BERWYN – Gov. Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will give Illinois residents the opportunity to voice their opinion on whether millionaires should pay a little more to help ensure all students have access to a high-quality education.
The legislation establishes a statewide advisory referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot to ask voters if they favor a surcharge paid by the state’s wealthiest individuals to provide much-needed funding for public education in classrooms across Illinois.
“Our democracy is strongest when more voters make their voices heard about important matters of public policy,” Governor Quinn said. “Illinois voters will now be able to have their say when it comes to whether the state’s most fortunate should pay a little more to put more resources in our classrooms. An investment in education is the best investment we can make for our economic future.”
House Bill 3816, sponsored by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and state Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, creates a Nov. 4 advisory referendum to ask voters whether the Illinois Constitution should be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3 percent tax on income greater than $1 million dollars. These resources would be directed toward classroom education. The legislation is effective immediately.
The Illinois Department of Revenue estimates that a 3 percent tax on income greater than $1 million would generate approximately $1 billion annually for elementary and secondary education. The governor signed the legislation today at Irving Elementary School in Berwyn.
“This legislation will provide an important benchmark. Illinois is long overdue for tax fairness and a much needed boost for our school children,” Speaker Madigan said.
Quinn said he is committed to properly funding education in Illinois in order to give every child the opportunity for success. The governor’s five-year budget blueprint includes an historic $6 billion increase in classroom spending over the next five years, doubling the investment in college scholarships for students in need and increasing access to higher education through dual enrollment and early college programs. Over the next five years, the governor’s plan would bring classroom funding to the highest levels in Illinois history.