Experts: Recession worst `fiscal cliff' outcome

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Experts predict that Illinois could lose $1 billion in federal grants if leaders in Washington allow the nation to fall off the so-called "fiscal cliff."

But they say the state could be hit far worse by the recession that's sure to follow. That could mean another $1 billion in lost revenue.

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders must reach a deal on raising revenue and cutting spending by month's end to avoid automatic tax increases and across-the-board cuts from taking effect.

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates Illinois could get about $1 billion less in programs for education, housing, defense and more.

But recession is the greater fear.

State Revenue Department officials estimate a recession could choke income and sales tax revenue by an estimated $1 billion through mid-2014.

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