Illinois state House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) | twitter.com/speaker_madigan
Illinois' powerful and longtime state House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) apparently pulled a Friday-before-Memorial-Day surprise to push legislation for Gov. J.B. Pritzker's so-called "fair tax" out of committee and onto the House Floor.
So far, no comment about the strategy appears to be forthcoming from Pritzker's office. Prairie State Wire reached out to the governor's office this Friday before Memorial Day, normally a rather sleepy legislative day in Springfield, but has received no response at this writing.
Senate Bill 687 moved out of the House Revenue & Finance Committee following a 9-6 party line vote after Madigan reportedly replaced three Democrat representatives who feared backlash in their home districts if they failed to oppose the bill. The replaced committee representatives were Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake), Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) and Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego).
Illinois Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker | illinois.gov
After those replacements, and with no public notice, committee Chair Rep. Michael J. Zalewski (D-Chicago) surprised other members of the committee Friday when he called the bill for a vote, saying that he never actually adjourned their Monday meeting.
The bill originally was posted for a hearing on Monday but was never called and final action deadline on the bill was extended to the end of the month, the day the current legislative session is scheduled to adjourn.
With the General Assembly in its final days before the state's Constitutional deadline to pass legislation by a majority vote, all eyes have been on Madigan to see what legislation will - and won't - make it to the floor.
On May 1, Democrats in the state Senate used their supermajority to gain passage of the graduated-rate state income tax in that chamber before sending it onto the state House. Not one Republican in the Senate voted for the measure.
If the bill is approved by the full House, which seems likely, it will be sent to Pritzker for his signature to place a measure before voters in November to exchange Illinois’ constitutionally mandated flat income tax with a progressive tax.