Madigan's Millionaire Tax Comes Up Short

May 21, 2015

Credit flickr/borman18

As Illinois lawmakers grapple with a budget shortfall, a measure to impose a tax on millionaires' income came up short.

Adding a surcharge to income over a million dollars to raise more money for Illinois schools was a concept Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan introduced last year, but there wasn't enough support.

Now, as Illinois faces a $6 billion budget gap, he's brought it back.

"We're simply asking those that have done well in life to help our educational system," Madigan said.

But his effort came up short, by three votes.

There are 71 Democrats in the Illinois House, just enough that if all of them had gone along with it, the measure would have passed. Instead, three Democrats voted no.

Critics say the measure, which requires amending the state constitution, would cause wealthy people and small businesses to leave Illinois.