Legislative leaders in Springfield aren't ready to call it a deal, but rank-and-file lawmakers say they have a budget plan.

The idea is to raise taxes by $5.4 billion. Lawmakers are considering hiking the income tax as much as a point.

There's also $2.7 billion in planned cuts. About $450 million reportedly would be dollars borrowed from within state government that the legislature simply wouldn't repay. The budget proposal also is considering another $400 million in Medicaid cuts.

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“How close is this going to be to closing the gap? Obviously much much closer,” Republican budget point man Rep. Dan Brady said. “But I think we're putting the cart in front of the horse a little bit because we're still going to have issues on the revenue front.”

House Democratic budget chief Rep. John Bradley said cuts are going to be easier to find.
“Cuts are taking place,” Bradley said. “When you don't have a budget, that's what happens. And there's a lot of things that haven't been funded up to this point that I think won't ever come back.”

Lawmakers have until the end of the month to agree on a budget with a simple majority vote.


(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com)