May 9, 2018
The Civic Federation’s Institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability is not able to support Governor Bruce Rauner’s recommended FY2019 budget because it is precariously balanced and its modest surplus relies on aggressive assumptions. Additionally, the proposal does little to address Illinois’ massive backlog of bills.
While the Civic Federation is encouraged by the improved financial condition of the State, Illinois still faces severe fiscal problems, including staggering public pension costs, a large backlog of bills and a lowest-in-the-nation credit rating. The Governor’s proposed budget is significantly closer to being balanced than his administration’s previous proposals with a modest surplus of $351 million. However, the Civic Federation is concerned about $1.8 billion in precarious projected savings and revenues included in the plan, as the evaporation of any of these projections could put the surplus in jeopardy.
The Civic Federation presented its comprehensive multi-year plan for the State of Illinois in February when it released its State budget roadmap for FY2019, featuring spending restraints paired with broadening the tax base to allow for lower rates. The Federation’s plan proposes that Illinois expand the income tax to federally-taxable retirement income, place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to clarify the pension protection clause, broaden the sales tax base and consolidate and streamline government units throughout the State.
Illinois' Fiscal Year begins July 1, 2017 and ends June 30, 2018.