Illinois Budget News: May 12

Greece has been grabbing international headlines for weeks now as they struggled to avoid insolvency. The world came to their rescue, but is the United States and many states, including Illinois, making the same mistakes? The Chicago Tribune editorial board thinks so (Greece and Us):

If Americans want to avoid the fate of today's Greece, they had better do what the Greeks failed to do: scale down what they demand from the government and accept the need to pay for what they get. Otherwise, our future will bear a grim resemblance to Greece's present.

Looking to find out what will likely happen next with the Illinois state budget? Doug Finke of the State Journal Register has some answers:

Q: What will a final budget look like?
A: A mess, but the basic outline of the budget compromise is already out there, so don't expect it to change dramatically. It will not be based on a significant tax hike or significant budget cuts. It will contain cuts to some programs, allowing lawmakers to claim fiscal prudence. It will give Quinn extensive authority to shift money around in the budget. Ultimately, though, there simply won't be the cash to cover everything, leaving billions of unpaid bills on the books next June 30.

Some insight from a downstate legislator: "It's a little bit of chaos," State Senator John O. Jones (R-Mt. Vernon), told the Daily Republican Register Monday.

Looking for a job? Don't mind road kill clean up? Illinois is still hiring despite our budget crisis.

Under an arrangement between the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Teamsters union, the state is gearing up to hire at least 170 new highway maintainers over the next six weeks.

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