WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Civic Federation Issues Gloomy Budget Forecast for Illinois

Jan 30, 2012

Illinois legislators face more bad budget news. 

A report from Chicago's Civic Federation said the massive backlog of unpaid bills is about to get much worse.

Illinois is expected to owe more than $9 billion by this summer. The figure is expected to continue rising and could hit nearly $35 billion within five years.

Civic Federation president Laurence Msall said the state must  act quickly.

“We  have to take a longer view, and a five year view of the state's finances under the current plan is terrifying.  The state has to take action now to reel in both the pension and Medicaid spending,” Msall said.

Governor Pat Quinn gives his State of  the State address on Wednesday at noon. The speech will be heard live on Tri States Public Radio.

Quinn and legislative leaders have discussed cutting pension benefits for state employees and reducing costs  for Medicaid. But  it's not clear they will be able to agree on a plan -- or whether legislators will be willing to vote for  cuts in an election year.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio