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Closer To Adjournment, Lawmakers Consider Income Tax Options

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state of Illinois
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Illinois lawmakers return to the Capitol, with just two weeks remaining until they're scheduled to adjourn for the summer.

Democratic leaders all say Illinois ought to make 2011's temporary tax hike a permanent one. They say letting the tax roll back as scheduled for the end of the year would bring drastic cuts in state spending.

But, so far, House Speaker Michael Madigan has reportedly been unable to get the required 60 of his 71 Democratic lawmakers to agree to that.

On the other hand, a series of votes last week show there are at least 60 House Democrats who support the higher spending level a tax extension would allow.

Madigan says Gov. Pat Quinn, who also supports the tax extension, will be coming to a meeting of House Democrats today. It remains to be seen whether they can bridge the gap between the number of Democrats who are eager to spend, and those who are willing to cast a politically unpopular vote in order to pay for it.

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