This week, the Pritzker Administration claimed victory after Moody’s Investor Services upgraded the state’s bond rating by one notch, putting Illinois two steps above a junk-bond rating.
While this rating is largely reflective of the massive influx of federal funding, the state’s long-term fiscal outlook is still dire.
As an example, Illinois is still saddled with an unsustainable pension system. Taxpayers are still on the hook for $140 billion in unfunded liabilities for the five state retirement systems, assets for the Chicago pension system are set to run out in six years, and nearly 25 percent of the General Funding in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget goes toward state pension payments.
Additionally, majority party leaders stuffed the current budget with more than a billion dollars in pork programs and projects, despite the Governor’s claims of holding spending down.
State Senator Fowler says that when the federal money dries up, the people of Illinois will still be stuck with budget structural issues that the Governor and Democratic majorities not only refuse to address, but are unwilling to even acknowledge.