Il lawmakers ready to confront state's budget issues

Feb 5, 2014

Illinois lawmakers were back in Springfield Tuesday. They're already beginning to confront the huge hole expected in next year's state budget. IPR'S Brian Mackey has more.

The temporary tax increase of a few years ago is set to roll back at the end of this year. Lawmakers are being told Illinois will have at least one-and-a-half billion fewer dollars to spend next year.

"The budget is going to be one of the, if not the big issue, as it generally is."

Rep. John Bradley is a Democrat from Marion and chairman of the House Revenue Committee.

"But let's also take into account, we saw some pretty encouraging figures in terms of growth in sales tax revenues, growth in corporate activity."

But no one really thinks Illinois can grow its way out of the funding gap created by the income tax rollback. You could close every state prison and still not make up the difference. That's why the tax increase and whether to make it permanent is expected to be a big issue in this year's campaign for governor.

Gov. Pat Quinn isn't expected to say where he stands on the tax question until he gives his budget address -- which Quinn wants to delay until late March, after the primary election.