State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) joined several members of the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus to unveil a measure seeking to protect the middle class and give them a voice in safeguarding their hard-earned money.
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 12 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 supermajority 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.
“This measure is about empowering voters, providing them with an avenue to change how decisions are being made with their tax dollars,” said Sen. Syverson. “In reality, it shouldn’t be an easy process to raise taxes on working families. These are individuals who have worked hard for their money and any attempt to add to the already sky-high burdens placed on their shoulders should require careful consideration and meet a higher threshold.”
Senate Republicans noted that 15 states impose some kind of supermajority requirement—two-thirds, three-fourths or three-fifths of the legislature—to raise or implement taxes. Furthermore, similar proposals have been introduced by legislators in Illinois in the past.
“The uncertainty of raising taxes is a major concern for many of the people of this state, driving out residents and businesses,” said Syverson. “The aim of SJRCA12 is to provide our taxpayers with more confidence that their tax dollars are protected.”
To put SJRCA 12 on the ballot in 2020, a three-fifths majority is required, and for the amendment to be adopted, voters must approve it on the ballot with a three-fifths vote.
If placed on the ballot and approved by voters, any new state tax on any state tax increase would need 40 votes in the Senate and 79 votes in the House.