CHICAGO, May 28, 2019—Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey released the following statement today regarding Monday’s passage of fair tax legislation by the Illinois House:

“Yesterday, the Illinois House of Representatives did the right thing by sending a fair income tax question to the voters of Illinois. It is only through taxing those who have received every benefit of the current economic recovery—and therefore can afford to pay more—that we fund the services everyone else depends on in their day-to-day lives.

“Revenue from the new tax must go to immediate needs for the vast majority of Illinoisans: lower class sizes, librarians and enough school clinicians for our students; affordable college tuition; access to health care; affordable housing; and stable programs to address street violence.

“We applaud Rep. Rob Martwick for his work passing the constitutional amendment through the House, and we call on the General Assembly to set tax rates on the state’s highest earners—rates that actually deliver daily improvements to all Illinois residents.”

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at