Grand Bargain on Life Support

Date: March 10, 2017

Good news for small business: The 13 bills that comprise the so-called Grand Bargain were shunted aside and declared dead by Senate Democrats, who blamed Governor Rauner for scuttling the deal. The claim is mostly true and for good reason. The bargain contains $5 billion to $7 billion of tax increases but fell short on state spending cuts and the reforms demanded by taxpayers and the business community.

NFIB continued to oppose elements of the “bargain,” especially a new sales tax on eight service areas: landscaping, laundry, repair and maintenance, storage units, detective and security, structural pest control, personal care, and cable TV, satellite TV and on-line streaming. NFIB members have overwhelming opposed service taxes of any kind in past statewide ballots. The 500-page bill (Amendment 3) is here. We also oppose a minimum wage to $11 per hour.

Will the “bargain” be revived? The rancor is incredibly high so it seems doubtful. But the General Assembly is known for bringing back dead legislation with their own form of shock therapy. Stay tuned.

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