BGA Policy Director Madeleine Doubek charts the way forward to prevent another budget crisis in her bi-weekly column for the Chicago Sun-Times.
We have a budget and a tax increase, about which none of us are happy. We also still have a whole lot of debt and a whole lot more work to do to begin rebuilding our state.
In the 736 days Illinois went without a budget, thousands of university and human service workers lost their jobs. Tens of thousands of people who could be contributing to the tax rolls left Illinois, never to return.
The new budget allows Illinois to borrow $6 billion to begin to address our $15 billion in unpaid bills, but state Rep. Greg Harris, the House Democrats’ budget point man, has said the state really only can generate enough revenue to borrow half that amount, Reuters reported. And Illinois still has $130 billion in pension debt built up over decades of underfunding. How do we fix that and ensure we never have to go through two budgetless years again?
I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I remembered where to find some.