State Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) was joined by members of the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus on Tuesday to unveil a proposal that would protect middle-class residents by giving them a voice in safeguarding their hard-earned money.
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 12, sponsored by Sen. McConchie, proposes an amendment to Illinois’ Constitution to prohibit the Legislature from imposing or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds super-majority vote in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Currently, legislators only need a simple majority to pass a tax increase or to implement a new tax.
In announcing their Constitutional Amendment, Republicans said taxpayers deserve the option to decide whether a supermajority should be required when the Legislature votes on legislation dealing with taxes, and noted that increasing taxes in Illinois is too easy and is often used as a first resort when dealing with financial issues.
“With all the new taxes being proposed by the super-majority in both chambers, we need to ensure adequate protections are in place to protect those middle-class families already feeling the burden imposed by years of government over-spending and fiscal mismanagement,” said McConchie.
Senate Republicans noted that 15 states impose some kind of super-majority requirement to raise or implement taxes. Also, similar proposals have been introduced by legislators in Illinois in the past.
“California, who is in a financial position similar to Illinois, has implemented this requirement,” said McConchie. “Wisconsin also has this provision in place. In fact, many states are moving toward empowering their residents by offering this protection.”
To put SJRCA 12 on the ballot in 2020, a 3/5 majority is required, and for the amendment to be adopted, voters must approve it on the ballot with a 3/5th of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election.
If placed on the ballot and approved by voters, any new state tax or any state tax increase would need 40 votes in the Senate and 79 votes in the House.