- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed a $36.8 billion state spending plan that includes more than $300 million extra for education as long as lawmakers make the temporary income tax increase permanent.

Quinn gave an overview during a Wednesday speech. He says “maintaining” the tax increase means no drastic cuts. He also proposes giving homeowners a $500 refund, regardless of their home’s worth.

Still, the proposed budget does increase spending roughly 4 percent over last year, when lawmakers approved a $35.4 billion budget. Illinois will also lose revenue if it increases the earned income tax credit as Quinn has proposed.

Quinn budget director Jerry Stermer said after the speech that Illinois is still saving money from Quinn’s past decisions, including closing state facilities, a re-negotiated union contract and a Medicaid overhaul.

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