Illinois’ constitutional amendment for a progressive graduated income tax gains legislative support.

HJRCA 0002 is gaining support and sponsors in the Illinois House.

Influential Representative Barbara Flynn Currie has added her name as a chief co-sponsor to Representative Naomi D. Jakobsson’s bill. Elgie R. Sims, Jr.,Linda Chapa LaVia, Robyn Gabel and Esther Golar have also signed on as sponsors.

The synopsis of the bill:

Proposes to amend the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. Provides that individual income taxes may be at a graduated or a non-graduated rate. Provides that any such tax imposed on corporations shall be at a non-graduated rate, not to exceed the average of the lowest and highest individual rates by more than a ratio of 8 to 5. Effective upon being declared adopted.

HJRCA 0002 and HB2404 now form the core of an affirmative legislative agenda for those fighting to defend public employee pensions.

HB2404 calls for guaranteed funding of the state’s pension systems and and a stabilization plan that would end the current so-called ramp that increases the state’s liability each year.

Unfortunately is also includes language calling for a increase in pension member contributions by 1% the first year and 2% the second year. This proposal by the We Are One coalition of public employee unions was an unnecessary attempt to have skin in the game. Instead it confuses the issue of who is to blame for the current situation and divides active teachers from current retirees.

Yet these two bills provide a genuine alternative to the mindless pension cutting proposals of those like Representative Nekritz and Senator Biss.

I would point out that when Representative Gabel was challenged in public at a town hall forum and on this blog to sponsor HJRCA 0002, she agreed to do it.

Every House and Senate member must also be challenged to support both of these measures.

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