View as PDF
CHICAGO— Taxpayers United of America (TUA), one of the largest taxpayer organizations in the nation, has released its 16th biennial, non-partisan tax survey analysis, revealing the tax and spending records of every member of the 98th Illinois General Assembly from January 2013 to January 2015.
“The 98th Illinois General Assembly was mostly a disaster for Illinois taxpayers,” said TUA operations director, Jared Labell. “The most notable bill to come out of this session was SB 1, the half-hearted pension reform legislation that has since been ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court.”
“This bill, sponsored by the leadership of both parties in the legislature, was a pathetic attempt at reforming the unsustainable government pensions in Illinois.” TUA did not support SB 1 because it did nothing to eliminate unfunded government pension liabilities and strengthened the guarantee that taxpayers must pay these government employee benefits.
“Our 16th Tax Survey contains a roll call of every legislator and how they voted on each significant tax or spending bill surveyed for this session,” explained Labell. “Legislators’ scores are normalized and range from 0% to 100%, indicating how often they supported taxpayers by voting against tax and spending increases. The best scoring legislators voted against all or most tax and spending increases and are included on the list of Taxpayers’ Friends, while those who most often voted against taxpayers are included on the list of Taxpayers’ Enemies.”
TUA has used the same methodology to evaluate each lawmaker’s record since publishing its first Tax Survey in 1983.
Based on TUA’s methodology for analyzing votes, the 98th Illinois General Assembly set a record for low-scoring legislators.
Click here to view the 16th Tax Survey of the Illinois General Assembly.
27 members of the Illinois House voted against taxpayers on every bill featured in TUA’s survey, earning each of them a score of 0% and a spot on the list of Taxpayers’ Enemies. Among those members in the Zero Percent Club are Jay Hoffman (D-113, Belleville), John E. Bradley (D-117, Marion), Laura Fine (D-17, Glenview), Jehan A. Gordon-Booth (D-92, Peoria), and Michael Zalewski (D-23, Riverside).
15 members of the Illinois Senate join their House counterparts in the Zero Percent Club, including James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-57, East St. Louis), Julie A. Morrison (D-29), Dan Kotowski (D-28, Park Ridge), and Don Harmon (D-39, Oak Park).
“We are happy to report that 20 legislators earned their place on our list of friends, but that’s a depressing number, considering the fact that there are 177 members in the legislature,” said Labell.
In the Illinois House, Michael Unes (R-91, Pekin), David Reis (R-109, Olney), Thomas Morrison (R-54, Palatine), Dwight Kay (R-112, Edwardsville), and Jack D. Franks (D-63, Woodstock) all earned 91% scores for the session.
In the Illinois Senate, Kyle McCarter (R-54, Decatur) scored 82%, while Jason A. Barickman (R-53, Bloomington) and Chapin Rose (R-51, Champaign) both received 73%.
“Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Patrick J. Quinn (D) had a failing score of 10%. Quinn received credit for vetoing a bill that reduced transparency in the process of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, but that veto was eventually overridden by the Illinois General Assembly.”
“With an average score of 34% in the Illinois House and 24% in the Illinois Senate, there is much to improve upon when it comes to legislators defending the taxpayers of Illinois,” said Labell. “Taxpayers are encouraged to study our analysis and keep these scores in mind for the next election. While legislators continue to advocate for higher taxes and increased spending during this session, it is our job to remind them that elections mean that keeping their office is not a guarantee.”
View as PDF