Illinois lawmakers are grappling with how to avoid major cuts to schools and social services next year. Lawmakers could make the temporary income tax permanent in order to avoid an estimated $1.6 billion loss in revenue next year. They are also considering changing the state's tax code from a "flat" tax, where everyone pays the same rate, to a progressive system which taxes higher-earners at a higher rate. Democrats must weigh the political risks of a tax hike in a year Republicans are making streamlined government spending a focal point in their campaigns for governor and legislative seats. House Speaker Michael Madigan last week abandoned a third proposal that would boost education funding by tacking a 3 percent surcharge on all earned income over $1 million because of a lack of enough support.
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