SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Pointing to the need for greater assistance for schools across Illinois, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan on Wednesday released a statement on his plan to increase state funding for elementary and high schools:
“With the rollback of the temporary income tax increase on January 1, we are facing new budget-making obstacles. According to the bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the rollback is expected to result in a loss of nearly $5 billion in state revenue each year. With lower revenues, many state services will be in very precarious financial positions.
“Schools in Illinois need greater financial support to ensure our children can compete in a global economy. This is why I am renewing my call for a constitutional amendment requiring a 3 percent surcharge on income over $1 million, with the extra revenue devoted to schools across the state on a per-pupil basis. This change, filed as House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 26, would result in about $1 billion in additional funding for Illinois students, or about $530 in additional funding per student, per year.
“When this question was put to voters in a referendum last November, the results on Election Day were clear. Statewide, nearly 64 percent of all those voting on the referendum believed this surcharge should be implemented. Across Illinois, from Cook County to the collar counties, from northern Illinois to our southern-most counties, voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of requiring a 3 percent surcharge on millionaires. More than 40 counties supported the referendum with at least 60 percent of the vote, and 100 counties supported the measure with at least 50 percent of the vote.
“When I first offered this proposal in 2014, we knew then that Illinois schools needed greater financial support. The tax increase rollback has amplified our schools’ financial shortcomings. As tough as budget decisions have been for many years, they are now much more difficult. This proposal is not a complete solution to our education funding issues, but it is a fair and equitable way to help make sure Illinois schools receive needed funding to help prevent higher property taxes, teacher layoffs, larger class sizes and the loss of scholastic programs and classes.”
# # #