More budget woes ahead after Illinois votes down tax amendment

By Ryan Scott, Staff Reporter

The Illinois budget will likely see serious cuts over the next few years after voters rejected the graduated income tax amendment on Nov. 3. 

John Charles, the executive director for governmental & public affairs at SIU, said he doesn’t yet know how the budget will be affected but expects we could know as early as January what steps the legislature will take. 

Charles said he is unsure what areas will see cuts first. 

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“I haven’t gotten a good indication of where that would be, I think everybody is communicating, why it would be important that they not receive any cuts. And, You know the state’s reaching out for some of that information now, so we’ll see,” Charles said.

Charles also said he expects each university could approach it differently if they received cuts. He did say he thinks MAP grants could be an area that would see cuts. 

Representative Will Davis, a Democrat from the 30th district, was disappointed with the rejection of the amendment and the campaign against it.

“I think the objectives of the Graduated tax were, in my opinion, pretty clear, and maybe because of what I do, seemed very clear to me, but just disappointed. Particularly in the campaign against it and some of the mistruths and misinformation that that campaign put out there I just thought that was inappropriate,” Davis said.

Representative Darren Bailey, a Republican from the 109th district was pleased with the results of the amendment rejection.

“Illinois voters spoke up, and I believe they spoke out resoundingly,” Bailey said.

After the amendment was rejected, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said on Nov. 4 “Deep and painful cuts are coming.” Davis agreed and said that he thinks the budget can be balanced but expects cuts will be needed.

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Davis and Bailey said they weren’t yet sure where these cuts would affect first. 

“I don’t know if we know the answer to that question. I think that’s going to be a very hot topic. a very significant part of our debate, moving forward and is exactly based on projections of limited, limited resources,” Davis said.

Davis said he expects passing a new budget in May to be a difficult process. 

“We need to determine how we can work and manage these priorities to do them right and then anything that is outside of that boundary needs cut for a while, because government in Illinois has gotten too big so you know with that being said, as we all know certain people’s needs. You know there’s going to be needs out there that we simply can’t take care of,” Bailey said. 

Bailey said he thinks Illinois has nothing to show for the last two years except increased spending. 

The amendment passed straight down party lines in the state government with all Democrats voting for the amendment and all Republicans against it. Yet hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans who voted Democratic voted against the amendment. 

“I would say the challenge was messaging, you know, if the messaging is unclear, and then you got people who seem to be credible, saying information that was wrong, and inappropriate, it gives people pause,” Davis said. He also said he thinks more fiscally conservative Democrats could have hurt the amendment. 

Bailey said he thinks there were more anti-Trump voters than true Democrat voters this election.

“In Illinois I think that people probably voted against Donald Trump more than they voted for Joe Biden does that make sense there’s a lot of people that I for one am not that, I stand behind our president, but because of the way he desires to communicate sometimes that turns people off,” Bailey said.

Bailey also said he thinks the taxations on retirement income were a reason many who voted Democrat were against the amendment. 

Bailey also said he thinks Illinois has nothing to show for the last two years except increased spending. 

Sports reporter Ryan Scott can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @RyanscottDE. 

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