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Assessing Illinois’ Fiscal Future After an Influx of Federal Funds

Assessing Illinois’ Fiscal Future After an Influx of Federal Funds

As the U.S. continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, state governments are faced with the challenge of prudent fiscal management considering the pandemic’s uncertain course into the near future. However, as reported elsewhere, states' revenues have largely fared better than expected at the pandemic’s onset. Illinois is no exception.

Unprecedented federal stimulus and other measures have helped boost Illinois’ revenues beyond initial projections in 2021. Nominal revenue across all funds rose to $91.4 billion in 2021. Total expenditures rose to $92.3 billion in 2021. The temporary influx of federal funds and the pandemic driven increase in yearly expenditures and revenues makes it difficult to fully capture the change in Illinois’ long term fiscal health. Both spending and revenues have increased significantly beyond their long-term trends.

This report summarizes Illinois’ fiscal situation at the end of fiscal year 2021, which ran from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. The IGPA Fiscal Futures Project has tracked Illinois’ fiscal situation using detailed revenue and expenditure figures from the Illinois Office of the Comptroller (IOC) since 1998.

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Spending categories that have particularly large percentage increases from 2020 experienced temporary growth in expenditures due to the pandemic response and the influx of federal funds for that response.

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