For proponents of the measure, the amendment and the rates approved are all about raising more revenue without increasing rates on middle-income earners or making drastic budget cuts to state services, education and public safety.
Pritzker frequently notes he inherited a state government “hollowed out” by budget cuts from previous administrations and a two-year state budget impasse during which the state spent roughly $5 billion more than it took in each year, driving a backlog of unpaid bills up to $16 billion.
Pritzker has estimated the budget shortfall for the current fiscal year at $6.2 billion, as the COVID-19 pandemic has blown a hole in state finances. Without the graduated tax, which would be in effect for only half of the fiscal year, the shortfall could reach $7.4 billion, he said in April.
To fill that gap, the governor has left open the option of borrowing billions from the federal government and has lobbied for greater aid to…