Updated Projections from IGPA’s Fiscal Futures Model
Richard Dye, Nancy Hudspeth and Andrew Crosby
JANUARY 19, 2015
As we begin a new calendar year, the state of Illinois continues to be in ever-more-dire financial straits. This fiscal crisis is not new, of course. Indeed, four years ago, Illinois faced “the most dangerous fiscal conditions in modern history,” prompting lawmakers to adopt a temporary tax increase. That tax increase was ratcheted back on January 1, 2015, well before the state’s shaky finances were stabilized. As 2015 dawns, the state’s fiscal situation is about to get dramatically worse.
While a number of factors have played a role in creating the ongoing fiscal crisis, the root of Illinois’ problems is state government’s long-established practice of pay-later budgeting. Over the years, Illinois has repeatedly avoided making the difficult decisions necessary for the state to live within its means, preferring temporary solutions and gimmicks over substantive, permanent, and prudent changes in taxes and spending. Continuously spending more money than comes in as revenue and pushing the bills farther and farther into the future is very risky behavior. In 2012, a national expert on state finance observed, “Illinois has been doing backflips on a high wire, without a net.” In 2015, the situation is more bleak, and the potential consequences for every person in Illinois more dire.
Read the entire UofI Fiscal Report here: THE FISCAL FUTURES PROJECT
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