* We saw a whole lot of political back and forth yesterday after Gov. Quinn signed most of the budget. But here’s the most honest takedown I saw, from David Lloyd, the director of Voices for Illinois Children’s Fiscal Policy Center….
The new budget stops Illinois’ progress improving its finances in its tracks. For the next year, Illinoisans will live under an irresponsible budget because of the failure of the General Assembly to take the common-sense path of extending income tax rates beyond their scheduled expiration.
Rather than confront reality and continue to pay down billions in unpaid bills, lawmakers took Illinois in the opposite direction by using various budget maneuvers that try to wish away the $2 billion revenue collapse.
A year from now, Illinois’ financial dam will truly break. Revenue losses will reach nearly $5 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2015. That will mean deep reductions in investments in schools, safe communities, and other areas crucial to economic growth and our state’s future. Unless income tax rates are extended, Illinois’ already worst-in-the-nation credit rating will likely go even lower. The way out is for lawmakers to extend the current tax rates beyond December 31.
Keep in mind,that the “nearly $5 billion” figure used above is revenue alone. The borrowing needs to be paid back, some expenses were kicked down the road, etc. The real budgetary hole is far higher.