Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is scheduled to make his third annual budget presentation this Wednesday. It comes as the top leaders in state government have gone 19 months without even trying to balance the budget. Gabe Petek monitors state finances for S&P Global Ratings. He says he’s not aware of any other state having gone this long without a spending plan.
“I think it’s important to recognize that Illinois has separated itself from the state sector, and not in a good way." -Gabe Petek
State finances often suffer during recessions, but America has had eight years of economic growth. Many states have used that time to pay off debt and build up reserves. S&P says while it’s not predicting an economic downturn, if one were to occur, Illinois would be "particularly vulnerable.”
Petek says Illinois' fiscal crisis is “a man-made byproduct of policy ultimatums placed upon the state’s budget process." Gov. Rauner has insisted Democrats adopt his pro-business agenda as a precondition for negotiating a balanced budget.