IIFS Blog

05.19.16

State Budget Impasse Continues as New Fiscal Year Approaches

With the current year’s budget still incomplete, the State of Illinois is now facing the prospect of starting another year without a financial plan. Due to a political dispute between Illinois’ Republican Governor and Democratic legislators who control the General Assembly, the State...

05.05.16

State Capital Budget Shortfall Continues to Grow

The State of Illinois can add another complication to its already stressed financial condition, an $800.7 million shortfall in its capital spending plan caused by failure in several of the dedicated revenue sources enacted to fund debt service. The State relies heavily on the sale of bonds to fund...

04.22.16

Illinois Swap Liabilities Looming After Downgrades

The State of Illinois’ budget impasse could cost taxpayers another $138 million due to liabilities associated with its swaps portfolio, if the lack of a spending plan causes its bond ratings to fall much further. As previously discussed here, two of the three major rating agencies cut...

04.06.16

Interest Penalties on Illinois’ Overdue Health Insurance Bills Keep Rising

Due to its growing backlog of overdue group health insurance bills, the State of Illinois is expected to pay a total of at least $454 million in interest penalties in the current and upcoming budget years, according to a new report. The report by the General Assembly’s Commission on...

03.25.16

Illinois’ State Budget Deficits Overshadow Continued Economic Growth

As the State of Illinois’ budget impasse continues to drag on, it is commonly overlooked that the underlying economy and tax base in the State continue to grow. In FY2017 the State of Illinois is projected to have an additional $631 million in General Funds revenues available compared to...

03.03.16

Proposed Illinois Budget for FY2017 Has $3.5 Billion Gap

With the budget for the current fiscal year still incomplete, Governor Bruce Rauner proposed a financial plan for the next budget year with an operating deficit of $3.5 billion. The proposed budget for fiscal year 2017, which begins on July 1, 2016 and ends on June 30, 2017, was issued on February...

02.17.16

Penalties on Overdue Bills Add Up for State of Illinois

In recent years, Illinois’ delayed payment of bills has caused financial stress for vendors, social service agencies and local governments. It has also cost the State $1.0 billion in interest penalties since fiscal year 2006, according to data from the Illinois Comptroller’s Office....

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...