Convention-goers in Springfield got a budget debate as lunchtime entertainment, starring State Sens. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) and Heather Steans (D-Chicago).  “We've created surpluses to help bring down our unpaid bills,” said Steans, “from $9 billion to under $5.5 billion expected at the end of this fiscal year. We've enacted landmark pension reform.  We've significantly cut state spending to date over the last five years.”
 
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Murphy says the Democrats who control the Capitol should concentrate on allowing the 5 percent income tax to recede to 3.75 percent as of Jan. 1, 2015, rather than present a series of worst-case scenarios Murphy calls a “parade of horribles.”  Steans pointed out more money has gone to the state's pension systems than has come in via the increased income tax.
 
The two spoke to the Illinois Manufacturers' Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Association combined convention.
 
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