Illinois House Speaker Skeptical of Income Tax Increase

By: - November 17, 2010 12:00 am

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has said that his reelection represented a mandate for the income tax increase he has long sought. But the person whose opinion matters most, House Speaker Mike Madigan , disagrees. Madigan made the comments as a session gets underway in the Illinois Legislature in which the income tax is the top issue. The speaker also said that his Democratic caucus wouldn’t approve the tax increase on a party-line vote, the Chicago Sun-Times

reports . The disagreement continues eight years of clashes between a Democratic-majority Legislature and Democratic governors — first Rod Blagojevich and now Quinn. Still, Madigan did say that Illinois’ deep structural budget problems only will be solved through a mix of cuts and new revenue.

California is experiencing a sudden burst of bipartisanship. For one, Republicans in the California Assembly have picked Connie Conway as their new leader. The San Francisco Chronicle

describes Conway as “a pragmatic, affable lawmaker with ties to both sides of the aisle.” They chose her over Martin Garrick , a more conservative choice. “Connie has the kind of personality everyone can work with, which is really important in a leadership role. She can bring people to the table,” outgoing Assemblyman Mike Villines told the Chronicle . The move is surprising because California’s Republican legislative caucuses have a history of demanding ideological purity from their leaders.

Meanwhile, Democratic governor-elect Jerry Brown  ( profile ) plans to keep on many of the appointees of outgoing Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Los Angeles Times

reports . That includes Schwarzenegger’s budget director, Ana Matosantos . According to the Times , Brown paid Matosantos a surprise visit during the campaign in which the two discussed the budget in depth.

While some governors have scored rhetorical points by running against Washington, Connecticut Governor-elect Dan Malloy ( profile ) says he’ll be headed to Washington as much as possible. Malloy, a Democrat, thinks that his state hasn’t been aggressive enough in seeking federal dollars, the Connecticut Mirror

reports . He hopes that as other states reject federal money, Connecticut will be able to take advantage. “I’m going to be in Washington a lot,” Malloy told the Mirror .

Dennis Daugaard ( profile ) campaigned for governor of South Dakota as a continuation of the tenure of the popular Mike Rounds. But he’s still putting his own team in place to lead the state. So far, the list of who isn’t returning includes top tourism officials, the secretary of education, the state chief information officer and the tribal relations director, with more changes expected, the Capital Journal

reports . Daugaard served as Rounds’ lieutenant governor for eight years. Thanks to South Dakota’s resilient economy, he was able to win office on what for 2010 was an unusual message: That things were going well enough that a dramatic change of course wasn’t needed. 

Speaker Brian Bosma , a Republican, says he wants more bipartisanship in the Indiana House. He’s found a way to practice what he preaches: by naming two Democrats as committee chairs. Despite the Republicans’ new majority in the Indiana House, he’s expected to name Democrats to head the committee in charge of commerce and a committee designed to reduce regulations. The Indianapolis Star

describes the move of naming minority party members as committee chairs as unprecedented in Indiana. 

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Josh Goodman

Josh Goodman helps lead research on fiscal management and place-based economic development programs as part of Pew’s state fiscal health project. Goodman has served as a primary author for Pew studies that examine how states should evaluate tax incentives and maintain budget discipline when implementing those incentives.