State lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday

Apr 28, 2014

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday after two weeks away. The top issue this spring remains whether to let the temporary tax increase drop at the end of the year as scheduled, or vote to keep the income tax rate at five percent. 

Gov. Pat Quinn and other Democrats say if the tax rate is allowed to drop -- what he calls a "not recommended" budget -- there would have to be massive cuts across state government. Take, for example, Secretary of State Jesse White. His office would have to cut nearly $39 million dollars under the "not recommended" budget.

White says that means 25 drivers license facilities would be closed and at least 200 people laid off. He also says the state would stop mailing reminders for people to renew their drivers licenses and license plates.

"If we are forced to stop sending notices out, I am afraid that many well-intentioned people will simply forget to renew their vehicle registration or drivers license in a timely manner."

Republicans say Democrats are exaggerating the financial hole that would be created by letting the tax increase expire. But they have yet to offer their own comprehensive plan for funding -- or cutting -- state government.