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Cullerton nixes talk of extending temporary income tax hike before '14 race

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cullerton.jpgIllinois Senate John Cullerton (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

If there was ever doubt, Senate President John Cullerton Friday slammed the door on any chance that Democrats might try in the coming weeks to extend the temporary income tax increase set to expire in 2015.

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) sounded the alarm in an online interview with the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think-tank.

Cullerton, however, told the Chicago Sun-Times that it's an issue best left for candidates in the 2014 governor's race to sort out rather than ramming it through later this month, early next month or in January. On Thursday, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) sent a memo encouraging lawmakers to be prepared for a six-day session in January, when passing legislation becomes easier.

"My thought would be timing," Cullerton said. "We'd have an election for governor, and that would be the best time to have a debate about what the proposal ought to be.

"I'd think the Republican running for governor and Gov. Quinn, if he's running, would have a proposal for what they want to do: Keep it at 3.75 percent, do other changes or make it higher than that.

"I just think it would be the best time," he said. "We'd have an election."

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