ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Two Democratic state legislators from Alton say they voted for a stiff Illinois income tax increase because state government was headed toward insolvency.

State Sen. William Haine and state Rep. Dan Beiser met Friday with the editorial board of The Telegraph newspaper in Alton. Beiser says the state was “due to go to junk bond status,” meaning the state could only borrow at 15 to 16 percent interest rates.

Haine told the board there would have been massive layoffs across Illinois and institutions that depend on state money would be harmed. He says schools, hospitals, pharmacies and local municipalities would all be affected. He says he knows many taxpayers are upset but essential services had to continue.

Both lawmakers said they wouldn’t vote to extend the tax increase.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press


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