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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

No Matter Which Illinois Budget Proposal You Choose, You'll Get A $9 Billion Deficit

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

A recent analysis found that both the budget proposal from Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and the one approved by Democratic lawmakers would leave the state with a more than $9 billion deficit. 

Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, says that neither plan takes into account the shortfall from last fiscal year. 

"The budget deficit carry forward from 2015 into 2016 is going to be $5.9 billion,” Martire said. “That will appear nowhere on state financial records. They won't have a balanced budget. Let's just be honest."

Rauner vetoed the bulk of the budget bills lawmakers sent him. The package relies on the approval of a tax increase to help pay for spending.

“We only spent roughly $24 billion on services, or at least that’s what we spent in 2015,” Martire said. “I can’t tell you what we’re going to spend in 2015 because I have no idea. You’re talking about a budget deficit that’s forty-some-odd percent of your overall spending on services.”

Meanwhile, Rauner’s plan relies on savings from policy changes unlikely to occur in the current fiscal year. Martire says neither option is sustainable.

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