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Illinois Budget, Illinois Politics

Illinois Budget: Illinois Policy Institute’s Fantasy Machine Churns Out Illinois Budget Proposal


(Chicago, IL) — March 17, 2010. The Illinois Policy Institute today released a detailed alternative Illinois budget that cuts $4.6 billion from the state budget, raises no taxes or loans, and still leaves the budget unbalanced by nearly $8.4 billion, kicking the can down the road.

“It will take the state a few years to dig out from underneath its debt …,” according to the report.

The Institute’s 104 page proposal may be the first fairy tale that ever included pie charts.

The Institute’s press release says that  its “… department-by-department budget shows how we can balance the budget while funding core government services and respecting taxpayers.”

The budget, however, doesn’t get balanced this year. Or next.

But the proposal does whack the bejeezus out of education and health care and human services. It cuts $1.6 billion from local schools and slashes $2.7 billion for community services, such as meals-on-wheels for seniors. You get the idea.

The right-wing Illinois Policy Institute stuffs its budget proposal with heaps demographic statistics, charts and graphs to shock and seduce the casual reader with group’s budget mastery, but it only manages to reveal its obfuscation.

The Institute’s FY 2011 budget contains three key elements:

1.      Spending realignments. The Institute outlines savings that would limit current year appropriations to $21.299 billion in Fiscal Year 2011. Including the pension payment and transfers out, total spending would amount to $26.969 billion. This equals outlays of $2,089 per resident.

2.      Right-sizing government labor costs. Roughly 24% of the cost cutting in the Institute’s proposal pertains to government labor costs, which are out of range with current private-sector rates.

3.      Pension funding reform. State pension costs are ballooning and threaten to cut into core government services. Our Pension Funding & Fairness Act ensures that current pensions are funded while offering common-sense reforms.

The circular file cabinet is the next stop for the Institute’s budget. Betcha.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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