Quinn: Pensions to blame for Illinois’ worst budget
SPRINGFIELD – Years of inaction on Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation public pension problem has produced what many had long predicted: A worst-ever budget.
At least that was Gov. Pat Quinn’s take Wednesday, when he declared his latest spending plan “the most difficult budget Illinois has ever faced.” It slashes money for schools, bringing districts to 2008 funding levels. Universities and local governments also would see a cut, as would other programs, though the full extent of the reductions wasn’t yet clear.
The proposed cuts are just the latest round of bad news for a state that’s grown accustomed to gloomy financial projections. Last year, Quinn closed 54 state facilities and reduced Medicaid funding by more than $1 billion. And Illinois still has a backlog of unpaid bills that’s approaching $9 billion, despite an income tax hike passed in 2011.
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