Biggest budget crisis still ahead for Illinois

By Matt Porter |

Published 07/10 2014 10:27PM

Updated 07/11 2014 10:48AM

ILLINOIS -- Illinois could face the worst budget crisis in decades. Wednesday, the state comptroller announced she believes declining tax revenue next year could cause a $2 billion collapse next year. WCIA-3's Capitol Bureau Chief Matt Porter spoke with the state group which monitors revenue for lawmakers.

It says the next budget could devastate Illinois like no other. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability says, if nothing changes and the income tax roll back takes effect in January, the state could be looking at two big problems in the next budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

“I think ‘16 is going to be the most difficult year for crafting a budget that we've seen in my time at the commission,” said executive director Dan Long.

In addition to $3 billion in lost revenue for the first full year of the roll back, the state is also expected to lose about $1 billion in planned savings from the pension reform struck down last week by the Illinois Supreme Court. It will also have to pay back a portion of the $650 million in loans it’s borrowing this year to avoid a deficit.

Without more revenue, the commission says lawmakers will be forced to make across-the-board cuts after the election. Long said social services and education would be two of the hardest hit because they are annually the biggest spenders in the budget. Long said the income tax roll back will make tough choices for whomever is in power during the next term.

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