Illinoisans need a state government they can afford. Instead, state lawmakers have grown spending far faster than residents’ ability to pay. In per capita terms, state spending grew 25 percent faster than personal incomes over the past decade.
Illinois’ most recent budget, the one lawmakers passed over the governor’s veto in July 2017, is a case study in how the state became such a fiscal basket case. Despite a $5 billion tax hike, it contains a deficit of over $1 billion already. And that deficit is projected to exceed $2 billion next fiscal year without spending reforms.
There are only two options to deal with this out-of-control spending: Hike takes or borrow more money. Illinoisans can’t afford either of those options.
But there’s a solution to these perpetual deficits: HJRCA 38 would tie government spending growth to the average growth in the state’s economy – ensuring that in the long term, Illinoisans can rest assured they’re getting a state government they can afford.