On Sunday night the Illinois House voted against a 50 percent tax increase that Gov. Pat Quinn insists in necessary to help the state close its budget gap, which is estimated at $12 billion over two years.
Quinn and other officials have warned that if the tax increases are not approved, the state will face severe cuts in education and health care spending, among other items. Top lawmakers said without new tax dollars, available money would fall about $7 billion short of covering government expenses in the coming fiscal year. They warned of possible state employee layoffs and cuts of up to 50 percent in the programs Quinn says he wants to keep intact.
Republicans have said they want to see spending cuts before considering any new taxes.
Quinn also said until a balanced budget is approved, he won't sign the $28.3 billion statewide capital construction bill, which includes money for widening Route 59 in Naperville.
Quinn was planning to meet again with legislators on Monday, but it is unclear if a deal will be reached.
What do you think about the budget situation? Does the state just have to grit its teeth and make the cuts, or are these programs we need to sacrifice to save?