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Report: No Easy Fix for Illinois’ Financial Woes
Report: No Easy Fix for Illinois’ Financial Woes

It’s uncertain whether Illinois lawmakers will address the state’s nearly $100 billion pension shortfall when they return to Springfield for the final week of the fall legislative session.

But even if they do, Illinois won’t be out of the woods financially.

That was the takeaway of a sobering new study by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs Fiscal Futures Project.

Professor Richard Dye is one of the report’s authors. He tells The Associated Press that Illinois’ finances are in such bad shape it will take a multipronged approach to fix it.

It concluded Illinois’ finances are in such bad shape it will take a multipronged approach to fix it. Dye says that means a mix of increasing revenue, cutting spending and reducing the state’s nearly $100 billion unfunded pension liability.

Dye says the problem is serious and will require “very tough choices.”

But he says it may just not be in lawmakers’ interest to say how bad it is or to deal “different kinds of pain,” such as cutting spending or raising taxes.

The study also found that even if lawmakers make the temporary income tax hike passed in 2011 permanent, the state is still on course to have a more than $7 billion budget gap by 2025.