Gov. Pat Quinn’s state budget address this week could be the most crucial of his political career.
His pitch to lawmakers comes as Illinois grapples with a major financial dilemma: Whether to extend a temporary income tax increase. And Quinn is facing a serious re-election challenge from Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner (ROW’-nur), who already refers to Quinn as “the worst governor in America.”
It’s the first major fiscal issue since Rauner won the GOP nod.
Quinn is expected to reveal plans for when the tax sunsets and leaves a roughly $1.6 billion revenue hole, making deep cuts likely. The speech in Springfield on Wednesday will also be his opportunity to deliver a message to critical groups, like unions, that’ve been displeased with him and that he’ll need come November.