Illinois Budget

How Much Are State Pension Payments Worth to Illinois School Districts?

Release: June 23, 2017

Every school district in Illinois except for the Chicago Public Schools has its teacher pension payments made by the state as a consolidated payment to the Teachers Retirement System. Because of this, it is difficult to determine how much money these pension payments are worth to individual districts. CTBA has created per-district estimates for both normal cost (the payment that covers benefits being earned by current employees) and legacy cost (the debt service payment to make up for previous years' underfunding).

Good Money After Bad: "Transferability" Would Make EDGE Tax Credits Even More Dubious Economic Policy

Release: May 15, 2017

The Economic Development for a Growing Economy ("EDGE") Tax Credit program has released more than $1.6 billion in credits to companies promising to create or retain jobs in Illinois since its creation in 1999. But the evidence that tax incentive programs like EDGE produce real economic growth is limited, and EDGE credits in particular have been abused by companies simply moving jobs from one part of the state to another, as found by a 2015 Chicago Tribune investigation.

Turnaround Fact Sheet #1: Workers' Compensation

Release: March 16, 2017

This is the first in a series of CTBA Fact Sheets reviewing the proposals in Governor Bruce Rauner's "Turnaround Agenda," which the Governor's office has made a precondition of signing any state budget.

Illinois General Fund Spending in FY2016: How Elected Officials Cut Billions in Core Service Expenditures While Worsening the Deficit—All Without Casting a Vote

Release: October 27, 2016

In FY2016, the failure to pass a comprehensive General Fund budget resulted in larger deficits as well as deep cuts to core services like Public Safety—even without anyone having to cast a vote.

Illinois on Autopilot, the Reality of FY2016

Release: February 16, 2016

In both magnitude and meaning, state elected officials have no greater obligation than passing a General Fund budget into law. Consider magnitude first. Last fiscal year the General Fund budget provided for the expenditure of $35 billion. No question, that constitutes a sizeable expenditure of taxpayer money. It is also meaningful. While nearly $11 billion was targeted for Hard Costs like debt service and other legally mandated payments, over $24 billion was invested in current services across communities statewide. In fact, over 90 percent of FY2015 General Fund expenditures on services covered education (35 percent), healthcare (30 percent), human services (21 percent), and public safety (7 percent). To be clear, it is those services which provide for the basic health and well-being of the citizenry, and go to the very heart of why we elect a Governor and General Assembly in the first place.

By failing to pass a General Fund budget for FY2016, elected officials are basically punting the following difficult, but fundamental, responsibilities to: 

  • Make decisions about how to allocate scarce resources among the aforesaid four service priorities;
  • Identify which of, and by how much, those services will be cut, despite their high priority, if the state’s current woeful fiscal condition is not addressed; or
  • Raise the tax revenue needed to fund those core services to the amounts needed to satisfy demographically driven demand.

 

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