Quinn budget increases education spending

President of the University of Illinois Robert  Easter, right, speaks to lawmakers during a committee hearing at the Illinois State Capitol March 21, 2014 in Springfield Ill. The heads of several Illinois agencies and universities appear before committee to discuss the potential impact of next year's budget cuts. The state is facing a roughly $1.3 billion cut in spending due to the scheduled roll back of the temporary income tax increase. The meeting comes days before Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to give his 2015 budget address. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
President of the University of Illinois Robert Easter, right, speaks to lawmakers during a committee hearing at the Illinois State Capitol March 21, 2014 in Springfield Ill. The heads of several Illinois agencies and universities appear before committee to discuss the potential impact of next year's budget cuts. The state is facing a roughly $1.3 billion cut in spending due to the scheduled roll back of the temporary income tax increase. The meeting comes days before Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to give his 2015 budget address. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed a $36.8 billion state spending plan that includes more than $300 million extra for education as long as lawmakers make the temporary income tax increase permanent.

Quinn gave an overview during a Wednesday speech. He says “maintaining” the tax increase means no drastic cuts. He also proposes giving homeowners a $500 refund, regardless of their home’s worth.

Still, the proposed budget does increase spending roughly 4 percent over last year, when lawmakers approved a $35.4 billion budget. Illinois will also lose revenue if it increases the earned income tax credit as Quinn has proposed.

Quinn budget director Jerry Stermer said after the speech that Illinois is still saving money from Quinn’s past decisions, including closing state facilities, a re-negotiated union contract and a Medicaid overhaul.

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