- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Senate president agrees with Gov. Pat Quinn on extending what was supposed to be a temporary income tax increase.

John Cullerton is a Chicago Democrat. He also praised the plan Quinn announced Wednesday to provide homeowners $500 in property tax relief annually.

Cullerton said after Quinn’s budget speech that the state used the income tax increase from 2011 to pay down $3 billion in back-due bills and fully fund large pension payments.

But Cullerton says the state must maintain the same level of revenue in order to “stay on this path of fiscal stability.” If the income tax expired in 2015 it would cut a $1.6 billion hole in the budget.

He says it would be unacceptable to allow draconian cuts in state services - including education.

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