House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago)The remaining five weeks of the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session could be a sprint.  And the finish line could be a vote to keep the income tax rate where it is: 5 percent.  Gov. Pat Quinn has called for the 2011 income tax increase – scheduled to recede to 3.75 percent after Dec. 31 of this year – to instead become permanent.  “We have previous governors who weren’t so courageous,” said House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), calling the governor “forthright,” adding, “it’s not going to be an easy vote” for lawmakers.
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Those who are worried about their re-election chances, Madigan said, should consider, “What kind of a budget do they wish to support?  If they want a budget that is lower than the current one, why, they should vote no.  If they want to maintain the current level of service for things such as education, mental health, and human services, they should vote yes for the extension of the income tax increase.”  The Illinois General Assembly re-convenes Tuesday and is scheduled to adjourn May 31.
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