The real “State of the State”

The real “State of the State”

Facts you won't hear during Gov. Quinn's State of the State 2013 address



  • Illinois ranks 45th in GDP growth from 2000 to 2010.
  • Illinois’ unemployment was 8.7 percent for December, totaling about 575,000 Illinoisans out of work
  • Average month-to-month unemployment for 2012 was 8.9 percent, ninth-highest in the country.
  • Illinois has lost a net of one resident every 10 minutes during the last 15 years.
  • Illinois ranks second in the country in out-migration for 2012, down from first the previous year.
  • The rate of entrepreneurship in Illinois has been below the national average every year since 1996, with the exception of 2001.
  • Chicago is tied with Detroit for the worst entrepreneurship rate among the 15 largest metropolitan areas in the country.
  • Illinois ranks 39th in the country in personal income per capita growth from 2000 to 2010.
  • Illinois ranks 16th in personal income per person. Illinois ranked in the top 10 throughout the 1990s.
  • Illinois ranks 47th in non-farm payroll employment growth from 2000 to 2010.
  • One in three Illinoisans lives at or near poverty.
  • One in five Illinois children are in poverty.
  • 2 million people were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, in Illinois in October 2012.
  • 2.1 million people in Illinois were receiving Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefits in fiscal year 2011.
  • 55 percent of students in Illinois are eligible for free and reduced price lunches in fiscal year 2013.
  • 82 percent of students in Chicago are eligible for free and reduced price lunches in fiscal year 2013.
  • Approximately 87 percent of Chicago Public Schools students come from low-income families.
  • Ranks 47th in the 2011 Index of Entrepreneurial Activity by the Kauffman Foundation.
  • Ranks 44th in the 2011 State Competitiveness Report by the Beacon Hill Institute.
  • Ranks 40th in the 2011 Small Business Survival Index by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.
  • Ranks 48th for Economic Performance in 2012 by American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.
  • Ranks 48th for Economic Outlook in 2012 by ALEC.
  • Ranks 38th in the 2012 Best States for Business report by Forbes.
  • Ranks 48th in the 2012 Best/Worst States for Business report by Chief Executive magazine.
  • Ranks 26th in the 2012 Top States for Business report by CNBC.
  • Ranks 35th in the 2012 Business Policy Index by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.
  • Ranks 29th in 2013 State Business Tax Climate by the Tax Foundation.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 5.2 percent of all hourly paid workers in the U.S. make the prevailing Federal minimum wage, which is a smaller percentage than in 1979
  • Most minimum-wage workers are 25 or younger, and 69 percent work part time.
  • Two-thirds of minimum-wage workers earn raises within a year.
  • Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly-paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the Federal minimum wage or less.


  • Illinois hiked taxes by 67 percent in 2011, the highest recent tax increase in the country.
  • Ninth-highest overall tax burden per capita in the nation, even before factoring in the 2011 tax hike.
  • Fourth-highest corporate income tax in the country and the industrialized world.
  • Seventh-highest property tax in the nation.
  • 10th-highest combined state and local sales tax rates in the nation.
  • Fifth-highest gas taxes in the nation.
  • Second-highest property taxes on owner occupied housing as percentage of median home value.
  • In 2012, the typical Illinoisan has worked 208 days to earn enough money to pay for the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by governments at all levels.
  • 11 credit downgrades by the major credit rating agencies since Quinn took office in 2009 — one downgrade every 4.4 months
  • S&P Ratings Services rates Illinois at an A-, with a negative outlook, the worst in the nation.
  • Moody’s Investors Service has Illinois ranked at A2, also worst in the nation, since January 2012.
  • Illinois has the worst-funded pension systems in the nation.
  • Illinois currently owes $95 billion in pension debt. Under new accounting rules, that debt grows to more than $200 billion.
  • On top of pension debt, Illinois owes $54 billion for unfunded retiree health benefits.
  • Illinois owes $15 billion in principal on pension obligation bonds issued to keep the pension systems afloat.
  • For the second year in a row, Illinois’ annual pension contribution will grow by nearly $1 billion.
  • Illinois’ five pension systems are expected to pay out more than
    $600 billion in pension benefits between now and 2045, but have just
    $62 billion in assets on hand.
  • None of Illinois’ five pension systems have enough assets on
    hand to pay benefits to those who have already retired, let alone those
    still working.
  • Illinois’ pension systems miss out on more than $7.6 billion per year in investment returns.
  • Pension inaction costs Illinois’ $21 million per day.
  • Illinois pension funds need 19 percent annual investment returns in order to pay for the promised benefits.
  • Illinois will spend more on pensions than education by 2016.
  • Illinois also has roughly $9.4 billion in unpaid bills.
  • Illinois’ total state debt is more than $63,000 per household and totals more than $305 billion


  • The Illinois General Assembly currently has three indicted members — Rep. Derrick Smith, Rep. La Shawn Ford and Sen. Donne Trotter
  • Illinois is the third most corrupt state in the country.
  • The Chicago metropolitan area has been the most corrupt area in the country since 1976.
  • Illinois has had more than 1,800 public corruption convictions since 1976. This includes three of the last six governors.
  • Illinois has the most units of local government of any state in the country.
  • Gov. Pat Quinn received an F in the Cato Institute’s Governor’s Report Card, and came in dead last overall.


  • Medicaid reimbursement rates are among the worst in the nation.
  • Medicaid enrollment has ballooned to more than 3 million Illinoisans in 2012, up from 1.5 million Illinoisans in 2000.
  • Although Medicaid was intended as a temporary safety net for those in poverty, just 37 percent of Illinois enrollees were in poverty in 2010, down from 51 percent of enrollees in 2002.
  • The number of uninsured has grown to 1.9 million Illinoisans, or 14.7 percent of the population, in 2011. That’s up from 1.6 million people, or 12.4 percent of the population, in 2002.
  • Illinois has among the most health insurance mandates in the region.
  • Illinois has among the highest health insurance premiums in the region.
  • 88 percent of hospitals will be hit with Medicare rate cuts due to ObamaCare, 1.5 times more than the regional average.


  • Only 24 percent of Illinois high school students are college-ready in reading.
  • Only 30 percent of Illinois high school students are college-ready in math.
  • Only 23 percent of Illinois high school students are college-ready in science.
  • Only 8 percent of Illinois high school students are college-ready in writing.
  • 66 percent of Illinois schools failed to make adequate yearly progress in 2012.
  • 82 percent of all Illinois districts failed to make adequate yearly progress in 2012.
  • Illinois’ average teacher salary hit an all-time high at $66,614 per year.
  • Illinois’ average administrator salary hit an all-time high at $110,870 in 2012.
  • Illinois’ average spending per student hit an all-time high at $11,664 in 2012.
  • 71 cents of every new education dollar – for downstate and suburban
    schools – from the past five years has been spent on teacher


  • Between 1983 and 2011 government employee unions gained nearly 4,000 members per year, while private sector unions lost approximately 10,600 every year.
  • An estimated 96 percent of state employees are union represented.
  • 74 percent of the city of Chicago’s expenses are related to personnel.
  • Union PAC contributions are heavily partisan: for every dollar that goes to Republican candidates, more than four go to Democrats.
  • 14.6 percent of Illinois workers are union members, the 11th-highest state percentage in the country.
  • 40,000 members of AFSCME, the second largest public sector union, are currently without a contract and yet no knowledge of negotiations is available to the public.
  • Illinois is not a Right-to-Work state. Right-to-Work states have superior economic performance in many areas.

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