Governor Pat Quinn made an unusual appeal to House Democrats Monday, appearing at a meeting of the entire caucus. Quinn was asking lawmakers to make the 2011 income tax increase permanent.
The meeting was closed to the public, but after, House Speaker Michael Madigan praised the governor for showing up.
He says Quinn did an "excellent" job of arguing for the tax extension.
"He took every question, he answered every question, he got very animated on a lot of his answers, because at times he wasn't hearing what he wanted to hear."
Madigan says Democrats are still "significantly away from 60" - the number of votes that'll be needed to pass the tax extension.
"I think it's significant that there was opposition expressed from all sectors of our caucus."
Although some Democrats are skittish about the tax hike, it's not clear how many alternatives they have.
Without that added revenue, Quinn says Illinois would have to drastically cut state spending. He's suggesting everything from education to the state police are on the chopping block.
Both Quinn and Madigan say they'll continue working to persuade enough Democrats to go along.