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  #621  
Old 09-25-2017, 02:15 PM
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https://www.ilnews.org/news/economy/...1.html#new_tab

Quote:
Illinois in dire need of comprehensive fiscal, economic policy reform, experts say

The median income for a middle-class American rose to a record-high $59,039 in 2016, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, returning to a level not seen since 1999. In addition, the national unemployment rate came in at 4.4 percent in August, about the same as it was prior to the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009.

For many, it was a long, difficult haul recovering from the housing-banking bust and subsequent recession. It has been even more difficult in Illinois. A look ahead indicates it’s not likely to get any easier, according to economic experts.

Illinois has been lagging behind its Midwestern neighbors in several key economic respects – economic and jobs growth are prominent among them. Compounding the problems are recurring state budget deficits and the level of public debt, which have grown to be among the largest in the nation.

.....
Overall, the Illinois economy ranked 34th among the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in 2016, according to WalletHub, which ranks the health and strength of state economies based on assessments of 27 economic performance indicators. Among its neighbors, Michigan ranked 12th, Missouri 23rd, Wisconsin 25th, Indiana 28th and Iowa 33rd.
......
Beyond taxation, the burden of state pension obligations looms large in Illinois. The state's five state pensions systems are underfunded by more than $130 billion.

“What’s particularly important in Illinois, beyond the issue of taxation, are the state’s pension obligations," Osorio said. "These have been taken on and they have to be met.”

Meeting these obligations will have long-running impacts in terms of future tax rates in Illinois.

“Broadly speaking, if you find yourself in a funding hole, you stop digging, so state policy makers need to find ways of reforming the state pension system so that it is financially sustainable,” Osorio said.


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  #622  
Old 10-09-2017, 02:51 PM
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BUDGET

https://www.ilnews.org/news/state_po...social#new_tab

Quote:
Still no meetings held to balance budget governor says is $1.7 billion out of balance

Spoiler:
Several Illinois lawmakers are at odds with Gov. Bruce Rauner about how to handle what the governor says is a $1.7 billion imbalance in the budget imposed by lawmakers.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, is an appropriation chairman and said the governor has the ability to spend at levels below what lawmakers gave in appropriation authority.

“And that can all happen without any interaction with us,” Cassidy said. “Other governors have done that. That said, if he would like to do it in a more open and cooperative and thoughtful and transparent way, that’s fine too.”

Rauner said that’s not practical.

“As the governor’s office, we can’t just unilaterally cut enough to balance the budget,” Rauner said. “We’ve asked the leaders to work with us in our office to make the cuts necessary to agree on where we can cut.”

Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, also said the governor has the authority to spend what he deems necessary up to what they appropriated.

“He doesn’t need to involve the legislature in that,” Steans said. “We’ve appropriated and passed a balanced budget, from our view.”

The governor disagreed.

“To put a massive tax hike and still not balance the budget, that’s not right,” Rauner said, “and that’s going to hurt, raise the cost of living for our working families, and it’s also going to push more employers out. So we need to balance the budget.”

The budget that officially began July 1 wasn’t enacted until days later. Rauner vetoed the budget and a $5 billion tax hike, but lawmakers then overrode his vetoes.

Various issues have caused the budget to be unbalanced, from a Tier III pension plan that won’t be enacted until 2019 to the sale of the Thompson Center in Chicago that isn’t a sure thing.

Rauner requested leaders meet to negotiate changes to the budget, but Speaker Michael Madigan offered up a working group instead. No meetings have been conducted to date.


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Old 10-09-2017, 02:52 PM
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BILL BACKLOG
BONDS

https://fixedincome.fidelity.com/ftg..._110.1#new_tab

Quote:
Illinois sets date for first piece of $6 billion in borrowing

Spoiler:
CHICAGO – Illinois will take competitive bids Oct. 17 on $1.5 billion of general obligation bonds that’s part of $6 billion in planned borrowing to pay down a bill backlog that stood at $15.8 billion Friday.
The remaining $4.5 billion will be sold in a negotiated transaction later in the month. The $1.5 billion is divided into three series each for $500 million, with one series due in November 2018, another in November 2019, and the third in November 2029.
“The state has a significant backlog of unpaid bills resulting in part from the absence of fully enacted general funds budgets for fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017,” the offering statement says.
The state’s fiscal 2018 budget package approved in July authorized the $6 billion in borrowing. It allows for an up to 12-year final maturity with level principal debt repayment so the maturities remaining bonds must fit into those perimeters.
The negotiated piece will mark the state’s largest deal since its $10 billion general obligation sale in 2003 to pay down its unfunded pension liabilities and cover some contributions. It sold other large deals of $3.5 billion in fiscal 2010 and $3.7 billion in fiscal 2011 to cover pension contributions.
The state must sell the first 25% of the deal competitively under state GO statutes.
PFM Financial Advisors LLP and Public Resources Advisory Group are advising the state. Chapman and Cutler LLP and Burke Burns & Pinelli Ltd. are bond counsel.
After initially hesitating to tap the borrowing authority, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced last month the state would proceed as a means to provide relief to vendors facing lengthy delays after a two-year state budget impasse, and to curb interest costs that range from 9% to 12% on some overdue bills.
On the negotiated sale, the joint senior managers named are Barclays Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan (JPM), Loop Capital Markets, and Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. The state named five firms as co-senior managers and another 13 firms are co-managers.
The state's GOs have been trading at a 175 to 200 basis point spread over the Municipal Market Data's top-rated benchmark. On Friday, the 10-year benchmark was 2.02%.
No ratings updates have been released for the upcoming deal; S&P rates the state’s outstanding GOs BBB-minus with a stable outlook. Moody’s Investors Service rates them at Baa3 with a negative outlook, and Fitch Ratings assigns a BBB with a negative outlook.

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  #624  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:30 AM
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UNPAID BILLS

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/billi...rous-benefits/

Quote:
BILLIONS IN UNPAID HEALTH CARE BILLS SHINE A LIGHT ON OVERLY GENEROUS BENEFITS

Spoiler:
State workers receive a platinum-level health care plan at a heavily subsidized cost, while Illinoisans in the private sector paying for those plans see their own premiums skyrocket.

Illinois’ Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability recently highlighted that as of the end of September, the state is $5 billion behind on paying its bills for state government worker health care costs. That’s a big chunk of the $16 billion in unpaid bills the state has racked up as a result of years of overspending. This has resulted in some health care providers demanding government employees pay their health care costs upfront, as they have lost confidence in the state’s willingness and ability to pay.

Most politicians will blame this mess on the recent state budget impasse. Of course, the impasse made things worse. But that’s not the real problem.

The real problem is that the state’s health care benefits have grown to the point taxpayers can no longer afford them. And lawmakers have done nothing to rein in those costs.

Unsurprisingly, the state’s new 2018 budget did nothing to end the overspending trend. The “balanced” budget, which permanently raised taxes by a record $5 billion annually, is already in the hole by at least $1.3 billion.

Nor did the budget do anything to rein in state worker health care costs. Lawmakers have ignored calls to enact reforms proposed by the Illinois Policy Institute and others, which would make employee health care more affordable for taxpayers.

The average total compensation for a state AFSCME worker equals nearly $110,000 a year. That’s largely driven by the highest state worker pay in the nation. But health care benefits granted to state workers also contribute significantly to that total.

In 2016, Illinois taxpayers subsidized 77 percent, or an average of $14,880, of state workers’ annual health care costs. That means state workers received benefits equivalent to a platinum-level plan offered through the Affordable Care Act, at a bronze-level cost.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:42 PM
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UNPAID BILLS

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics...ayment#new_tab


Quote:
APNewsBreak: Billions in Illinois Bills Not Sent for Payment
Illinois is chasing a moving target as it tries to dig out of the nation's worst budget crisis, and $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills hadn't even been sent to the official who writes the checks by the end of June.


Spoiler:
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is chasing a moving target as it tries to dig out of the nation's worst budget crisis, and a review obtained by The Associated Press shows $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills — as much as half the total — hadn't been sent to the official who writes the checks by the end of June.

Although many of those IOUs have since been paid, a similar amount in unprocessed bills has replaced them in the last three months, Comptroller Susana Mendoza's office said Monday. That's in addition to $9 billion worth of checks that are at the office but being delayed because the state lacks the money to pay them.

The mound of past-due bills tripled over the two years Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly were locked in a budget stalemate, which ended in July when lawmakers hiked income taxes over Rauner's vetoes.

In some cases, agencies were waiting to send their receipts to Mendoza because lawmakers haven't approved the spending. For example, the Department of Corrections had $471 million in unpaid bills on hand as of June 30 largely for that reason.

"Ascertaining the precise nature of the state's past-due obligations and liabilities is an essential component of responsible cash and debt management," the Democratic comptroller wrote in a letter to Republican Rep. David McSweeney, a budget hawk from Barrington Hills who requested the review.

Mendoza and McSweeney plan to use the findings to urge lawmakers to override Rauner's veto of legislation that would require monthly reporting of bills not yet submitted for processing. The measure, authored by Mendoza's office, would include a breakdown of how old each bill is and which ones have received legislative approval to be paid.

"The governor supports more transparency on the state of our finances," Rauner spokesman Hud Englehart said in an email to AP. "He vetoed this bill because the State does not have adequate technology in place to cost effectively provide this information monthly."

The age of bills is important because many that are 90 days or older face a 1 percent-per-month late-payment fee; about $5.5 billion of the current $15.9 billion backlog is subject to the penalty. Mendoza estimates the state will ultimately pay $900 million in late-payment fees on the existing pile of debt.

The Department of Central Management Services, which handles personnel, procurement and employee health care, has most of the June 30 bundle, with $5.8 billion. That's mostly doctor's bills owed to employee medical providers under the state group health insurance plan.

McSweeney's call for the overview coincided with the current Oct. 1 deadline for publicizing the amount of bills held at agencies at a fiscal year's end. McSweeney said with Illinois swimming in debt, including a $130 billion shortfall in what's needed to pay employee pensions and other long-term borrowing, check-writers need more exact information.

"With a $16 billion backlog of unpaid bills, and $200 billion in total liabilities when you add in the pension debt, I don't trust this governor, I don't trust this administration," McSweeney said. "We need monthly reporting."

Typically, when a governor and Legislature agree on a budget, the legislation authorizing it includes appropriations bills. If money is spent that isn't approved, lawmakers must do it after the fact in a supplemental appropriation. Rauner has complained that the budget legislative Democrats approved in July is $1.7 billion short of being balanced. Democrats have countered that the governor spent money last year that wasn't approved. Neither side has elaborated.

Democrats have signaled they plan to attack Rauner's budget management during his 2018 re-election campaign

Mendoza, who beat Rauner's hand-picked candidate in a special election for comptroller last fall, has wrangled with the governor over issues related to the deficit and the backlog, including one spat over which fund to use to pay particular bills.

The Legislature returns for its fall session Oct. 24.


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  #626  
Old 10-13-2017, 05:22 PM
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UNPAID BILLS

http://www.thetelegraph.com/news/110...ansparency-act

Quote:
Beiser: Rauner administration’s unpaid bills show need for Debt Transparency Act


Spoiler:
ALTON – Media reports that state agencies failed to submit billions of dollars in bills for payment shows why legislators should override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation providing a more transparent accounting of state debt, state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, said.

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“At the same time Governor Rauner vetoed legislation to bring much-needed transparency and accountability to state finances, his own agencies are failing to even submit over $7 billion in bills for payment, increasing state debt, incurring more late-payment penalties and hurting businesses that expect the state to keep its promises,” Beiser said. “The administration’s own actions are the best argument for overriding the governor’s veto. If elected officials are serious about addressing the state’s finances, we have to have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the money we owe to businesses and social service agencies across the state.”

A recent report by the Associated Press found that state agencies have failed to submit $7.5 billion in bills for payment, incurring additional late-payment penalties. This is half of the over $15 billion in unpaid bills the comptroller is trying to pay.

Beiser and legislators on both sides of the aisle voted last spring to pass the Debt Transparency Act, which would require state agencies to report monthly to the comptroller the liabilities they are holding and estimate all late interest penalties that will incurred. Rauner vetoed the legislation. In light of the Associated Press reports, Beiser is urging legislators to vote to override the veto.

“We cannot use budgeting gimmicks and tricks to make the state’s finances look better than they really are,” said Beiser. “Taxpayers deserve the whole truth, which is why I’m calling all of my colleagues to override the governor’s veto of this legislation.”

For more on upcoming legislation, please contact Beiser’s full-time constituent service office at 618-465-5900.
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  #627  
Old Yesterday, 08:44 PM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...017-story.html

Quote:
Morning Spin: Rauner to start borrowing $6 billion today

Spoiler:
Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration will go to the bond market on Tuesday with plans to borrow $6 billion in the coming days to help pay down nearly $16 billion in bills the state owes to scores of businesses large and small.

The state will seek a total of $1.5 billion in tax-exempt general obligation bonds Tuesday, followed by another $4.5 billion in bonds next week. The money will be used to refinance the state’s bill backlog, shifting debt to willing lenders and off of contractors that have been left waiting months to be paid.

Though the state went two years without a budget amid fighting between the Republican governor and Democrats who control the legislature, government continued to spend money and rack up debt. A series of laws, one-time agreements and court orders meant money kept going out the door. And the Rauner administration continued to sign contracts, whether or not the money was there to pay for it. The state’s nearly $16 billion backlog of bills is triple the amount when Rauner took office in January 2015.

Under state law, unpaid bills can accrue as much as 12 percent in interest a year. The bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has estimated that could mean as much as $2 million a day. The state can more than cut that interest rate in half by borrowing at a lower rate on the bond market.

The state last borrowed money in November 2016, selling $480 million in bonds at an interest rate of just under 4.25 percent, according to the governor's budget office. Illinois pays higher rates than other states because of its worst-in-the-nation credit rating.

Rauner’s budget office estimates that after borrowing, Illinois' pile of unpaid bills will drop to $7.5 billion by the end of June 2018. But administration officials warn that without further budget cuts in the coming years, the backlog could once again skyrocket to nearly $14 billion by 2023.

That analysis was echoed by S&P Global Ratings, which said refinancing the state’s bill backlog with long-term bonds “entails some risk.”

“If the bonding plan is not paired with additional fiscal adjustments, the state could be left with a higher tax-supported debt burden and — once again — an escalating backlog of unpaid bills,” the ratings agency said in a report issued last week. (Monique Garcia)




https://fixedincome.fidelity.com/ftg..._110.1#new_tab

Quote:
Why retail investors may vie for Illinois yields

Spoiler:
Don’t count individual investors out of Illinois’ general obligation offering. The potential for meaty spreads will satisfy some yield-starved retail accounts when the first serving of the $6 billion offering is priced competitively on Tuesday.
In addition, experts said the multi-series deal has the potential to attract a wide audience of buyers and reprice the general market, based just on its size and timing amid the current market's low rates and tight spreads.
The state will test the waters with its first tranche of $1.5 billion of bonds pricing in three series — each for $500 million — as part of a total of $6.75 billion of planned fixed-rate, tax-exempt GO borrowing, which included $6 billion to pay down a backlog of bills that currently stands at $15.4 billion.
Tuesday’s deal matures in 2018, 2019 and 2029. The generic, triple-A GO benchmark in 2029 yielded a 2.12% as of Oct. 13, according to Municipal Market Data.
Some in the retail crowd will be willing to look beyond the state’s current political wrangling and budget imbalance, pension liability growth and funding pressures, and warnings of possible ratings downgrades to junk in order to capture significantly higher yields than the general market, analysts said.
“I suspect institutional interest will drive the deals, but retail demand should also be robust,” Alan Schankel, managing director and municipal strategist at Janney Capital Markets, said on Friday. “With yields near high yield territory and little yieldy supply available, a state GO with statutory debt service priority will be attractive to more risk-tolerant investors.”
Though the state’s GO spreads have fluctuated recently and may come tighter than its prior GO sales last year — market experts say the lack of attractively priced, near-speculative paper and low overall supply should attract a hungry investor crowd, including retail.
Illinois paid a 200-basis point spread on the 10-year maturity in its last GO sale for $480 million in November 2016. It saw spreads of 193 basis points on a $1.3 billion GO refunding in an October 2016 sale, and 185 basis point spread on a $550 million June 2016 sale.
The 10-year spread hit an all-time peak of 335 on June 8 after an adverse court ruling on Medicaid payments. The spreads rebounded and hovered between 273 and 292 basis points until July after the budget passed when they dropped to about 200.
Moody’s Investors Service rates the state at the lowest investment grade level of Baa3 with a negative outlook, and warns of a downgrade to junk. S&P Global Ratings also has the state at the lowest investment grade of BBB-minus with a stable outlook, while Fitch Ratings rates the state one notch higher at BBB, with a negative outlook.
Others, meanwhile, said a mammoth deal such as Illinois’ has the potential to impact prices in the general market – just based on size alone.
“We hope that the large issuance helps to reprice the general market so more attractive levels bring more investors to the marketplace,” said Jim Colby, senior municipal strategist at Van Eck Global. “It is not a tsunami, but wave after wave of BBB-minus bonds.”
With such a large influx of triple-B minus ratings on the precipice of high yield, the question is “how many retail or institutional buyers, with any knowledge of the needs and terrible political climate in the state, can readily absorb such a large amount of bonds?” Colby said.
Not all institutional investors may jump on the first tranche of the deal either, he said. Large institutional accounts — wanting to take advantage of the most attractive price on the bonds — may hold out for “better yields a week or two down the road,” according to Colby.
Investors will have two more opportunities to buy Illinois GOs when the state returns the week of Oct. 23 with $4.5 billion in a negotiated sale — its largest single transaction since its $10 billion pension GO borrowing in 2003.
Another deal for $750 million is planned in December to fund fiscal 2018 capital projects.
“At some price, the bonds will get sold, and I am not sure what that level will be,” Colby said. “But, that selling/placement process is likely to cause spreads for other bonds to widen out as a normal reaction to abnormally large supply entering the market.”
Schankel said since Illinois is an outlier — particularly among states — he sees little chance of the deal repricing the general market. Still, he expects hearty demand based on an “attractive differential” in spreads.
He pointed to a nearly 170 basis point spread on Friday between the Bloomberg 12-year, triple-A yield at 2.20% and the Bloomberg 12-year Illinois index at 3.89%.


https://seekingalpha.com/article/411...page=2#new_tab

Quote:
Creditworthiness Of New York And Illinois: One Is Bankrupt
Spoiler:


Summary

Unless used for capital improvements, any new Illinois State borrowing, regardless of security structure, will amount to nothing more than kicking the can further down the road.

Markets remain open to uncreditworthy government borrows longer than they should. In a low interest rate environment, investors will stretch credit standards.

Benchmark bond ratings are at variance with the rating agencies.

Everyone knows Illinois’ financial condition is poor. Conventional thinking seems to be that a bond default, should that happen, would be many years in the future. Pardon me, but wasn’t that the thinking right up to Puerto Rico’s, “We can’t pay” announcement? To answer the question of just how badly off is Illinois, I assembled a list of key creditworthiness indicators and applied them to New York, a highly rated state, and Illinois.



.....
Commentary and Benchmark Private Bond Ratings

The State of Illinois, in my opinion, is past the point of no return. It does not have the ability to raise taxes or cut spending to the degree necessary to reduce the annual cost of bond and retiree benefits from 33% to a sustainable level. The amount of debt issued by Illinois requires a moderate 8% of general fund revenues to pay P&I.

The insolvency is not the result of too much bonded debt, but rather the government promising retirement and other post-employment benefits that aren’t affordable.

Bear in mind that direct debt of the State is exempt from any form of bankruptcy. Most believe that the State’s pension benefit obligations are on parity with states’ general obligation bonds and bankruptcy-exempt as well.

Let’s assume the State did find itself in a “no money to pay everyone” position and chose bond default as the relief value over failing to appropriate sufficient funds for pension funding and OEB costs.

Since neither GO bond holders nor pension fund creditors are subject to any bankruptcy court, who would win? Together they would be by far the State’s largest long-term contractual obligors. I think the State’s GOB investors would come out ahead because the State would not be able to borrow in its own name until it makes good on past due GO P&I.

Retired public employees might understand that it is better to negotiate a fair agreement than to demand one the employer can’t afford. This is the only scenario, however unlikely, where Illinois stands a change of pulling itself out of its deep financial hole.

Benchmark and rating agency ratings

Benchmark Moody's S&P
Illinois State GO Bonds B Baa3 BBB-
Illinois State Sales Tax Revenue Bonds B Baa3 AA-

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  #628  
Old Yesterday, 08:46 PM
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https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illin...falling-apart/

Quote:
ILLINOIS’ NEW BUDGET ALREADY FALLING APART

Spoiler:
The 2018 budget is staring at a $1.7 billion hole despite containing the largest permanent tax hike in state history. Every budget through 2023 will likely be unbalanced as well.

It didn’t take long for Illinois’ state budget to fall apart again.

For more than two years, politicians debated whether the state needed massive spending reforms to change the way Illinois does business, or whether tax hikes would fill the hole and allow government business to continue as usual. Tax hike supporters won the fight and state lawmakers raised taxes by a record $5 billion while spurning reforms.

Now the state’s finances are on track to lurch right back into crisis. The 2018 budget is already staring at a $1.7 billion hole for the year, meaning the streak of unbalanced budgets in Illinois will continue.

Illinois hasn’t had a truly balanced budget since 2001, and the latest numbers from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, or GOMB, reveal it may not have one through 2023.

In addition to the $1.7 billion shortfall in 2018, GOMB projects a $2 billion-plus budget deficit in 2019. The office also predicts unpaid bills will continue to rise, even after the state borrows $6 billion to pay down part of the state’s $15 billion bill backlog. And a national recession in the next few years could precipitate an even worse situation.

The 2017 tax hike, just like the “temporary” 2011 tax hike, was a failed path for Illinois. It’s destroying the state’s tax base as Illinoisans leave in record numbers. The proper path forward was the passage of a balanced budget without tax hikes.

GOMB findings

GOMB highlighted the reasons why the 2018 budget is already in the red, including:

The budget overestimated revenues by $500 million.
The budget failed to “lock in” fiscal year 2018 pension payment reductions. That failure overestimated budget savings by $585 million.
The budget plan did not account for estimated debt service costs of the $6 billion bonds to be issued to pay down unpaid bills. That failure adds an estimated cost of $535 million to the budget.
The budget plan did not account for the impact of one-time transfers out of the General Revenue Fund, costing an estimated $216 million.
Lawmakers’ failed budget means more deficits going forward and that means more unpaid bills. Even though the state plans to issue $6 billion in debt to pay down a portion of its $15 billion in unpaid bills, GOMB estimates that by 2023 the backlog will jump back up to $13.5 billion.

.....
Illinoisans should expect ratings agencies to once again look at the prospect of giving the state a junk rating, despite the $5 billion tax hike. Moody’s continues to maintain its “negative outlook” on Illinois’ rating, meaning that a downgrade continues to be a real possibility. From Moody’s recent ratings update from the upcoming Illinois bond issue:

“The negative outlook is based on expectations of continued pension liability growth and pension funding pressures; the fact that the state’s budget remains imbalanced, despite the enactment of substantial tax increases; and the state’s heightened vulnerability to national economic downturns or other external factors.”

Reforms, not tax hikes, are the solution

Too many politicians on both sides of the aisle craved a budget, any budget, that they claimed would end the impasse.

And like the many previous budgets, tax hikes and pension compromise plans that perpetuated the state’s fiscal crisis, “just any budget” has the state back in the hole again.

The Institute predicted this outcome back in July when the budget was first passed:

“Even if all the 2018 budget’s assumed savings are successfully implemented, the state will be back to deficit spending again by 2021 based on conservative projections of the state’s revenues and expenditures. [But] if the presumed savings, revenues or additional expenditures are off in any way, the state could be deficit-spending as soon as fiscal year 2019.”

This prediction was correct. Revenues are lower, expenditures are higher and expected savings are off. That’s put the state in deficit spending just three months after the passage of the 2018 budget.

GOMB’s latest projections is pointing that deficits that have been par for the course in Illinois for decades – under leadership from both Republicans and Democrats. Since nothing has structurally changed in terms of how Illinois spends, the deficits will continue. For GOMB to project otherwise would have been misleading.

The failed 2018 budget points once again to the need for state lawmakers to finally look at spending reforms, and not tax hikes, as the solution to bringing back tax relief, jobs and higher private sector incomes.

If not, expect the credit downgrades to return and the exodus from Illinois to continue.

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  #629  
Old Yesterday, 11:25 PM
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There really isn't a level of taxation what will enable Illinois to have a long-term balanced budget.
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EB's rules for AO political: 1. A responder who replies "who cares?", cares deeply. 1a. a responder who replies LMAO, or similar, agrees with me. 2. It's always funnier when EB says it. - Lucy (Whomever she was) 3. Don't assume I'm trying to convince you, or indeed, any Hillary or Bernie supporter. 4. If my posts are so blatantly wrong, why are you so insistent in following me? I'll not take you home! 5. I'm not happy until you're not happy. 6. "You sir are no racist. You seem to condescend to everyone equally. I salute you." - Rain in Africa.

"If you're not annoying somebody, you're not really alive." -- Margaret Atwood
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