Illinois Facing Billions in Budget ‘Pressure’

Illinois state government continues to struggle financially. And on Monday, officials from the governor’s office said things could be getting a lot worse. Brian Mackey has more.

Despite an income tax increase, the recovery of the economy, and massive cuts in the state budget, Illinois’ financial situation is not improving.

Jerry Stermer is Governor Pat Quinn’s budget director. He says there are five areas that will put what he calls increasing “pressure” on the state’s finances: government pensions; state-employee health insurance; the backlog of bills; a program that helps elderly people get home care instead of going into nursing homes; and the state agency that investigates cases of abused and neglected children.

At a hearing in the Capitol, state Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, was keeping track of the numbers.

BRADLEY: “You’ve got a spending pressure next year estimated at $3.6 billion without taking into account any of the other operations.”

Those other operations include education and services for people with disabilities. The governor’s office is still working on how state spending in those areas could be affected next year.

— Brian Mackey

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