Lawmakers vote to declare Southern Illinois ‘Eclipse Crossroads of America’
State lawmakers still haven’t passed a budget, but the Illinois House of Representatives passed a resolution June 22 declaring Southern Illinois the “Eclipse Crossroads of America.”
Despite failing to advance budget negotiations for the second straight day, lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives voted June 22 to declare Southern Illinois the “Eclipse Crossroads of America” and Aug. 21 as “Great American Eclipse Day 2017.”
House Resolution 267 gave Southern Illinois this designation because, according to the resolution, during a total solar eclipse that will occur Aug. 21, “the point of greatest duration for the eclipse … will occur along the line of totality stretching northwest to southeast across Southern Illinois …”
The vote on HR 267 occurred during a legislative executive session called to order shortly after the House adjourned from a special session that lasted a mere 10 minutes and 41 seconds. Gov. Bruce Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session to finalize a state budget.
Both sides of the aisle in Springfield claim to want a compromise on a budget to prevent Illinois from becoming the first state in the union with a junk credit rating. Both Democrats and Republicans have proposed plans to raise taxes by more than $5 billion, which would increase the average Illinois household’s tax burden by more than $1,125 each year. But Illinoisans have expressed that they don’t want a budget that hikes taxes.
Nearly two-thirds of likely Illinois voters don’t want an income tax hike as part of the state budget, according to polling conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates and commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute. More than three-quarters of respondents oppose hiking sales taxes. And nearly 80 percent agree “Illinois state lawmakers should pass major structural reforms before passing any tax increase.”
The Illinois Policy Institute has introduced a budget proposal that offers real reform without raising taxes. This kind of reform-minded, no-tax-hike proposal is in line with what Illinoisans want. Lawmakers should use that as a framework while taxpayers pay for their costly special session.