The veteran Southwest Side Democrat told reporters he supports a cigarette tax hike for Medicaid. But House Republicans "to date" have opposed the idea, Madigan said.
"I don't think it'll pass," he said.
The comments came after Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn last week proposed increasing the state's 98-cents-per-pack cigarette tax by $1. It's part of the governor's plan to get spending under control for the state's nearly $15 billion Medicaid program. Quinn has suggested $1.4 billion in coverage cuts, $675 million in reductions to hospitals and doctors, and $675 million generated from the cigarette tax increase.
House Republicans have been hesitant to support a cigarette tax increase, instead urging Quinn to make good on his initial call for $2.7 billion in spending cuts to Medicaid. Republican Rep. Patti Bellock of Hinsdale, who worked on a Medicaid cut panel, said she does not support the hike and does not see "a lot of support" among House Republicans.
The Senate has passed cigarette tax increases twice in recent years, only to see the proposals stall in the House, where some Democrats joined Republicans in opposition.
Democrats who control the General Assembly face potential backlash from voters for increasing the personal income tax rate 67 percent last year. In turn, GOP lawmakers largely have staked out opposition to tax hikes, and they have called for more cuts in the Medicaid program before increasing any taxes.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson called the governor's cigarette tax hike a responsible way to stave off the collapse of the state's Medicaid program. Anderson said failing to straighten out the program would be "disastrous."
•Also Wednesday, a House committee approved a measure to prevent judges from awarding court supervision to speeders caught driving more than 25 mph over the limit on an urban road or 30 mph over on a highway. The legislation is the outgrowth of an Orland Park crash last year that killed a 17-year-old Frankfort girl. Police said a 21-year-old man who had kept his driving privileges despite a history of traffic citations was driving at least 36 mph over the speed limit when he slammed into a Jeep in which the victim was a passenger.
•Two proposed constitutional amendments advanced. The Senate sent a crime victims proposal to the House. Madigan's proposal to require a three-fifths vote to increase pension benefits moved to the full Senate. Democrats are seeking to put both before voters in November, and Republicans question why they can't get a vote on their proposal to ask voters to make it harder to increase taxes.
Tribune reporter Ashley Rueff contributed.