SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has asked for more time before he delivers his budget address, in part to prepare a five-year spending blueprint.
Quinn asked lawmakers Monday to delay the annual budget speech from Feb. 19 to March 26, an event that will feature Quinn’s take on how the state should handle the mid-year expiration of a temporary state income tax.
According to Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson, the delay will allow the Democrat to consider late-arriving economic news and to take a longer look ahead.
“In addition to the details of an actual budget, which the governor will do on the 26th, we thought it would also be useful to lay out a five-year budget blueprint to really show the meaningful impact over the next five years and where Illinois could be,” Anderson said.
But that puts the speech after the March 18 primary election. Anderson noted that 13 of the last 20 budget addresses have been delayed, but Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno was not buying it.
“To push back the presentation of the state’s budget by five weeks for purely political purposes is a disservice to the taxpayers,” the Lemont Republican said. “It’s an abuse of the legislative process and I resent it.”
Quinn must address the end of the temporary income tax hike imposed in 2012. The administration has said revenue will drop by $2 billion in the second half of the year that begins July 1, necessitating deep cuts or replacement income.
The governor’s request will be presented as legislation to lawmakers who must approve it before the date can be changed in law.
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