Illinois’ budget, approved back in may, is not doing enough to shore up the state’s bank accounts. Laurence Msall, president of the Chicago-based Civic Federation, says too much of the state budget is tied up in debt service and pension obligations, as the temporary income tax increase begins its phase-out.
Msall, whose group has published an analysis of the state budget – which took effect July 1 – says in a state which has a reputation for being light on services, a lot of the money’s gone before any service is provided.
“The state of Illinois is missing out on opportunities to stablize its goverment’s finances and missing opportunities to pay down the unpaid bills because it continues to ignore the long term consequences of the short term political difficulties of pension reform” says Msall.
The pension crisis is the subject of a conference committee, which has been meeting since July and which may or may not have a bill ready for this month’s veto session.