With short-term IL budget fix to expire soon, permanent fix stil - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

With short-term IL budget fix to expire soon, permanent fix still up in the air

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) -

It could take a minimum of ten years to dig Illinois out of its financial hole, according to a University of Illinois report.

With the new year, the temporary fix for the Illinois budget impasse will expire, and lawmakers will (hopefully) resume searching for a permanent fix.

If the state continued spending at the current rate, the report states Illinois would have a roughly $22 billion deficit by 2027, which means the state would be spending around one-third more than it was taking in.

Researchers at the university of Illinois say the best case scenario to fix things involves income tax being raised to 5% from it’s current 3.5, cutting spending by at least 2% every year, and allowing more items to be covered under the state’s sales tax.

Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Interim Director Jak Tichenor says the budget concerns are a long standing problem, but only worsen with every passing day the state fails to pass a formal budget.

“We dig ourselves deeper and deeper into the hole.” Tichenor said. “It's very simple why they’re failing to agree. Any lawmaker who votes for a tax increase can and will have that tax increase used against them… democrat or republican… in the next election cycle. And the planning for that cycle is already underway."

Thanks to court orders and other obligations, the state is not allowed to cut things like public employee pensions which primarily leaves them with social service agencies and education as legal options for cuts, according to Tichenor.

The state of Illinois has not had a budget since July of 2015.

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