Something out of the norm emerged from the Illinois state government this year: A lot of legislation adopted.
No threats of working without a budget or a special session.
However, lawmakers did go into overtime for a few days.
Here are some of the key things that passed and failed in Springfield.
Lawmakers adopted a $40 billion state budget, the largest in Illinois history.
A $45 billion capital spending package.
Illinois became the first legislature to legalize recreational marijuana.
Betting on sports will be legalized.
It’s still waiting for Governor JB Pritzker to sign.
Some things that didn’t get adopted.
A new gun registration law that would require fingerprinting and a higher fee.
A proposal to allow rent control also failed. The state pension crisis hasn’t been solved.
There’s also the consitutional amendment that would change the state income tax structure from a flat rate to a graduate rate based on income.
Voters will decide that next year.
Democrats are riding high.
Illinois State Representative Mike Halpin joined 4 The Record for a conversation.
We invited representatives Tony McCombie, Dan Swanson and Senator Neil Anderson. All had prior commitments and couldn’t make it.
Iowa and Illinois seem like mirror opposites.
Iowa’s Republican majority the last two years has pushed a strong conservative agenda.
This year Democrats in Illinois adopted some very progressive ideas.
Halpin addressed if the Democrats are being too aggressive.
Democrats adopted a record $40 billion budget.
The governor touts it as a balanced plan.
It makes some revenue assumptions to get there, which are not always reliable or accurate.
Halpin answered what he’d say to critics who call it reckless spending.
State income tax
A key component of the Democratic agenda is the state income tax.
The graduated income tax rate will be decided by voters next year in a constitutional amendment.
This needs to be approved 60 percent of voters.
That’s a tall order.
Halpin talked about what kind of contingency plan Democrats have if it fails, which is a real possibility.
Democrats argue in favor of the income tax change as a cut to most state taxpayers.
But, we’ll see tax increases on gas, alcohol cigarettes and new taxes on streaming services and ride-sharing like Uber.
Halpin discussed how his party makes the argument things will be cheaper for the average person in Illinois.
Watch the full conversation in the video above.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.