- The Illinois House approved Wednesday night the revenue portion of Speaker Mike Madigan's budget proposal. It includes $300 million in new business taxes and no new casinos.
- The plan could run into opposition from the governor, and from Senate President Emil Jones.
They favor a bigger spending increase.
- The House Democrats' plan does not make full pension payments that are due to state pension funds. It raises taxes on businesses by closing some exemptions that are worth several hundred million dollars, and it leaves Mayor Richard M. Daley facing potential cut-backs and lay-offs at the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Public Schools.
Huberman detailed four other plans that CTA staff considered before recommending cutting service on 63 bus routes and the Yellow Line and Purple Line Express routes and introducing a new fare structure that would charge rush-hour commuters up to $3.25.
One plan involved closing the CTA's $97.5 million budget gap almost solely by raising fares. Under that plan, riders would pay $7 to ride buses and trains during peak hours.
Another option -- if the CTA didn't divert any capital dollars to its operating budget -- would have been to increase fares to as much as $5.50 during peak hours, while eliminating 107 bus routes and all CTA L lines except Red and Blue.
Labels: state politics