As the clock ticks down to the fiscal cliff in Washington, Illinois’ comptroller sees dire consequences for the state. But the Governor’s more optimistic. Rachel Otwell has more:
When asked about the possible fallout for Illinois if the country goes over the so-called fiscal cliff, Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, responded with a generality:
QUINN: “I think that the President will lead us and navigate us through this fiscal time.”
JUDY BAAR TOPINKA: “Governor Quinn and I have a definite division of thought here. I know he’s trying to put a nice face on it.”
Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says she doesn’t have that luxury.
TOPINKA: “I’m the fiscal officer and have to ultimately tell everybody what’s going on. And numbers are numbers and they don’t lie.”
Topinka says if the fiscal cliff’s combination of spending cuts and tax increases takes effect it could trigger a statewide recession, with an economic impact exceeding 1 billion dollars in Illinois. Topinka says the state is already grappling with billions in unpaid bills. And she says automatic spending cuts in Washington could cost the state more than 300 million in federal grants for things like education and public housing.