Pat Quinn (D) is running for Governor of Illinois: The current governor took over Blagojevich's seat in January. | Read Full Profile
Illinois lawmakers voted to raise the state income tax rate from 3 to 5 percent.
The 66 percent hike in personal income tax is an effort to deal with the state's staggering budget crisis. With an additional raise in corporate tax rate, the hike is expected to generate about $6.8 billion dollars a year for the state.
The income tax increase is the largest in Illinois state history. The Illinois Senate approved the measure early Wednesday morning by a vote of 30-29. The House approved it late Tuesday.
Initial reaction to the hike was not positive.
"This state is a MESS!," Facebook user Michelle Kulesza writes. "They'll blow through our tax money just like they have with our pensions! I'm sure businesses will flock to Chicago now, I'm sure the private sector is going to start hiring again...we are such a disgrace! We're already ranked 48th in economic growth...how is this going to help any of us?"
Some NBCChicago.com viewers suggested they may seek other living arrangements.
"Time to move out of this state. i can't afford to live and/or work here," wrote Mary Burns.
Still others pointed at the state's leadership.
"Can we start the recall voting now?" wrote Facebook user Dave Stoltz.
"I can't wait to vote you out of office," says Virginia Marquez Casas on Facebook.
The bill now goes to Governor Quinn, who supports the plan.