CHICAGO – A Chicago tax policy and research group is urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a full budget instead of "piecemeal" solutions in the final weeks of the legislative session.
The Civic Federation said Tuesday that to close an estimated $4.6 billion deficit Illinois needs spending restraints, increased revenues and borrowing for unpaid bills.
May's end marks a budget deadline. However, there's been a two-year stalemate between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled Legislature. A stop-gap budget expired in January.
Federation President Laurence Msall called the impasse a "spectacular failure."
The federation rejected Rauner's proposed budget, saying it would increase the unpaid bill backlog from $12 billion to $19.7 billion and relies on uncertain savings, one-time revenues and a tenuous Senate compromise.
Rauner's spokeswoman blames "decades of fiscal mismanagement" for the crisis and has called for "structural reforms."