Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is proposing a new 3 percent surcharge on incomes above $1 million to fund education.
Madigan, of Chicago, made the suggestion during a meeting Thursday with fellow Democrats in the Illinois House. He said it would raise $1 billion annually to pay for elementary and secondary education.
The plan would raise about $550 per pupil for the schools.
The House and the Senate would have to pass the proposal, then it would be on the ballot in the fall, as an amendment to the state Constitution.
Under the proposal, any income above $1 million would be taxed an additional 3 percent. Using income figures from 2011, the tax would have affected 14,675 people.
Madigan dismissed the idea that he was taking a shot at Bruce Rauner -- the multimillionaire businessman who is the Republican nominee for governor. Madigan says he has supported every tax for education in 44 years in the House.
Rauner's campaign said he opposes the so-called "millionaires tax." Rauner has given millions to education.
In a statement, campaign manager Chip Englander said the proposal looks like "a first step towards empowering Mike Madigan and (Gov.) Pat Quinn to raise taxes on the middle class, small businesses and family farms."
He noted Democrats raised the income tax in 2011 but still cut education funding. Rauner says Illinois needs lower taxes to be more competitive.
Quinn wouldn't express an opinion, saying he would "take a look at the details."
Contact reporter Brian Brueggemann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2511. The Associated Press contributed to this report.