Watchdog group proposes plan to balance Illinois budget

File photo of Illinois State Capitol building

March 3, 2014 3:15:54 PM PST
The Civic Federation is releasing a new proposal it says will balance Illinois' budget, eliminate its bill backlog and reduce taxes.

The plan by the government watchdog group includes: capping spending to help the state pay off its $5.4 billion backlog of bills, extending the state's temporary income tax increase by a year before reducing tax rates gradually, and it calls for taxing pension and social security income.

Democratic State Senator Don Harmon of Oak Park says he isn't surprised by the recommendations.

"We are one of the few states that exempts all retirement income so again it does pop up from time to time in conversation on tax policy. The question is whether we can draw a line that is fair to seniors but still generate the revenue we need to help balance the state's budget," said Sen. Harmon.

Sen. Harmon is not advancing this proposal but says it will generate interest.

The plan also suggests building a "rainy day fund."

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