The Democract-controlled Illinois House voted on Tuesday against two measures seeking to freeze property taxes, an idea being pushed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in the battle over the state budget.
One of the failed bills focused only on the property tax issue, and the other included a property tax freeze plus provisions to give local governments greater control over the prevailing wage and collective bargaining, things Rauner also backs. The second bill failed by a 0-69-26 vote, with many of the "present" votes coming from Republicans.
Rauner argued that the legislation was inadequate in terms of reform.
"Having no real reform and then declaring victory is the way we've gotten into the mess we're in," the governor said, reported the State Journal-Register.
With the deadline nearing to reach an agreement on the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, House Speaker Michael Madigan questioned why Rauner is still focusing on the "non-budget issues" on the governor's controversial "Turnaround Agenda."
"I feel that both Democrats and Republicans in the legislature will view these issues as reducing the wage levels of workers in the state and reducing the standard of living for people in the state," the House Speaker said, according to the newspaper. "The number one problem facing the state of Illinois is the budget deficit. The solution to that lies in moderation."
The issue of freezing property taxes was discussed in the Senate on Tuesday during a committee-of-the-whole meeting.