Research

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s Approval Ratings Deep Underwater

A New Poll By Democratic Firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) Finds That 60 Percent Of Illinois Voters Disapprove Of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s Job Performance And Just 34 Percent Approve. (Public Policy Polling Poll, 557 RV, 4.2% MoE, 11/22-25/13)

  • “Only 34% Of Voters Approve Of The Job Quinn Is Doing Compared To 60% Who Disapprove, Tying Him For The Third Most Unpopular Governor In The Country.” (Press Release, “Illinois Governor’s Race Looks Like A Toss Up,” Public Policy Polling, 11/26/13)

Quinn Is In A Statistical Dead Heat Will All Four Of His Republican Rivals. (Public Policy Polling Poll, 557 RV, 4.2% MoE, 11/22-25/13)

PAT QUINN MAY BE UNPOPULAR BECAUSE HE RAISED TAXES 67 PERCENT AFTER PROMISING THAT HE WOULDN’T

During Pat Quinn’s 2010 Reelection Race, His Budget Director Told Bloomberg News That They Would Probably Increase Illinois’ Income Tax From 3 Percent To 5 Percent In January 2011, A 67% Increase. “Illinois, which is in its worst financial position ever, will raise the income-tax rate in January to address its deficit, Governor Pat Quinn’s budget director said. Lawmakers will likely increase the personal tax to 5 percent from 3 percent, generating $6 billion of new revenue, the budget director, David Vaught, said in an interview. The legislature failed to address the deficit this year because of the pending November election, he said.” (Darrell Preston, “Illinois Will Probably Raise Income-Tax Rate To 5%, Budget Director Says,” Bloomberg News, 7/28/10)

Quinn Quickly Denied That He Supported The 67% Tax Increase, And Vowed That He Would Veto Any Attempt To Raise The State’s Income Tax Rate Above 4%. “At a July 29 news conference, Quinn denied a published report claiming he planned to raise the state’s income tax by 2 percentage points. A 1 percent increase, Quinn said then, ‘is all that I propose and all that I support,’ an audibly irritated Quinn said. ‘I’m going to veto anything that’s not my plan.’” (Mike Riopell and Kerry Lester, Quinn Reneges On Vow To Veto 5% Tax,” Chicago Daily Herald, 1/12/11)

  • Quinn: “I Have Proposed A 1% Surcharge For Education This Year. That Is All That I Have Proposed And All That I Support.” (Gov. Pat Quinn, Press Conference, 7/29/10)
  • Quinn: “I’m Going to Veto Anything That Isn’t My Plan.” (Gov. Pat Quinn, Press Conference, 7/29/10)

Quinn Assured The Voters That He Was “Telling People The Truth.” QUINN: “I’m going to win the election on November 2, and people are going to realize in Illinois that we have a Governor who tells the truth about everything, not just some things. We’ve had Governors who wanna tell people what they want to hear. We have candidates who wanna do that. I’m telling people the truth.” (Gov. Pat Quinn, Press Conference, 7/29/10)

But Once The Voters Reelected Him, Quinn Quickly Forgot His Promise

After Quinn Was Reelected, He Reneged On His Promise, And Raised Illinois’ Tax Rate To 5 Percent. “On the campaign trail, Gov. Pat Quinn told voters he’d veto any income tax hike that would raise Illinois’ rate over 4 percent. But Wednesday Quinn said he’ll sign into law a plan to raise the rate by 2 percentage points, to 5 percent. That’ll raise individual income taxes by 66 percent, compared to the 33 percent he said was his limit. The taxes on businesses also will increase – from 4.8 percent to 7 percent. (Mike Riopell and Kerry Lester, “Despite Campaign Promise, Quinn Will Sign Tax Increase,” Chicago Daily Herald, 1/12/11)

QUINN’S UNPOPULARITY MAY ALSO BE LINKED TO ILLINOIS HAVING THE WORST CREDIT RATING OF ALL 50 STATES

During Pat Quinn’s Tenure As Governor, Illinois’ Credit Rating Has Sunk To The Lowest Of All 50 States. “Illinois fell to the bottom of all 50 states in the rankings of a major credit ratings agency Friday following the failure of Gov. Pat Quinn and lawmakers to fix the state’s hemorrhaging pension system during this month’s lame-duck session.” (Ray Long and Monique Garcia, “Illinois Credit Rating Sinks To Worst In Nation,” The Chicago Tribune , 1/25/13)

  • Under Quinn, Illinois’ Credit Rating Has Been Downgraded 13 Times. “Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Illinois’ credit rating to “A3″ from “A2″ after the General Assembly failed to move forward on pension reform before the end of the spring legislative session. The rating agency also says it has a negative outlook on Illinois’ credit: ‘The negative outlook reflects our expectation that Illinois’ pension liabilities will continue to grow, in the absence of substantive reform efforts, and that annual funding requirements will become unmanageable, particularly if no steps are taken to address the loss of revenue from expiring income tax increases in 2015.’ This was Illinois’ 13th credit downgrade under Gov. Pat Quinn.” (Ted Dabrowski, “Moody’s downgrades Illinois credit rating: 13th credit downgrade under Quinn,” Illinois Policy Institute, 6/6/13)

Illinois’ Low Credit Rating Means Taxpayer Pay More In Interest Payments On The State’s Bonds. “Like your cousin who doesn’t pay his bills on time and squanders money he doesn’t have, Illinois is paying the price – in both cash and reputation – for years of ignored warnings about its pension crisis, the worst in the nation. Largely because of its unfunded retirement plans, Illinois has replaced longtime bottom-dweller California as having the lowest credit rating of any state. So when Illinois tries to borrow money, it faces the same problem as the spendthrift cousin: far higher interest rates.” (Sara Burnett, “Illinois Credit Rating: State’s Worst-In-Nation Rating Costing Taxpayers Millions,” The Associated Press, 6/25/13)

  • The State’s Financial Failings Are So Well-Known, They Have Inspired A Name On Wall Street – The “Illinois Effect,” A Reference To The Fact That Cities, Universities And Other Bond-Issuing Entities Here Must Pay More In Interest, Even If They Are Responsible Spenders.” (Sara Burnett, “Illinois Credit Rating: State’s Worst-In-Nation Rating Costing Taxpayers Millions,”The Associated Press, 6/25/13)

Because Of Illinois’ Poor Credit Rating Under Quinn, Bonds Issued By The State In June Of 2013 Will Cost Taxpayers $130 Million More In Interest Payments Than They Would Have Paid If The State’s Credit Was Better.

“The state got a lower interest rate than budget officials expected Wednesday selling $1.3 billion in bonds for construction projects, but Illinois’ woeful finances means taxpayers here will pay more to borrow money than those in other states. The average interest rate for the bonds was 5.042 percent. In April, the state was able to borrow $450 million at 3.92 percent. Since then, lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn were unable to agree in the spring session on money-saving changes to the heavily indebted government worker pension system and the state’s credit rating has taken a hit. The stock market also has been more volatile in the past week. The net effect? Illinois will be on the hook for an extra $130 million over the course of Wednesday’s 25-year loan when compared with states with a AA credit rating.” (Monique Garcia, “State’s Bad Credit Rating Increases Borrowing Cost,” The Chicago Tribune, 6/26/13)