In a busy lame duck session, all four area representatives voted to raise income taxes, abolish the death penalty and limit free CTA rides to low-income seniors.
In the waning hours of the session last week, state Reps. La Shawn K. Ford (D-8th) and Camille Y. Lilly (D-78th) and Sens. Don Harmon (D-39th) and Kimberly A. Lightford (D-4th) voted for SB 2505, which will help shore up the state’s sagging finances. The current 3 percent personal income tax rate will increase to 5 percent. For businesses, the current 4.8 percent corporate rate will increase to 7 percent. Both increases will be retroactive to Jan. 1.
The Illinois House approved the measure 60 to 57, while the Illinois Senate passed it 30 to 29. Gov. Pat Quinn has signed it.
All four state lawmakers also voted to abolish the death penalty, SB 3539. The House voted 60 to 54 voting; the Senate approved it 32 to 25, with 2 voting present.
Harmon and Lightford sponsored the legislation in the Senate, and Lilly and Ford sponsored it in the House.
The vote comes about a decade after former Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions, citing concerns about the number of wrongful convictions. In 2003, he cleared Death Row, commuting most sentences to life in prison and freeing others whose guilt had been questioned. There is no indication when or if Quinn will sign it.
In addition, all four voted for SB 3778, limiting free rides on Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains to low-income seniors – or those who qualify for the state’s circuit breaker. Others age 65 and older would get 50 percent off their fares.
The House unanimously approved the measure; the Senate passed it 54-2.
To contact the governor about the legislation he hasn’t signed, call 217-782-0244 or 312-814-2121, or visit this site to send an e-mail.