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Remember the budget?

Monday, Oct 31, 2016

* Jim Nowlan gives us a rundown of where we are

This fiscal year, our state’s general funds are spending $22 billion as a result of court-ordered outlays. Then, there is $12 billion in “hard expenditures” we must pay for debt service, pensions and transfers to local governments and Medicaid accounts.

We can add to those totals another $6 billion in unpaid bills. For example, the state is as much as 673 days late in reimbursing medical providers for employee health care services. […]

These expenditures total $40 billion for the year, but we have only $30 billion in revenue coming into the general funds to pay all these bills.

Of course, we say we must tighten our belts. And, of course, we always can do some of that, but less than you might imagine.

Annual state pension payments of $7.2 billion are mostly debt service for underfunding pensions and sweetening them in years past, and the state high court has said we must pay them.

During the past decade or so, the state also has cut expenditures for schools, universities and social services significantly. State employee numbers are down, from 89,000 in 2001 to 64,500 last year. […]

All I am saying here is cutting “waste and corruption,” the default budget-cutting option of the public, sure won’t alone erase a $10 billion budget shortfall.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


32 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    Please note…

    Rauner in anti-Madigan ads complains about Madigan wanting to raise taxes…

    Rauner continues to complain about the Democratic “unbalanced” budgetary votes… as the Rauner Stopgap, that Rauner finally “requested” and “took” from the SDems, and then Rauner signed… was far more unbalanced… for only 6 months.

    Rauner absolutely does not care about the budget, “until” Rauner can destroy labor, by continuing to destroy social services and state universities to get to a point to take out Illinois labor for good.

    The budget? Raunerites love there’s no budget, complain about a tax they will all vote fit eventually and Rauner will sign… because… if it were about a budget, there wouldn’t be this discussion at all.


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 9:58 am:

    So, what’s the growth rate that will be produced by the Turnaround Agenda that will erase a $10 billion FY17 deficit?

    I’m sure the whiz kids at GOMB could cipher that lickety-split. Curious that they don’t.


  3. - PublicServant - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    I’m wondering whether we can get a comment from the Republicans regarding the Nowlan column. Specifically, I’d like some specificity regarding their ideas on cuts and revenue enhancements. I won’t be holding my breath.


  4. - Cleveland Fan - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    If we had a computer draw legislative boundaries, that would save the state about $5 billion right there. And then when you factor in the $5 billion that term limits would save the state, yeah that amounts to $10 billion. /s


  5. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    Clearly the State must adjust its customer base. All families that are projected to consume more State services than they pay for in State taxes over the next ten years are to be evicted from the State.


  6. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Remember Lou Lang defending the indefensible Madigan budget being dropped on the desks of lawmakers for a vote hours before the session ended- he brought up the court ordered spending.

    What is the likelihood of getting this area of the budget reduced? All of this spending cannot be mandated by our constitution and if it it why do we even need a Governor or GA if the courts are in charge of 30 billion in spending?


  7. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    Our current political culture, in the state and the nation, has immunity to logic on numbers. It is inherently simple to figure out what we as a state want to pay for, add up those numbers, then bring in enough revenue to pay for it.

    If X is the amount we need, it is foolish to pretend we can bring in less than X and things will be OK.

    Rauner’s song and dance is that busting unions and outsourcing to his cronies will solve the budget problems. But his numbers never add up to X.


  8. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    == State employee numbers are down, from 89,000 in 2001 to 64,500 last year. ==

    2001 was a peak of sorts for State employment. That’s a reduction of 24,500 over 15 years. I’ll just note that about 11,000 people retired under the 2002 ERI and about 2,000 or so more under the 2004 ERI (which was less aggressive than 2002). Most of those employees weren’t replaced with new hires. So a bit over half the reduction occurred at the end of Ryan’s term or the beginning of Blago’s term.


  9. - Jeff Goldenblatt - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    This is what happens when millionaires want to play government, with no actual experience in governing. He ran his businesses into the ground and wants to do the same this state.


  10. - Annonin' - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    We believe Mr/Ms Cleveland Fan should adjust the budget savin’ to reflect the billions available to the state from the local control/tax freeze hustle, P3 biz land rush and abolition of prevailin’ wage.
    BTW are remap/term limits savings calculated in 2023 and 2028 dollars?


  11. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    So we need a 33 percent increase in GRF to cover court ordered and hard expenditures and past due bills.

    I don’t think even that covers all that the State is supposed to spend.

    I do not see the Democrats leading the charge for higher taxes. Especially after this election season.


  12. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    == I do not see the Democrats leading the charge for higher taxes. Especially after this election season. ==

    Agree. I don’t see it happening until Rauner calls for it and pushes it.


  13. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    Good thing we had complete democrat control in illinois for 12 years and the budget was never an issue. It really left us a strong path forward.


  14. - illinois manufacturer - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    AFSCME says it has only 37000 Who are the rest? Anyone know how many the universities have left even though they are less than a billion and now less because of the massive funding cuts.


  15. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    Yes it is totally up to the Governor to dig us out of this mess he had nothing to do with creating. The GA will offer no compromises on government consolidation, pension reform or anything else that deviates from the status quo.

    They will just shout from the rooftops that Rauner failed to deal with Madigan, as Ryan, Blagoevich and Quinn did before.


  16. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===mess he had nothing to do with creating===

    Nothing?

    You’re not a stupid person. But only a stupid person would say that.


  17. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 12:49 pm:

    “To address the problem, my friend, Martire, would raise taxes much more than policymakers will ever do. He would boost the individual income tax to 5 percent while also broadening both that tax and the sales tax.”

    Yes Rich the “smart people”just think we are one tax increase away from prosperity but won’t lift a finger to help our business community expand here through reforms like workers comp,property tax or tort reform.

    Illinois financial problems predate Rauner’s election. Only stupid people think we were financially sound then and needed to just keep doing what we were doing as far as our business environment and everything will work itself out.

    Our terrible outward migration and unemployment which predate Rauner and continue today prove otherwise.

    The fact the the GA has not lifted a finger to compromise on any of the Governor’s proposals or offered to change in any meaningful way how the Government operated under Quinn and Blagoevich is on them as well as those who blindly blame Rauner for the impasse and continue to praise the Speaker.

    The Speaker has acknowledged that there is more to be done on workers comp but two years later we see nothing.


  18. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    LP:

    I’m not sure how many times people can tell you this but maybe one of these times you’ll get it. Nobody has ever said it’s completely Rauner’s fault. We all know that we had problems before he arrived. BUT, since he has been in office he has added to those problems.

    As for your continued talk about the lack of compromise by the GA, yes, you’re mostly right. But the Governor really hasn’t been in the mood to compromise either. Again, only a hyper-partisan Raunerite wouldn’t recognize that.

    And enough already of your constant victimhood. Disagreeing with you and the Governor DOES NOT mean that we don’t think some things have to change.

    Enough of your absolutism already.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:18 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    Crain’s

    http://bit.ly/295LnYq

    “By nearly every measure, the state is worse off since Rauner took office.”

    Capiche?


  20. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    Yes I know Willy, Rauner is to blame for the Speaker not changing the way he runs Springfield despite the fact we have a Republican Governor for the first time in 12 years.

    According to you, RNUG and Last Bull Moose it is up to Rauner to propose the higher taxes and drag the Democrats kicking and screaming along with him.


  21. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:48 pm:

    LP:

    There you go again. What is it that you don’t get about the fact that Rauner is the Governor now and has been the Governor for two year. Problems existed before him. He has added to those problems. Those are two undeniable facts.


  22. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    == According to you, RNUG and Last Bull Moose it is up to Rauner to propose the higher taxes and drag the Democrats kicking and screaming along with him. ==

    That is a political calculation, not a moral judgement. Tax increases, when they do occur, happen on a bi-partisan basis. If the D’s were to propose a tax increase, Rauner would just use it as more fodder for his ad campaign against them … hence, they won’t propose it as long as Rauner is in office.


  23. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    Demoralized perhaps you can cite some of your posts demanding the Speaker as well as the Senate President have to change.

    Apparently you and others think if Rauner just agreed to raise taxes two years ago, these reforms you support but are opposed by Democratic donors would just magically happen.

    OW is the founding and only member so far of Republicans for Speaker Madigan.


  24. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:51 pm:

    As to Rauner making things worse, I would say the GA letting the income tax increase lapse (which Rauner make the mistake of asking for, so he “owns” it), the lack of a budget, and Rauner’s war on unions were the 3 straws that broke the camel’s back.


  25. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:55 pm:

    ==Problems existed before him==

    Read what I’ve said in the past. I’ve said the above many times.

    ==Apparently you and others think if Rauner just agreed to raise taxes two years ago,==

    I’ve never said that. That’s your little game of absolutism where if someone doesn’t agree with you then they must believe the polar opposite.

    When you want to acknowledge that the Governor now also plays a role in our problems let us know. Until you do so you’re demonstrating yourself to be nothing more than a Raunerite who is only interested in parroting his talking points.


  26. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    And I’ve also said multiple times that they ALL need to compromise. ALL OF THEM. Governor. Speaker. Cullerton. ALL. OF. THEM.


  27. - MOON - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    LP

    Its up to Rauner to sit down with the leaders and put together a balanced budget which must include a tax increase. In order to do this Rauner must forget his “Turn Around Agenda”.

    If Rauner did what I suggest I am sure the leaders are willing to put the needed votes on the board. Thus any tax increase will be a shared responsibility.


  28. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    As RNUG said, a political calculation is not a moral judgment. I do not see how the State spends less than the Courts require. That plus “hard expenditures ” exceed GRF revenues. Math says a tax increase is required.

    Politics says the Democrats will not act alone. Either Rauner leads or the State condition worsens. While I hope for a bipartisan solution, I do not expect one.

    And while I agree that changes can make the State more competitive and grow faster, I don’t think we can make a huge change in the short term.


  29. - anon - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    === Good thing we had complete democrat control in illinois for 12 years and the budget was never an issue. It really left us a strong path forward. ===

    The budget was far less in the red under Gov. Quinn than it is today. So how is that Quinn’s fault?


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    Don’t have me embarrass you again where there are posts that compromise by all us needed.

    Making it about me means you have no point. You already know that too.


  31. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 5:46 pm:

    Rauner and the Republicans made a political calculation to vilify and attack Madigan, unions and other opponents from day 1. When that happened it made the governing decisions next to impossible because where is the political benefit for Madigan? Now, if the governor came in from day 1 with a governing mindset then some things could have been accomplished. Madigan has worked with GOP governors, passed workers comp reform and whacked the CTU in the past.


  32. - peon - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 6:24 pm:

    Nowlan’s column is annoying because it continues the Rauner-Madigan personal conflict meme, not the underlying issue that there is a stalemate because the Governor wants labor legislation for which he does not have the votes.


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