Illinois lawmakers enter final stretch with big agenda

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois General Assembly is in its final stretch.

Lawmakers return to Springfield on Tuesday with five weeks and an ambitious agenda to go.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker is in his first legislative session and has asked for some big changes before the General Assembly's scheduled May 31 adjournment.

Pritzker wants approval of a constitutional amendment to create a graduated income tax system . It would replace the current flat 4.95% rate and charge higher rates for wealthier taxpayers. He wants legislative approval now so voters have plenty of time to absorb the proposed change before they're asked to approve it in fall 2020.

He also wants to legalize recreational marijuana use and sports betting as ways to generate revenue and he wants consensus on a multibillion-dollar capital construction program.

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