Analysis: Three ways to improve Illinois' Budget Process
Governor Bruce Rauner just gave his budget address to the Illinois General Assembly and has formally submitted his budget proposal for consideration — his budget would spend $37.6 billion and is estimating that the state will bring in $37.9 billion. This begins an important process that our elected officials should go through every year — creating and passing a budget. In recent years they have generally failed to do so, until a few Republicans joined Democrats in overriding Rauner’s budget veto. From 2015 to 2017, Illinois had no budget, but spending continued due to court orders thereby adding a several billion dollar bill backlog on top of Illinois’s mounting pension debt. The Governor’s budget does not include a plan to tackle the bill backlog and also requires pension cost shifts to balance his budget (which if they don’t occur, would make his budget over $1 billion out of balance).
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