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State

Illinois Senate leader warns of $3B budget hole

CHICAGO — A top Illinois Democrat is warning of a nearly $3 billion state budget hole that includes a $1.6 billion revenue decline next year when the state's income tax increase expires.

State Senate President John Cullerton predicted dire cuts during a news conference Monday. He asked Republicans to come forward with ideas on balancing the budget, specifically those running for Illinois governor.

Cullerton didn't say what he'd do with the budget. He said everything is on the table, including extending the income tax increase.

Cullerton says he called the news conference because Republicans objected to Gov. Pat Quinn moving his budget address back more than month. It now falls after the March 18 primary.

Republicans called it a political ploy. Quinn says he needs more time for a long-range spending blueprint.

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