Illinois budget

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Illinois lawmakers have set aside billions of dollars to pay state obligations as part of what Democrats call a more responsible approach to the budget.

The state Senate sent the governor legislation that devotes nearly $8 billion to paying off debt and making pension payments.

Senate President John Cullerton said Friday the goal is to make sure the state doesn't duck these obligations or pay them with borrowed money.

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Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's proposed budget is virtually ignored in the Illinois House leaders' bipartisan plan.

Saving money by consolidating school districts and revisions to the tax code.  These were highlights of the governor's budget plan.

But they may be doomed.  Speaker Mike Madigan dismissed them.

"I have no comment on them, I just don't plan to pursue them," Madigan said.

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

A new Illinois law is supposed to clamp down on state government's habit of overspending. But, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn waited until after his budget presentation to sign it.

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  • Democratic Illinois lawmakers have approved a 67% income-tax increase in a desperate bid to end the state's crippling budget crisis. Legislative leaders rushed early Wednesday morning to pass the politically risky plan before  new General Assembly was sworn in at noon. The increase now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He supports the plan to temporarily raise the personal tax rate to 5% from the current 3% rate. Corporate taxes also would climb.

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