Governor Pat Quinn out to sell budget plan

March 27, 2014 (CHICAGO)

The governor wants to make the 2011 "temporary" income tax increase permanent to increase spending on education.

Quinn wasted no time trying to sell his budget plan, while his Republican opponent's low-key response featured a campaign clown.

Twenty-four hours after his budget speech, the governor visited a Northwest Side grade school to tout his spending plan. It includes six billion more dollars for public education during the next five years.

"We are going to invest in education like never before," Quinn said. "If you're pro-jobs, you've got to be pro-education."

The additional money would be generated, according to the governor, by making permanent the 67 percent state income tax increase passed by General Assembly Democrats in 2011.

Outside the governor's event, Republican Bruce Rauner's campaign sent a costumed character it called "Quinnocchio". He reminded voters that Quinn called the tax increase "temporary" when the governor signed it three years ago.

Rauner, who again was unavailable for comment, wants the tax hike to expire at the end of this year, even though Quinn says that would mean drastic education cuts.

"Anybody who proclaims themselves to be an advocate of education excellence but wants to starve our schools and cut their budget by 20 percent that doesn't add up," Quinn said.

In response, a Rauner campaign spokesman wrote, "Voters can no longer trust what Pat Quinn says. He's broken promise after promise after promise," adding "Bruce will make education a top priority and balance the budget without more tax increases."

Democrats say Rauner is avoiding public appearances this week because he doesn't have answers to questions concerning how he would balance the budget without extending the tax increase.

A Rauner campaign spokesman said the Republican let Pat Quinn take most of the spotlight this week because Quinn had been building to this budget for five years.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.