The Civic Federation is releasing a new proposal it says will balance the state's budget, eliminate its bill backlog and reduce taxes. The plan includes capping spending to help the state pay off its $5.4 billion backlog of unpaid bills over the next five years. It also would extend the state's temporary income tax increase by a year before reducing tax rates gradually, and calls for taxing pension and social security income. Officials from the government research group also suggest building a ``rainy day'' fund to help state budgeters cope with future economic downturns. They say implementing the plan would allow Illinois to move beyond a ``perpetual fiscal crisis.'' Authors herald the recent pension reform legislation passed by the Legislature, but say that won't be enough to solve the problem.
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