The Chicago Transit Authority this week proposed a $1.3 billion 2010 budget that relies on a fare hike, service cuts, other spending reductions, and dipping into capital funding to eliminate a $300 million operating deficit.

The proposal sets the stage for intense lobbying of Illinois lawmakers for a bailout and efforts to win union concessions. Even with a sales tax increase approved last year, the recession’s impact is cutting so deeply into revenue collections as costs  rise for pensions and union contracts that additional funding support is needed absent state help, officials warned.

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