Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illinois Senate Panel Stalls School Funding Bill Edgar Blames Fellow Republican for Preventing Vote on Measure

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illinois Senate Panel Stalls School Funding Bill Edgar Blames Fellow Republican for Preventing Vote on Measure

Article excerpt

An Illinois Senate committee dealt a potentially fatal blow to Gov. Jim Edgar's education tax plan Friday, preventing a final Senate vote and calling into question whether the state this year will change the way it funds schools.

Edgar quickly blamed Senate President James "Pate" Philip, a fellow Republican who controls the committee that rejected the bill before it could move to the full Senate.

Edgar called on Philip, R-Wood Dale, to use his power as Senate president to bypass the committee and bring the bill up for a vote. "It's obvious . . . if this bill was put to a vote on the Senate floor, it would pass," said Edgar, who won a surprise victory on the bill in the House Thursday, relying heavily on Democratic support. "This is the closest we've ever come" to switching the school funding formula away from local property taxes to the state income tax, Edgar said. "One person should not stand in the way of it." Philip wasn't planning to move the bill to the floor as of late Friday, said a spokeswoman, who reiterated Philip's opposition to the plan's 25-percent state income tax increase. Instead, Senate Republicans late Friday were preparing to vote on their own bill to increase school funding with new taxes on cigarettes and phone lines, but without raising the income tax or providing property tax relief. If it passes the Senate it would have to return to the House today, where it would likely face defeat, observers say. Edgar derided that approach as a "Band-Aid," and said if his measure didn't win Senate approval, the whole education funding reform campaign could be finished for the year. Edgar's plan would fundamentally change the way Illinois schools are paid for, shifting much of burden away from local property owners and onto the statewide income tax. It would increase the state's income tax by one-fourth, to 3. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.