Illinois Politicians Are Only Playing At Balancing The Budget

The state of Illinois has not had a budget for over 2 years. Our biggest issue, pensions, is not being addressed.  Here is a quick recap of the high-level numbers, sticking points and, falsehood.

Rauner’s proposed budget is $37B

Democrats budget is $36.5B

We’re on track to spend $39B

Democrats want a tax increase from 3.75% to 4.95%

Rauner wants property tax freeze

Dems offer a 4 year freeze.

Madigan wants exemptions for Chicago Public Schools and municipal pensions.

Rauner says he’ll veto the bill because of the income tax hike. His budget is even higher than the proposed. So, how was he planning on paying for it? (Trickle down?)

We haven’t cut any spending to speak of. We’ve not addressed pension reform or unpaid liabilities.

So, while the politicians are giving themselves a pat on the back for staying in Springfield this past weekend, doing what they should have done 2 years ago, don’t be fooled.

They have not trimmed any spending.

They have not dealt with the biggest cause of our issue: Unfunded pensions / pension reform

They don’t have an answer for the $15B in unpaid bills.

Unfunded state pension: $130B

290%+ of revenue

$14k/ capita

Other states are $1 -$4K per capita (Connecticut is the exception)

We have $15B in unpaid bills with a 12% interest.

They want to borrow money to pay the backlog. Reduce the fee to 6%. But, this is not in the budget. To get a loan at that rate would require a dedicated income stream as part of the loan agreement… ie more taxes.

Our per-capita revenue and spending are not out of line with bordering states. It is the mismanagement of the spending that is the cause of our problems.