Group urges dramatic steps, quick action on Illinois budget

CHICAGO (AP) - A new report says Illinois' financial situation is so bad that the state would have to slash spending by more than 26 percent to balance next year's budget through cuts alone.

The nonprofit Civic Federation released its proposed five-year plan for stabilizing Illinois' finances on Friday.

The group says lawmakers' delay in passing a balanced state budget means fixing the problem will take longer and require more dramatic measures.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-majority Legislature have gone almost two years without approving a budget, causing Illinois to rack up $11 billion in overdue bills.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall says Rauner and legislators "need to take action immediately."

The group recommends Illinois limit spending growth and increase the individual income tax rate from 3.75 to 5.25 percent.

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