Illinois Budget News: May 20

Another day full of news - and after the release of a research paper by Northwestern University's economist Josh Rauh - its no wonder.

You may remember in February, the Pew Center for the States released a
saying  the states are facing a $1 trillion discrepancy
between promised employee retirement benefits and those they can
actually fund. Well Mr. Rauh agrees and says the federal government should be worried.

Broke states are likely to go begging to the federal government, which would probably have to bail them out to the tune of more than $1 trillion.

Broke states, hmm...sound familiar? As you know by now, Illinois has one of the larger underfunded pension systems in the country. But what we hope is that Rauh's report and it's national media coverage will rattle some people into believing its true (hint: we're talking to you, legislators).

In other news, the ILGA is still asserting there will be a budget done by June. Probably good news for social service agencies calling Illinois' budget crisis a "life or death" issue.

And finally, an interesting question was poised in today's Southtown Star editorial: Where does Mike Madigan stand on Illinois' financial crisis?

The Legislature is supposed to pass a budget for the
coming fiscal
year, but Madigan sent his House members home without one, indicating
that he's not worried much about the crisis at hand.

He seems to believe that without a plan to
resolve the state's
financial crisis, voters will still vote for Democrats in November. 

Which reminds us, remember to vote in November.

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