WBEZ | Speaker Michael Madigan http://www.wbez.org/tags/speaker-michael-madigan Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Nine Illinois lawmakers vote to fund Obama library - but only five members in attendance http://www.wbez.org/news/nine-illinois-lawmakers-vote-fund-obama-library-only-five-members-attendance-110042 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP942082181766.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois State House members are advancing a bill that would devote $100 million toward a Barack Obama presidential library. The House Executive Committee meeting in Chicago today voted, by an official tally of 9-0, to authorize using state money for the library.</p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel testified in favor of the legislation. So did representatives from several Chicago universities, including Anthony Young, who is chairman of the board at Chicago State University.</p><p>&ldquo;The legacy of President Obama has been and will continue to be one of restoring hope in America,&rdquo; Young testified. &ldquo;We feel that it&rsquo;s only fitting that the physical symbol of that legacy, his presidential library, be built in the community where his message of hope first took shape.&rdquo;</p><p>Hawaii, where Obama was born, and New York, where he went to college, also want to house the presidential library.</p><p>Nine representatives were recorded as voting for the bill, even though there were five lawmakers in attendance at the hearing. That is because Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island), who chairs the Executive Committee, employed a procedural move.</p><p>Rita used the attendance record from a previous hearing that occurred Wednesday as the vote for the presidential library cash. House Speaker Michael Madigan, who sat in on today&rsquo;s hearing, clarified Rita&rsquo;s maneuver, saying the attendance would serve as nine votes in favor of the library, even though the previous committee hearing was on a possible Chicago casino and not related to a presidential library.</p><p>No Republicans attended Thursday&rsquo;s hearing on the presidential library.</p><p>Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) was marked as voting yes on the measure, even though he did not attend Thursday&rsquo;s hearing and was working at his non-legislative job. He had attended Wednesday&rsquo;s hearing on gambling expansion.</p><p>Sullivan said he was under the impression Thursday&rsquo;s hearing was only to hear testimony about the presidential library, and no votes would be taken.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;ve broken the trust and I think they&rsquo;ve done something illegal,&rdquo; Sullivan said of the procedural move. &ldquo;The legacy of a potential Obama library shouldn&rsquo;t start out as a result of an illegal act.&rdquo;</p><p>Sullivan said he would be filing a protest against using the attendance of Wednesday&rsquo;s hearing as the vote record in favor of state money for the library. In a phone interview, Sullivan said he wants Madigan, as the sponsor of the library bill, to table the proposal for now.</p><p>Steve Brown, a spokesman for Madigan, said it is not uncommon for committees to recess until the call of the chair. And it is within the rights of the committee chairman to use the attendance from the previous meeting as a vote.</p><p>&ldquo;The chairman asked for leave to use the attendance roll call. There was no objection and so that was the vote that will be recorded,&rdquo; Brown said.</p><p>But Sullivan said the move sets a bad precedent for what remains of the legislative session, which is scheduled to end next month.</p><p>&ldquo;It galls me. It literally galls me,&rdquo; Sullivan said. &ldquo;I guess it shouldn&rsquo;t gall me. They seem to try and do anything that they want to do in a very sneakily way.&rdquo;</p><p>Sullivan said he would support a presidential library using private money, but not public funds. He said that money is needed for education.</p><p>None of the five Democrats who attended Thursday&rsquo;s hearing spoke out against the bill that calls for $100 million of state money to go toward the potential presidential library.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/nine-illinois-lawmakers-vote-fund-obama-library-only-five-members-attendance-110042 State House Speaker calls for cutting corporate tax rate http://www.wbez.org/news/state-house-speaker-calls-cutting-corporate-tax-rate-109607 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS2798_AP080109029993-madigan-scr - Copy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is proposing a measure that would cut the state&rsquo;s corporate income tax rate in half. The Chicago Democrat&rsquo;s bill, introduced today, calls for lowering the corporate tax on profits from 7 percent to 3.5 percent.</p><p>Madigan said in a statement, &ldquo;I am hopeful this legislation will encourage CEOs to grow their work forces with good paying jobs.&rdquo;</p><p>Madigan&rsquo;s proposal would work retroactively, with an effective date of Jan. 1 this year. He estimates it would save companies a combined total of up to $700 million dollars this year.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a very welcome proposal,&rdquo; said Todd Maisch of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. &ldquo;While the substance is important in rolling back a very, very high corporate income tax rate, what&rsquo;s almost as important, if not more so, is the change in the tone in the debate about taxes at the Statehouse.&rdquo;</p><p>Maisch said the tax mostly affects large businesses in Illinois.</p><p>The legislation, if enacted, would more than reverse a corporate tax increase implemented nearly four years ago. State lawmakers then passed a measure raising the corporate income tax rate from 4.8 percent to its current 7 percent, making it one of the highest rates in the country.</p><p>Madigan is also chairman of the state Democratic Party. His move to cut the tax comes as most of the four candidates running in the March 18 Republican primary for governor are calling for reductions in both the corporate and personal income tax rates.</p><p>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has not said where he stands on the issue.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/state-house-speaker-calls-cutting-corporate-tax-rate-109607 Top Illinois lawmakers sue governor over pay veto http://www.wbez.org/news/top-illinois-lawmakers-sue-governor-over-pay-veto-108235 <p><p>The two top lawmakers in Illinois are suing Gov. Pat Quinn for suspending the pay of Springfield legislators.</p><p>Earlier this month, Quinn said lawmakers wouldn&rsquo;t get paid until they passed pension reform. In retaliation, the Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and the Senate President John Cullerton released a lawsuit in Cook County Court Tuesday.</p><p>The lawsuit begins with the phrase, &ldquo;Not since Governor Blagojevich,&rdquo; right off the bat, comparing Quinn to his now-imprisoned predecessor.</p><p>In the filing, Cullerton and Madigan say Rod Blagojevich had tried to reduce the salaries of judges, something that was later found to be unconstitutional. They say Quinn&rsquo;s move is similar and compromises the separation of powers between branches of government.</p><p>&ldquo;Every day that passes, with the salaries of...members of the General Assembly remaining unpaid and eliminated, is a threat to the independence of a co-equal branch of state government,&rdquo; the lawsuit states.</p><p>The point being; if Quinn can suspend lawmakers&rsquo; pay for pension reform this time, what&rsquo;s to say the next time around, it won&rsquo;t be gun control or abortion rights or tax policy.</p><p>Quinn is standing his ground, though.</p><p>In a statement, he said the lawsuit is, &ldquo;just plain wrong&rdquo; and if the same effort had been put into pension reform as the lawsuit, pensions would&rsquo;ve been fixed by now.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him<a href="http://www.twitter.com/tonyjarnold"> @tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 16:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/top-illinois-lawmakers-sue-governor-over-pay-veto-108235 Top House Republican thinks Democrats purposely haven’t passed pensions http://www.wbez.org/news/top-house-republican-thinks-democrats-purposely-haven%E2%80%99t-passed-pensions-107663 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Cross.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The top Republican in the Illinois House of Representatives says he thinks Democratic leaders are purposely not passing pension reform for their own political gain.</p><p>There are lots of conspiracies for why pension reform hasn&rsquo;t been approved, from the basic stance that it&rsquo;s purely a legal debate over how to interpret the constitution, to another, more complex thought: that the powerful House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan is stalling because it would somehow help his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, become governor in next year&rsquo;s election.</p><p>Lisa Madigan has only said she&rsquo;s considering a run for governor. Today - House Republican leader Tom Cross was asked if he subscribes to that second theory.</p><p>&ldquo;Yes,&rdquo; Cross said.</p><p>Cross repeated his answer of &ldquo;yes&rdquo; seven times to a series of reporters&rsquo; questions that ranged from why Michael Madigan and his fellow Democrat, Senate President John Cullerton, would benefit from it, to how it would help Lisa Madigan&rsquo;s potential campaign.</p><p>Cross eventually expanded on his thoughts, saying Democrats in Illinois are powerful and if the leaders in the Senate and House really wanted pension reform passed, they would&rsquo;ve done it already.</p><p>&ldquo;The two most powerful guys in the State of Illinois can get anything done,&rdquo; Cross said. &ldquo;They pass a tax increase in the middle of the night, highest tax increase in the history of the state. Two guys that passed a pension holiday in the mid-2000s without blinking an eye can&rsquo;t get this done? Seriously? I mean, seriously?&rdquo;</p><p>For his part, House Speaker Michael Madigan said earlier this week that if he didn&rsquo;t want pension reform done, he wouldn&rsquo;t have worked to pass a bill that ultimately failed in the state Senate.</p><p>At that same media availability, Cullerton credited Madigan&rsquo;s passage of the bill in the House with helping get labor groups to the negotiating table and endorse a rival pension bill.</p><p>Cross&rsquo;s comments on Wednesday came on the same day Speaker Madigan filed an amendment on a pension reform bill passed by the State Senate. Madigan&rsquo;s amendment includes the language that the House had approved earlier in the legislative session, but rivals the Senate plan. A hearing on the amendment is scheduled for next week.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers statehouse politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a></em></p></p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/top-house-republican-thinks-democrats-purposely-haven%E2%80%99t-passed-pensions-107663 Illinois Legislature approves major tax increases http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-legislature-approves-major-tax-increases <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP100326033287.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Democrats in Springfield have approved a major tax increase. The Illinois House and Senate passed a bill to raise the income tax by 67 percent. Under the plan, corporate taxes would also go up.</p><p>Democrats spent days scrambling to retool the package. In the end, it was scaled back from an original 75 percent increase to 67 percent. The plan bumps the personal tax rate up from three percent to five percent. They agreed not to raise taxes on cigarettes. Lawmakers also did not vote on a proposal to give homeowners rebate checks.<b><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;"><br /></span></b></p><p>House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie said raising taxes is the only answer to cutting the state's massive budget deficit, which had been predicted to reach $15 billion this year.</p><p>&quot;The point of this tax increase is to pay our bills, and fix our structural deficit,&quot; Flynn Currie said.</p><p>Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the tax increase into law.</p><p>Meantime, Illinois Republicans are criticizing the plan. Not one member of the GOP signed on to the tax increases.</p><p>Republican State Sen. Brad Burzynski said legislators should have made cuts in spending.</p><p>&quot;In my household when we talk about cutting spending, it means that we spend less this year then we spend next year,&quot; Burzynski said.</p><p>Members of the GOP also say it was wrong for Democrats to push the tax increase through the legislature just before a new General Assembly takes over.</p></p> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 12:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-legislature-approves-major-tax-increases Illinois Democrats closing in on tax hike deal http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/illinois-democrats-closing-tax-hike-deal <p><p>Illinois' top Democrats are scheduled to meet Thursday morning to solidify plans for an income tax hike. The increase could raise the rate by up to two percentage points, from three percent to five percent, to help ease Illinois' massive budget deficit, which is projected to reach $15 billion by the next fiscal year.<br /><br />Governor Pat Quinn negotiated with House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton - all Democrats - for hours Wednesday about the increase. The hike had been a staple policy point of Quinn's 2010 campaign.<br /><br />Cullerton said Wednesday they're getting close to a framework.&nbsp; <br /><br />&quot;This is all premised on the fact that there will be no spending increases, [a] moratorium on new programs and what we're trying to avoid is deficit spending. That's really what the fight's about,&quot; Cullerton said.<br /><br />He said the upper threshold of an increase would raise the income tax rate by 66 percent, though he added it will be coupled with property tax relief.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />Meanwhile, Speaker Madigan accused the GOP of standing on the sidelines during negotiations. Republicans said Democrats are acting too little, too late to curb state spending.</p></p> Thu, 06 Jan 2011 13:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/illinois-democrats-closing-tax-hike-deal Illinois lawmakers negotiating on tax increase http://www.wbez.org/story/governor-pat-quinn/illinois-lawmakers-negotiating-tax-increase <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/statehouse-Flickr_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Top legislative leaders in Springfield are still trying to work out a way to increase taxes. It's unsure if the General Assembly will vote on the issue before the end of the session next week. Proponents say a tax increase will help balance the state's multi-billion dollar deficit. The measure is stalled in the state House.</p><p>Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan says that plan needs Republican support.&nbsp;&quot;I think we expect that there will be some support from the other side of the aisle,&quot; Madigan said. &quot;It's an interesting group of Republicans.&quot;</p><p>GOP lawmakers oppose Madigan's plan to cap state spending. The Senate has already approved a two percentage point tax increase. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn repeatedly called for an income tax hike during his most recent campaign.</p></p> Wed, 05 Jan 2011 13:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/governor-pat-quinn/illinois-lawmakers-negotiating-tax-increase