Senate members returned to their districts last week, as reaction to the recently signed 67 percent state income tax increase continues to pour in from taxpayers, political commentators and editorial boards across Illinois.

Criticism of the new tax hike is drowning out praise for the increase, as national and statewide publications and business groups characterize the move as bad for employers and bad for the economy. Public reaction has been particularly critical of the decision to push the tax increase through during the lame-duck session, and there is significant skepticism that the spending caps will be maintained.

Adding to the controversy was the revelation that Governor Pat Quinn appointed one of the lame-duck legislators who voted for the tax increase to an $85,886-per-year seat on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board just days after the vote.

No Republicans in the Senate or the House of Representatives voted for the tax hike.

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