I kind of doubt it.
But, in remarks to reporters last week, IL Gov. Pat Quinn hinted he may be open to signing a budget without his beloved 33 percent income tax increase:
Quinn refused to say if he'd sign a budget if it did not include his proposed 33 percent income tax rate increase. The governor said he was confident lawmakers would find a solution next week before their scheduled departure May 7.
Quinn also signaled that he would be open to alternatives to fill the budget hole beyond his tax hike proposal, including a cigarette tax increase and additional borrowing, though he called that "the least best alternative."
"I think the most important thing is to have proper education funding in Illinois, that's the outcome that's just indispensable," Quinn said.
A few thoughts. First, if he is backing away from his rigid stance on raising the personal income tax (currently one of Illinois' few comparative economic advantages over other states), it's because he's clumsily come to the conclusion at which most of us arrived a year ago: His constituents don't want it. Second, shifting to a regressive cigarette tax increase (another proposal, mind you, that crashed and burned in last year's legislative session) ignores the underlying problems of government overspending and the explosion of public employee wages, pensions, and benefits. And third, to ensure proper education funding, how about getting on the phone to the 34 undecided state representatives and urging them to vote in favor of SB 2494, which would save the state money while expanding educational options to Chicago's most underserved children?
It's encouraging that the Governor is backing off his silly income tax increase. But continuing to pursue last year's warmed-over agenda of failed tax increases certainly isn't going to endear him to the public, much less fix the embarrassment that is Illinois' state budget.
Taxpayers will take note of the stark contrast appearing on November's ballot: Bill Brady, who has vowed never to raise any of his constituents taxes.