IIFS Blog

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...

07.10.15

Illinois Starts New Fiscal Year Without a Budget

The State of Illinois’ new fiscal year began on July 1, 2015 without an annual budget and with no clear end in sight to the impasse between Governor Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly. On July 9, the legislature was widely expected to send the Governor a stopgap budget designed to fund...

06.24.15

Rhode Island General Assembly Approves Public Pension Settlement

Two weeks after a judge gave final approval to a settlement agreement that would end several years of litigation and mediation over a 2011 public pension reform law, the Rhode Island General Assembly on June 23rd took the next required step by approving the settlement as part of the State’s $...

06.11.15

Illinois Legislature Passes $36.3 Billion FY2016 Spending Plan

The Illinois General Assembly has approved a $36.3 billion general operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year with an acknowledged shortfall of at least $3.0 billion in revenues. The package of approximately 20 appropriation bills and other budget-related legislation was passed during the last...

05.29.15

Proposed Gaming Expansion Revenues Likely Inadequate to Rescue Illinois and Chicago Finances

UPDATE: Subsequent to the publication of this blog, House Bill 777 was amended to include provisions of the City’s proposal to extend the amortization of its Police and Fire pension funding through 2055 instead of 2040 as under current law. The legislation includes a 90% target for the...

05.12.15

Supreme Court Pension Ruling Adds to FY2016 Budget Pressures

An Illinois Supreme Court decision overturning legislation to reduce the State’s massive pension costs will add to the difficulty of creating a balanced operating budget for the year that begins on July 1, 2015. The high court struck down the law on May 8, ruling that it violated the Illinois...

04.30.15

Governor's Budget Cuts Include Reducing and Eliminating Statutory Transfers

To help cope with a massive budget deficit as State resources continue to fall in the coming fiscal year, Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed reducing or ending some statutorily required transfers that provide funding for programs and government services outside the General Funds budget. Total...

04.16.15

Rhode Island Again Close to Public Pension Settlement

Rhode Island recently reached a potential settlement agreement with most employee and retiree groups involved in litigation against its 2011 landmark pension reforms. The details of the agreement became available on April 13, 2015 through a court filing that was one of several steps necessary for...

04.10.15

State Construction and Local Tax Funds Allocated for Illinois Operating Budget

A week after passing legislation to address a $1.6 billion budget deficit before the end of the fiscal year in June, the State swept $300 million into its operating accounts from funds designated to pay for annual transportation construction projects. An additional $200 million sweep of sales tax...

04.03.15

Illinois Approves Fix for FY2015 Budget Gap

The State of Illinois recently enacted legislation designed to close a $1.6 billion budget gap for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2015. This blog post reviews the causes of the operating deficit and examines Public Acts 99-0001 and 99-0002, which were signed by Governor Bruce Rauner on March 27...

03.26.15

Civic Federation Proposes Local Government Protection Authority at Illinois House Committee Hearing

Under federal bankruptcy law, State governments decide whether and how local governments have access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy. There are 12 states that allow their local governments unfettered access to municipal bankruptcy, 12 states that allow municipal bankruptcy under certain conditions, two...

03.23.15

No Budgetary Relief from Latest Illinois Revenue Estimates

The most recent legislative analysis of the State of Illinois’ annual revenues provides little hope for additional gains from economic growth to help solve the State’s ongoing budget crisis. This is in contrast to the last several budget years when the State has experienced revenue...

03.11.15

Governor Proposes Significant Reduction in Funding to Local Governments

Under Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed FY2016 budget, one of the largest sources of state funding for local governments in Illinois would be reduced by half. The reduction is part of more than $4 billion in spending cuts and $2.2 billion in estimated pension savings recommended by the...