* Greg Hinz at Crain’s writes today about an editorial board meeting with Bill Brady late last week. Among other things, Brady said he wants to do a huge pension bond deal, perhaps as much as $50 billion.
But most of what Hinz writes about today is Brady’s claim that he can cut ten percent of all spending to balance the budget. The object, Brady said, is to cut 10 percent from $45 billion of available spending. But Hinz heard something different…
Mr. Brady’s own number guys have told him that so many things like federal programs and debt service would have to be exempt that the remaining programs would have to be cut nearly 20%.
No, he hasn’t been told that, he replied. But “it’s possible” the average cuts would exceed 10%, depending on how fast his administration could boost income by creating new private-sector jobs.
And Brady’s numbers for the deficit are off as well….
Once you take things like the $14-billion Medicaid program off the table, which is mostly funded by the federal government, “maybe $30 billion” remains on the table for the 10% cuts. And the real deficit actually is more like $7 billion than $5 billion, [Taxpayers Federation president Tom Johnson] says.
In other words, without new revenues, “you’d need about 20%” in cuts to balance the budget.
That would be on top of what has already been cut.
And according to the comptroller’s office, the state’s bill backlog for last fiscal year now stands at more than $6.4 billion, or 23 percent of total FY 2010 base revenues. On top of that, the state has accumulated another $3.5 billion in unpaid bills for this fiscal year.
For sure, $44,000 isn’t a whole lot of money compared to the state’s $13 billion budget deficit.
But, when it comes to cutting the state budget during an economic downturn, you have to start somewhere.
The early returns on one of Gov. Pat Quinn’s attempts to reduce state spending show at least three of his agencies have complied with an edict to cut out magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
The governor’s directive, issued in July, also asked agencies to find savings in other areas, including telephone costs, travel and overtime. […]
At the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the order has meant the end of morning delivery of two daily newspapers and the political newsletter Capitol Fax.
Like every other publication in this state, I do have several agencies as subscribers. I haven’t pushed them for payment or complained about late payments and I’m more than willing to work with the agencies as they try to get through this. All they have to do is ask.
* In other kinda-sorta related news…
Gov. Pat Quinn says he’d push for legislation forcing public officials to pay income tax on their state salaries, even if business losses wipe out their income.
Quinn has criticized Republican Bill Brady for not paying federal income taxes, implying the state senator did something improper.
But Brady didn’t pay taxes because his state salary was more than wiped out by his business losses.
Quinn said Monday that Brady should’ve paid taxes on the publicly funded part of his salary anyway.
Gov. Pat Quinn says Republican opponent Bill Brady and House Speaker Michael Madigan wouldn’t be in office today if a constitutional amendment to impose term limits he supported years ago had gotten on the ballot.
In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Quinn wouldn’t say if Madigan has overstayed his welcome in Springfield. Quinn says it’s up to voters in Madigan’s district and lawmakers in Springfield to decide if he keeps his seat and remains speaker.
* Quinn vague on ideas for Ill. future: Gov. Pat Quinn isn’t offering many details on what more he would do to repair the state budget or where he’d like to take Illinois if he wins a full term.
* Republicans, Democrats fight over credit for budget plan
* Ill. Gov. Quinn highlights tax amnesty program
* Quinn: Delinquent taxpayers must pay by Nov. 8
* Delinquent Illinois taxpayers have five weeks to pay up, avoid penalties
* State wins $23M from debt collector
* Schoenburg: Stout may see job protection from new angle
* DCFS wins $9.5 million for older foster kids
* Schools predict harm from end of hold harmless
* Illinois Labor Law Will Keep Employment Program Going