Illinois Budget News: May 11

So, legislators balked at passing a budget. Sadly, that's nothing new. Here are some great editorials and stories outlining our state's dire situation and our irresponsible lawmakers:

State Journal Register, Lawmakers hit new low in irresponsibility

Borrowing money to pay pensions is irresponsible. Not borrowing it and delaying or skipping the payment reaches a whole new level of negligence and carelessness.

Rockford Register Star, Chuck
Sweeny: Yes, voters, we are to blame for budget mess

Legislators didn't make the $3.7 billion pension payment. They didn't
borrow money to pay the pension payment. So far they've just skipped the
payment, which will cost our children and grandchildren up to $40
billion according to actuaries, says Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford.

SouthtownStar, Lawmakers
shirk their duty on budget

Here's how the "job" thing usually works on most of planet
Earth: If you refuse to do it, you lose it. Except, it seems, here in
Illinois, where the culture of "it's who you know, not what you do"
stretches from street sweepers to the state's highest offices.

Chicago Sun-Times, Spineless

in Springfield: They can't do right thing

At a time of crisis, voters hold out hope that elected
officials will
rise above parochial interests to put the people of Illinois first. That
didn't happen.

Crain's columnist Greg Hinz, ($) Gov.

Quinn, Illinois Legislature outdo each other in pension
funding foolishness

As even kindergarten tots know by now, Illinois has perhaps the most
underfunded pension plans this side of Athens. With unfunded liabilities
running at least $80 billion -- some economists peg the real number at
twice that figure -- the last thing we need to do is skip this year's
contribution to the pension plans.

Peoria Journal Star, Stop
delaying and start leading in Springfield

...The Senate acted first to pass a complex,
cobbled-together spending blueprint in the dead of night, fully analyzed
and understood by virtually nobody. It cut around $2 billion off of
last year's budget....  The remaining $11 billion gap would be dealt
with - certainly not solved, not by a long stretch - through massive
borrowing, more extensive delays paying bills, and one-time fiscal
maneuvers to shake loose extra cash, including raiding special funds and
letting tax scofflaws pay up late.

Now we wait and see what the Governor and legislative leaders pull together in Springfield. It can only get better, right?


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