SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) — The state’s new comptroller is incredulous that Illinois lawmakers would impose a whopping increase on taxpayers without passing a single budget cut.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, the former state treasurer and 2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate, says state lawmakers didn’t even bother to make easy, painless budget cuts.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

“We’ve offered just right off – Treasurer (Dan) Rutherford and I – said, ‘Look, get a constitutional amendment up on the next ballot that combines the two offices of treasurer and comptroller. You will save $12 million a year, and nobody is going to be hurt by this or feel any pain from it. It’s low-hanging fruit,” Topinka said. “We get no response.”

Topinka says she can identify at least $1 billion in painless budget cuts – eliminating duplication, anachronisms and padding that no one would ever miss.

The state Senate voted early Wednesday morning to approve a 66 percent hike in the personal income tax, raising the rate from 3 to 5 percent. The state House had approved the legislation Tuesday evening.

Gov. Pat Quinn must now sign the bill into law.

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