CHICAGO — Gov. Pat Quinn’s effort to build support for an income tax hike to help dig Illinois out of a $12.8 billion budget hole and liquidity crisis was helped along this week by a local government watchdog group that endorsed tax increases if accompanied by $2.5 billion in spending cuts and pension reforms.

The report from the Civic Federation of Chicago comes as the state is ready today to formally launch its fiscal 2011 budget process with the posting online of state budget figures that will serve as the basis for Quinn’s next budget proposal.

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