A top House Democrat wants to make a state income tax hike permanent and raise the retirement age to get Illinois out of its pension mess. Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang rolled out the proposal today. It would make the 67% income-tax increase of 2011 permanent. That money would be dedicated to huge payments the state needs to make to catch up with a $96 billion deficit in its pension accounts. The tax is supposed to expire at the end of 2014. Gov. Pat Quinn did not say whether he supports extending the tax hike when asked. But the Democratic governor said the pension crisis can't be fixed with just more money. Lang's proposal also sets retirement age at 67.
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