IIFS Blog

02.04.16

State Bond Costs Increase After Downgrades

Based on available market data, the State of Illinois paid approximately $40 million more for the $480 million of new bonds it sold in January than it would have before its bond ratings were downgraded at the end of last year. As previously discussed here, due to the FY2016 budget impasse, two of...

01.14.16

Governor’s Budget Projection Shows Growth in Unpaid Bills

A new report by Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration projects that the State of Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills could grow to $25.0 billion in FY2019 from $4.4 billion in FY2015 based on current tax and spending policies. The three-year forecast, issued on January 6, 2016, covers...

01.07.16

Illinois Prepares for January Capital Bond Sale

After a 20-month hiatus from the municipal bond market, the State of Illinois recently announced it would sell bonds later this month in order to continue paying for ongoing capital projects in need of additional funding. According to the bond sale documents posted online, the State will sell $480...

12.23.15

2015 Year in Review for Institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability Blog Posts

The following were among the most highly read posts provided by the Institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability in 2015. Understandably, they represent the most closely followed Illinois fiscal issue of the year: the ongoing state budget impasse. The posts have been listed in chronological...

12.03.15

State of Illinois Group Health Insurance Bills Climb to More than $2 Billion

As Illinois enters the sixth month of fiscal year 2016 without a budget, the backlog of unpaid group health insurance bills has reached more than $2 billion and is likely to grow much larger. In the absence of an FY2016 budget, the group health insurance program is one of the major areas of State...

11.25.15

New Plan for the State of Illinois to Borrow for Operating Costs Advances

In the absence of a budget for FY2016, the State of Illinois is moving forward with a plan to issue debt through the Illinois Finance Authority to fund some essential operating expenses. However, the loans could cost the State millions in interest over the next 10 to 20 years based on information...

11.12.15

Proposed State of Illinois Pension Contributions to Increase by $288.8 Million in FY2017

The State of Illinois’ contributions to its five pension funds will rise by $288.8 million to $7.8 billion in the next budget year, according to preliminary estimates by the retirement systems. The proposed 3.8% increase will add to the State’s budgetary pressures in the year that...

10.30.15

Illinois Hit with Downgrades as Budget Stalemate Continues

Two of the three major rating agencies have cut the State of Illinois’ bond ratings due to its ongoing budget crisis and worsening financial condition. These downgrades make Illinois the only state credit currently rated below the ‘A’ category and signal a weakened capacity for...

10.15.15

Will the State of Illinois Run Out of Money?

With Illinois operating without a budget for more than three months, concerns have arisen about whether the State is going to run out of money. The simple answer is no—at least not in the way that running out of money is typically understood. Despite the lack of a budget since fiscal year...

09.25.15

Video Gaming Continues to Grow in Illinois While Casinos and Lottery Falter

Revenue collected by the State of Illinois from the largest two areas of legal gaming in the State, riverboat casinos and lottery, both declined significantly in fiscal year 2015 while the State’s more recently implemented video gaming continued to grow. However, unlike previous years the...

09.17.15

Cook County Health’s FY2016 Budget Focuses on Outpatient Care

On September 9, 2015, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved the preliminary budget of the County’s public health system for the fiscal year that begins on December 1, 2015 and runs through November 30, 2016. The vote cleared the way for inclusion of the preliminary budget in the...

09.03.15

Several States Face Budget Impasses

The State of Illinois is often cited for its unique financial challenges. However, at least in one respect, Illinois does not stand alone in its financial difficulties. Illinois is one of four states that began the fiscal year without an enacted budget and is one of three still struggling to...

08.20.15

Illinois Spending Continues Without an FY2016 Budget

Even without an annual operating budget, the State of Illinois has already spent billions of dollars for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2015. What remains unclear is how much the State is obligated to pay out for the entire year and how that compares with estimated FY2016 revenues. The State...

08.12.15

Capital Budget Approved But Some Capitol Renovations Nixed

Although the State of Illinois in entering the second month of its new fiscal year without an operating budget, the Governor and General Assembly have agreed on a capital construction budget for fiscal year 2016.   Governor Bruce Rauner issued several line item vetoes to the capital...

07.23.15

Why Illinois Lawmakers Stand to Receive Pay Increases

More than three weeks into fiscal year 2016, the State of Illinois continues to operate without an annual budget. Despite the lack of a budget, members of the General Assembly are reportedly in line to get pay raises of about 2%, or at least $1,300 each, for the year that began on July 1, 2015. The...