Illinois does not have enough cash in the bank to pay five billion dollars’ worth of its bills. The state is contributing a fifth of its spending on pensions, after years of skipping out, to the point that Illinois' retirement systems are owed 100 billion dollars. And Illinois' budget structure is not equipped to handle it. That’s the takeaway of a report released by the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs. The report explores what Illinois can do to get on a path of fiscal stability.
Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky asked David Merriman, an economist who is co-authoring the study, about what effect Illinois’ 2011 income tax hike is having on the budget, and what will happen if legislators allow it to expire, as scheduled, in 2015.