State

Civic Federation urges budget with new revenues, borrowing

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."

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