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The Fiscal Futures Project


The Fiscal Futures Project is dedicated to informing the public and policymakers about state budget transparency and long-term budget concerns. Three central elements are:
  • The creation and maintenance of a comprehensive and consistently defined measure of the Illinois state budget.

  • The capacity to project Illinois state spending and revenue streams into the future under current or alternative policies.

  • The comparison of budget transparency issues across states--a search for best practices

The work of the Fiscal Futures Project is supported by a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The Latest from the Fiscal Futures Project

All Bad Things Come in Threes: Illinois' Third Type of Deficit, Infrastructure Funding
(September 2015)

On top of a shortfall of sustainable revenue to support state spending and a huge backlog of unfunded pension liabilities, Illinois faces a third type of deficit: a lack of funding for future construction of infrastructure projects. This report uses debt affordability analysis to estimate that even if Illinois maintains its currently high debt burden, the state would need tens of billions of dollars in additional revenue to pay for needed infrastructure.

Policy Brief

Fact Sheet

Full Report

Apocalypse Now? The Consequences of Pay-Later Budgeting in Illinois: Updated Projections from IGPA's Fiscal Futures Model
(January 2015)

For years Illinois has been spending much more than could be supported by sustainable sources of revenue and covering the deficit by issuing IOUs. New projections from the Fiscal Futures model put the magnitude of the underlying deficit at $9 billion for FY 2016—and growing thereafter. The accumulated value of all the IOUs issued to pay for past deficits now totals $159 billion. These IOUs represent claims on the state that when paid off will crowd-out spending on other priorities.  

Full report  


(The next two documents provide background information for the Apocalypse Now? report.)


Illinois FY 2015 Budget in Review: What Happened?

(January 16, 2014)



Fiscal Futures Project Documentation: January 2015

This report documents the detailed definitions, assumptions and sources of information used by the most recent versions of the Fiscal Futures all-funds database and model.



The Scarlet Letter in the Municipal Bond Market: A Cost of Illinois' Poor Fiscal Reputation

(March 2014)

This study shows that Illinois pays an interest rate premium on bonds in excess of its actual default risk due to its poor fiscal reputation.

Full report



Peering Over Illinois' Fiscal Cliff: New Projections from IGPA's Fiscal Futures Model

Illinois Report 2014 (March 2014)            



Making the 2011 Tax Increase Permanent

Illinois Budget Policy Toolbox (February 2014)



Business Taxes

Illinois Budget Policy Toolbox (February 2014)



Overview of the Economic and Fiscal Situation in Illinois

Illinois Budget Policy Toolbox (February 2014)



Illinois Still Has Serious Budget Problems After December 2013 Pension Law Changes

(January 2014 revision)



For more by The Fiscal Futures Project, visit the Research and Articles page.


Flash Index Title

The State of the Illinois Economy

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 23, 2015 - 8:00am
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:00pm