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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Two House Republicans Still Favor Tax Hike; Rauner Vows To Block Veto Override

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Two key Republicans in the Illinois House say they will continue supporting an income-tax increase over their governor's veto.

Rep. David Harris of Arlington Heights and Rep. Steven Andersson of Geneva were among 15 Republicans who bucked Gov. Bruce Rauner and helped provide a veto-proof majority for an income-tax increase of 1.2 cents per dollar. The hike is intended to help Illinois dig out of the nation's longest budget crisis since at least the Great Depression.

Harris is the ranking Republican on the Revenue and Finance and General Services Appropriations committees. He says it's "immoral" for the state to carry a $15 billion bill backlog and the $800 million a year in interest it carries.

Andersson is the GOP floor leader. He says his vote for the tax increase was reinforced when bond houses delayed a promised downgrade to the Illinois credit rating.

Meanwhile, Rauner says he’s doing everything he can to make sure the Illinois House of Representatives does not override his veto of a budget with a tax increase Thursday.

He said if lawmakers won’t agree to his agenda of a property-tax freeze and term limits, they should make $4 billion dollars in cuts rather than raise the income tax rate.

“This is not just a slap in the face to Illinois taxpayers,” he said. “This is a two-by-four smacked across the foreheads of the people of Illinois.”

  • Tony Arnold and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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