May 7, 2015
The Civic Federation opposes Governor Bruce Rauner’s recommended budget for FY2016 because it relies heavily on projected savings that do not appear to be achievable or prudent in light of the State of Illinois’ obligations and long-term policy objectives.
Savings of $2.2 billion related to a new pension reform proposal are assumed to be realized in the budget, even though this proposal has not been introduced as legislation in the Illinois General Assembly and is likely to face legal challenges. A $655 million reduction in the cost of State group health insurance through collective bargaining is unlikely to be realized due to the magnitude of the projected savings and the short timeframe for reaching agreement with the State’s largest union. Other budgeted savings, particularly in the Medicaid program, depend on changes in State law or require federal approval.
By issuing this budget on time and without the use of borrowing, the Governor has appropriately identified the size and pressing nature of the $6.2 billion shortfall in next year’s budget. Members of the Illinois General Assembly need to come forward now with their own plans for how to address the revenue shortfall in FY2016. In its recent State budget roadmap for FY2016, the Civic Federation recommended a combination of spending restraints and new revenues to solve Illinois’ fiscal problems.
Illinois' Fiscal Year begins July 1, 2015 and ends June 30, 2016.