Peoria Public Radio News
8:14 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Budget will only get worse if legislators don't act

A new report projects Illinois’ state budget will go from bad to worse if legislators don’t address some key issues. IPR’s Tony Arnold reports.

If things stay as they are - Illinois can expect to see more money devoted to rising pension costs and more bills go unpaid.That’s according to a new report by The Civic Federation - a financial watchdog group. The report says pension contributions are eating up money for other essential government programs - and will go from 5 billion dollars this fiscal year, to 7 billion five years from now. Laurence Msall heads The Civic Federation. “Illinois is in a horrible financial situation. It is continuing to get worse and we’re at the breaking point where core government services will not be able to be funded if we are going to maintain the existing pension structure.”  Another factor is the personal income tax rate. Governor Pat Quinn raised it to five percent two years ago - but it’s scheduled to go down in 2015. The decision to keep the income tax rate where it is - or cut it - is expected to be a big part of next year’s governor’s race.