Gov, suburban lawmakers talk budget

July 7, 2009 4:30:28 AM PDT
Governor Pat Quinn continues to push for his tax increase, but the stalemate lingers on. On Monday, Gov. Quinn met with a group of suburban Chicago lawmakers to try to break the legislative logjam over the budget crisis.

Several suburban lawmakers voted against a state income tax increase. While some are dead set against it, others are willing to take a second look as long as Governor Quinn does the same with more budget cuts.

Much of the meeting was spent going over the numbers and exchanging ideas on various cuts. Gov. Quinn, who called the meeting, wants the lawmakers to back his state income tax increase, which is the only way Quinn believes Illinois can come out of a huge deficit.

It appears the talks have not led to a change of heart for the lawmakers who take issue with his plan.

"We're going to have something in this that some people don't like. No way around that. For me I'd rather do a short-term borrow that say reminder of our overspending ways rather than a tax hike," said State Sen. Matt Murphy, (R) Northwest Suburbs.

Suburban lawmakers credit Quinn for bringing them together. Although, some feel he should have done it a long time ago. Democrat Jack Franks said Quinn should be looking at many more cuts before raising taxes.

"There are about 1,700 state programs out there and I don't think anyone has any idea what they do or whether they are worthwhile," said State Rep. Jack Franks, (D) Woodstock.

Others are waiting for Quinn to come out a with a budget cutting plan that lays out specifics. Lake Forest Democrat Susan Garrett voted against a tax increase, but she says she will rethink it if Quinn cuts enough.

"I think a majority of the women at least that I work with are for a tax increase but I for one am going to wait and make sure that it's fair across the board," said State Rep. Susan Garrett, (D) Lake Forest.

The meeting lasted more than three hours.

"Out of this crucible, this battle, we're going to come out with a balanced budget that doesn't overspend the public's money in the future," said Quinn.

Gov. Quinn plans to announce a budget cuts package on Tuesday that includes layoffs and furloughs. The governor is hoping that will be enough to convince lawmakers to change their minds and back his income tax proposal.

Lawmakers go back to Springfield on July 14th.


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