The president of the Illinois Senate is inviting – daring – the Republican nominee for governor to offer input on the budget. Gov. Pat Quinn will present his budget proposal to lawmakers on March 26 for a fiscal year that runs through mid-2015. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said today (Thursday) he also wants to hear from the Republican nominee, and we’ll know next week who that is.
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“I want the Republican nominee to come to Springfield and tell us how would he balance this budget, since he wants to be the governor for half of that fiscal year,” Cullerton said. Starting next year, the income tax rate will drop from 5 percent to 3.75, contributing to about half the estimated deficit of $3 billion. Cullerton says it’s fine if the Republican nominee wants to keep the tax cut as scheduled, but he should offer solutions in terms of how he would cut the necessary $3 billion to balance the budget.