- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says making the income tax increase permanent will prevent drastic budget cuts and help pay down the state’s backlog of unpaid bills.

Illinois’ temporary income tax increase was approved in 2011 and begins to roll back next year, creating a roughly $1.6 billion revenue drop.

Quinn says “maintaining” the tax rates will keep money for crucial services and schools. Republicans have vowed to fight any extension of the increase.

Quinn gave his budget address Wednesday.

His speech comes as he embarks on a re-election campaign that’s expected to be difficult. GOP businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW’-nur) has blasted Quinn’s leadership.

Illinois also faces a low credit rating and uncertainty with its pension debt.

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