Quinn marks Memorial Day

May 25, 2009 (PARK RIDGE, Ill.) Gov. Pat Quinn was among the politicians out shaking hands on Monday.

It's his one day reprieve before heading into a battle of his own over balancing the Illinois budget.

Quinn and state lawmakers will return to Springfield on Tuesday. And they've got a lot on their plate in addition to the budget. Debate also continues on tax reform.

For a governor who's proposed an income tax hike, Pat Quinn's reception in Monday's Memorial Day parade in Park Ridge was largely positive. That is not to say people here are happy with a tax hike and some of them let him know it.

"Unfortunately our state representatives are not doing an adequate job to make the tough choices on everything from reform to taxes to where our money is being spent," said John Fairley of Park Ridge.

"I tell you I love you, I think you're the best, but you gotta cut taxes," said Bill Dormin.

"I am not pleased, but I understand the budget has to be met," said Maura Mitchell, Park Ridge.

"It's no fun having to tell people we need more revenue, but if we don't Illinois can't serve the people," said Gov. Quinn.

The governor argues that the state's budget problems are permanent so he can't accept the idea of making the income tax hike temporary - even though some legislators say that idea would make it more salable.

"We don't have a deficit as big as they like to say, and I can't see passing legislation for income tax revenue if you can't even tell us what you're gonna do with the money," said State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, (R) Des Plaines.

Republicans say the votes are not now there to pass the tax hike in its present form, but the challenge by the end of this week is to balance the budget, and at the same time, leave Springfield with the foundation for some meaningful political reform.

Some measures are moving forward, but the jury's still out on the governor's reform commission proposal that federal style limits be placed on campaign contributions.

"And you hope beyond hope that this gentleman can start the beginning of reform, but if you ask most of the people here, they'll just look at you and go, oh if something happens, we'll be lucky," said Joe Piech of Park Ridge.

But some legislators counter that there is a tremendous appetite for reform that there are a number of significant measures moving forward now that have real teeth, and that real reform need not be rushed. But the legislative clock is ticking on this session which ends in seven days.

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