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Editor's desk: Hands up! Michael Madigan wants even more

Got an extra $1,000 lying around that you wouldn’t mind giving to the state of Illinois?

Me neither.

But it could cost the average Illinois family at least that much if the budget bill passed Wednesday night by the Illinois House is enacted.

With the state close to entering its 12th month without a fiscal 2016 budget, Madigan introduced a 500-page budget document earlier Wednesday that proposes spending about $47.5 billion in fiscal 2017. That’s about $7 billion more than the state projects to bring in, according to an analysis by the governor’s office.

And the House actually passed – rammed through, more like it – the spending plan the same day it was introduced on a 63-53 vote. I’m sure all 63 of those “yes” votes read the whole thing before voting.

For the record, all McHenry County representatives, including Democrat Jack Franks, voted against.

With income tax hike proposals coming from many directions, the Illinois Policy Institute projected that Illinois’ rate would have to increase from 3.75 percent to at least 5.5 percent to pay for Madigan’s spending plan. That alone would be about a $1,000-a-year tax hike for the average Illinoisan.

Sound like a good plan?

Gov. Bruce Rauner promises to veto it. Unless eight representatives change their votes, the House doesn’t have enough to override.

But if this is the starting point, taxpayers need to be prepared. Just when you didn’t think things could get worse in Springfield, they suddenly did.

• Dan McCaleb is executive editor of the Northwest Herald. Email him at dmccaleb@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Dan_McCaleb.

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