Quad-City Times: Lawmakers inching closer to budget vote

SPRINGFIELD — After weeks of listening to predictions of doom and gloom from top state officials, Democrats in the Illinois House are poised to roll out a spending plan that relies on an extension of the temporary income tax.

Rather than imposing tough cuts on schools, prisons, universities and social services, the spending plan would mirror a budget proposed by Gov. Pat Quinn that adds more cash for schools, universities and social service programs, said state Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat who chairs a House appropriations committee.

The majority party could schedule a vote on the budget blueprint as early as Thursday, with an eye on asking lawmakers to extend the temporary income tax at a later date.

Specific details about the plan still were being drafted Tuesday. State Rep. David Reis, R-Willow Hill, said GOP lawmakers have been largely locked out of the talks over the final version because Republicans oppose making the 2011 tax increase permanent.

To read Kurt Erickson's full article, click here. 

The article is also featured in the Herald-Review, The Southern and the Pantagraph.

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