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Quinn comments on Ill. tax increase, death penalty

The Illinois General Assembly has passed several major bills in the last few days of its lame-duck session.

Two of the bills, one on an income tax increase and the other on abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, were the focus of a press conference held today by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Here are some highlights of Quinn's comments:

On the tax increase:

  • Noted that the 2-percentage-point increase is only temporary. The measure would increase personal income taxes 67 percent and business income taxes by 46 percent.
  • Stressed the importance of "unprecedented" restraint on state government spending in order to get Illinois back on a positive financial track.
  • Said that the "next four years are a period of recovery."
  • The Chicago Tribune reports that Quinn "rejected criticism that he had misled taxpayers by saying during his campaign that he would only sign a smaller increase."

On the death penalty:

  • Mostly mum on the issue, but said that he would "follow his conscience" and give the bill "lots of study."
  • Will consider the opinions of constituents but also those of the members of the Illinois General Assembly.
  • Quinn has said he supports the death penalty when properly applied, but he hasn't lifted the moratorium, according to the Associated Press.