SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to proposals to raise taxes during the upcoming lame-duck session in January, state Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr., D-Elwood, supported legislation Wednesday to oppose the passage of tax increases during these special sessions.
“The decision to raise taxes should not be made by legislators who are no longer accountable to their constituents,” Walsh said. “Holding these votes immediately following an election accomplishes nothing more than to increase the public’s mistrust in government.”
The Walsh-sponsored House Resolution 1494 calls on the General Assembly to oppose the consideration of tax increases between the dates of Jan. 1, 2017 and Jan. 11, 2017. Sessions held during this time are referred to as “lame-duck sessions,” where representatives and senators who have either been defeated in the previous election or are retiring have the opportunity to vote on legislation, including tax increases. The income tax increase of 2011 was passed during that year’s lame-duck session. Walsh is also sponsoring House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 62, which would require a three-fifths supermajority vote, or 71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate, to pass any legislation raising taxes during the lame duck period. This measure would need to be approved by both the General Assembly and voters in the 2018 General Election.
“Sneaking tax hikes through the General Assembly during this time period and allowing politicians to avoid going on record does nothing to help us solve the difficult problems we face in Illinois,” Walsh said. “Any votes to raise taxes should only be made by elected officials who are still accountable to the people they represent.”
House Resolution 1494 passed the House of Representatives. House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 62 awaits further consideration.