The idea of paying more taxes to the State of Illinois is simply infuriating when what the average citizen of the state really wants to do is wring the necks of the political hacks who have long run this state in their own interests. Two consecutive governors indicted. Genuine ethics reform thwarted.

And, yet, facing a massive debt and revenue shortfall, we’re certain there’s no alternative to a permanent income tax increase. And we want the state legislature to pass that increase before June 30.

To allow the current barebones budget to take effect July 1 would be to devastate the social service backbone that cares for our state’s most vulnerable:

Foster care funding halved. Already modest provision for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled slashed. Day care for the working poor gone. Support for abused women and families cut. The list goes on. The devastation would hit every neighborhood.

This is no bluff. There are only days to avoid this catastrophe. New taxes paid to this sorry state are a bitter pill. Get a stiff drink. It’s time to swallow that pill.

Here are the calls you need to make:

Rep. Deborah Graham, 708-445-9520 and 217-782-6400

Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, 773-378-5902 and 217-782-5962

Sen. Don Harmon, 708-848-2002 and 217-782-8176

Sen. Kimberly Lightford, 708-343-7444 and 217-782-8505