BLOOMINGTON – Former gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady of Bloomington will take over leadership of Illinois Senate caucus Saturday, succeeding Christine Radogno, who announced her sudden retirement earlier this week.
In the past 15 years that Brady has served in the Illinois Senate, he ran for governor three times – in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He won the Republican Party's nomination in 2010, but lost that year in the General Election to Democrat Pat Quinn. Governor Rauner won over Brady and Kirk Dillard in the 2014 GOP primary.
Brady boasted during his last gubernatorial bid that he would "protect taxpayers" and that he had never "voted for a tax increase." His "Brady for Illinois" website still features his call for Illinois' 2011 67% temporary income tax hike to sunset in 2015.
But in May, Brady called for an income tax hike as part of a "grand bargain" he was negotiating with the Democrats. He told POLITICO he supported a five-year income tax increase and expansion of the services tax as long as they’re coupled in time with a five-year property tax freeze.
“The hope here would be if Republicans would participate in a revenue increase, that the revenue increase would be associated in time with a property tax freeze,” Brady told POLITICO. He said the proposal would call for a cap on spending and reforms with workers' compensation. “In five years when the increase in the revenues falls off, spending will be in line with new revenues and things will not have the cliff that we were left with under Pat Quinn.”
Political observers say that little will change from Radogno's positions with Brady at the helm of the Senate GOP.
From Brady's gubernatorial campaign website:
The simple reality is the best thing for Illinois residents and the State of Illinois long term health is to default on its obligations and force some type type of pension and healthcare reduction for anyone entering or retired within the last 7 years. To make it equitable they should exempt the first 40K of pension benefits from reform and institute a progressive reduction of benefits between 40K and 100K of benefits, capping final payout at 100K in total. 40K is a logical number because it essentially represents the price of a 1 million dollar immediate annuity with a minor inflation rider. In other word it still means, at a minimum, every retiree with at least a 40K pension would still be a pension millionaire. That is still one generous compensation package and when phrased that way would garner a lot of public support. Obviously only a defined contribution plan should be offered going forward.