Illinois Republican Party: Quinn Budget Address, what will we hear today?

(From the Illinois Republican Party) 

 

Today, Governor Quinn will tell the people of Illinois that despite a record 66% income tax increase that has caused Illinois’ unemployment rate to skyrocket while our neighbors’ fall, Springfield still cannot live within its means.

Below is a list of six questions the Illinois Republican Party hopes will be answered by Governor Quinn’s budget address.

1.)  Will Governor Quinn deal with the projected $500 million deficit by making actual cuts or will he propose more borrowing and/or budget gimmicks?  How will he put Illinois on a sustainable path so we do not face even larger deficits in the future? 

·      The non-partisan Civic Federation projects the state’s annual deficit to hit $3.7 billion by FY2016.[1] 

·      Illinois has the worst credit rating of all 50 states.[2]

2.)  Will Governor Quinn call for the repeal of the job-killing 66% tax hike, or at least a commit to allow it to expire on schedule?

 ·      Today, nearly 1 in 10 are out of work in Illinois (9.8%).[3]

·      Illinois was one of only four states to see its unemployment rate rise between January, 2011 and December, 2011.  Every neighboring state saw its unemployment rate decrease.[4]

State                    2011 unemployment rate change

Missouri                                    -1.5%

Kentucky                                   -1.3%

Iowa                                           -.5%

Wisconsin                                  -.3%

Indiana                                      -.1%

Illinois                                        +.8%

·      Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar, one of Illinois’ largest employers, recently stressed that allowing the tax increase to expire as scheduled is important to making Illinois more business friendly.

3.)  Will Governor Quinn call out President Obama for worsening Illinois’ Medicaid budget problems?

·      The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services expects Medicaid costs to rise by more than 40% in the next five years, to $12.1 billion in FY2017.[5]

·      Due to Obamacare, starting in 2014, new Medicaid enrollees will add an estimated $136.2 million to $224.7 million a year to Illinois’ Medicaid costs.[6]

·      The Obama administration has blocked reforms to require potential Medicaid enrollees to prove their residency and income for over a year.[7]

4.)  Will Governor Quinn present a credible plan to pay down Illinois’ massive backlog of unpaid bills that doesn’t involve raising taxes or piling on more debt?

·      According to the Comptroller’s office, Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills has grown to approximately $8.5 billion.[8]

·      The non-partisan Civic Federation estimates the backlog will grow to $34.8 billion by FY2017.[9]

5.)  Will Governor Quinn push for pension reform that does not simply shift the burden to local governments and property taxpayers?  Will he stand up to his union backers and support a plan to reduce state pension contributions, increase employee contributions, or both?

·      Illinois state pensions are only 43.3% funded, with a total unfunded liability of $83.1 billion.[10]

·      According to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget budgetary projections, in FY2013 public pensions will cost Illinois taxpayers $6.8 billion, with $1.5 billion simply for servicing old debt.[11]

6.)  Will Governor Quinn commit to hold the line on union pay and benefit increases in the new contract?

·      Illinois’ current contract largest union representing state employees, Council 31 of AFSCME, expires at the end of FY2012.

·      AFSCME contributed $450,000 to Governor Quinn’s re-election campaign in 2010.[12]


[1] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 38

[2] Illinois has nation’s worst credit rating, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 10, 2012

[4] Wrong Way, Illinois, Illinois Policy Institute, January 26, 2012

[5] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 18

[6] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 21

[8] BACKLOG PERSISTS DESPITE NEW REVENUE, Illinois State Comptroller’s Quarterly, January 2012

[9] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 39

[10] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 22

[11]State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 22

[12] Illinois Board of Elections