June 30, 2018
This article examines Illinois' financial state one year after the end of the two-year budget impasse. The article points out that while the State of Illinois recently enacted its second full-year budget since the end of the impasse, the State's $6 billion backlog of bills and $130 billion in unfunded pension liabilities continue to burden its finances. Civic Federation President Laurence Msall noted that interest paid on the $6 billion the State borrowed to pay down its backlog of bills in October 2017 is a significant cost to taxpayers, for which they recieve no new benefits. Mr. Msall also said that the recently enacted FY2019 budget is aggressively balanced, relying on the sale of the James R. Thomson Center and a pension buyout program that was not thoroughly vetted, among other aggressive assumptions.