New York's $3.5 billion budget deficit is peanuts compared with Illinois' $8 billion

Bloomberg reports  New York state's budget gap could reach $3.b billion:

New York state’s projected deficit for the next fiscal year is expected to grow to as much as $3.5 billion as a stalled economic recovery cuts Wall Street jobs and shrinks bonuses, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

The gap for fiscal 2013 was projected at $2 billion when the current $131.7 billion budget was approved in March. It’s now estimated to have widened to between $3 billion and $3.5 billion, according to the Budget Division’s mid-year update released today by Cuomo’s office. The division also forecast a $350 million shortfall in the current year.

Please take note that Cuomo didn't have to raise taxes, like Illinois, to close what was then expected to be a $10 billion gap:

Cuomo closed a $10 billion gap in the 2012 fiscal year budget without raising taxes. The 53-year-old Democrat used the threat of firings to get concessions from the state’s two largest public-worker unions as part of a push to save $450 million in employee costs.

Now check out Illinois, which has a smaller budget but an expected deficit twice as large as New York's.

In all, the state will be $8.3 billion short on June 30 if nothing is done, according to the report. The majority of that money, roughly $5.5 billion, will come in the form of unpaid bills from companies that provide everything from meals for the elderly to toilet paper for prisoners. Another $1.2 billion is composed of Medicaid payments the state will push off until the next budget year, while the remaining $1.6 billion is owed to companies for tax returns and health insurance bills for state workers.

New York is a blue state, as is Illinois, but that hasn't stopped New York from addressing its problems.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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