Quinn aide: No new taxes in Illinois budget
2 months, 2 weeks ago
Governor says he will rely on cuts because lawmakers can't agree to reduce pension debt
Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday warned that he will unveil a "hard and difficult" spending plan during his Wednesday budget address, saying cuts will have to be made because of state leaders' inability to reduce the costs of government worker pensions.
But the Democratic governor doesn't plan to ask taxpayers to fork over more in taxes and fees to help make ends meet, according to an aide familiar with the budget plan. Quinn also is not expected to unveil any new programs.
Instead, Quinn indicated he plans to frame the speech as a matter of "what our choices are" — reining in the state's $96.8 billion unfunded pension liability or standing by while money for other priorities is squeezed out. One area likely to take a hit is education, which already has been slashed by nearly $900 million since 2009.
I don't think we have any choice. The fact that pension reform hasn't happened yet has caused some serious repercussions for other parts of the budget, and that includes education," Quinn told reporters Monday after a meeting at the Thompson Center in Chicago.
"We have to lay out the facts for the budget of the coming fiscal year," the governor added. "And definitely the members of the Legislature have to come to the realization that pension reform is imperative if we're going to have a better budget in the future."
Quinn first called on lawmakers to pass changes to state employee retiree benefits more than a year ago, but talks have yet to land a bill on his desk.
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