Southern Illinois mayors rally against proposed budget cuts

BELLEVILLLE, Ill. (AP) — Elected leaders in 11 southern Illinois cities are rallying against proposed state budget cuts they say would “devastate” local governments. Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed a 50 percent cut to state income tax revenue provided to cities, counties, village and townships as Illinois faces a multi-billion dollar budget hole. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the mayors of Alton, Collinsville and nine other cities near St. Louis spoke out at a Wednesday news conference in Belleville. Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert said his city stands to lose $2.2 million in July and would have to close a fire station, lay off police officers and possibly raise taxes. The local mayors said they hope to meet with Rauner during an expected gubernatorial visit to the area next month.