposal.
"I am confused by the Speaker's comments," Durkin said in a statement Wednesday. "His tax increase was rejected again with both Republican and Democrat votes. Going into the vote today it was clear that there was never a supermajority in support. This type of vote simply provides political propaganda for the upcoming fall election.
"I suggest we get back to solving the budget impasse rather than playing politics."
Madigan said the money from the proposal would go towards higher funding for elementary schools and high schools throughout the state. He also said the revenue, estimated to be $1 billion annually, "would be distributed to school districts on a per-pupil basis."