Politics & Government

Nonpartisan examination of the workings of state and national institutions, including legislatures, bureaucracy, and electoral systems

No Magic Bullet: Constructing a Roadmap for Illinois Fiscal Sustainability

Authors

  • Chuanyi Guo
  • Di Qiao

The state of Illinois finally ended its two-year budget impasse in July 2017 but continues to face a structural fiscal imbalance. We use comprehensive data supplied by the Illinois Comptroller to construct a time series showing Illinois state revenue and expenditures on a consistent basis since FY1998. We find that during this period Illinois’ expenditures have grown faster than its revenue and the state has had large budgetary gaps, with spending significantly exceeding sustainable revenue, since FY2000.


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Related News

The Feds giveth and the Feds taketh away

Authors

Governments in Illinois have been forced to spend tens of millions of dollars due to the loss of subsidies in a federal bond program, and could lose hundreds of millions more if the federal budget sequester remains in place, according to an analysis from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.


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First you stop digging: Projections of Illinois' fiscal imbalance and paths to remedy it

Authors

The state of Illinois has operated for many years with a structurally unbalanced budget in the sense that, under the policies in place at the time, government revenue generated by the tax system was insufficient to pay for government spending under current law. This new report from IGPA's Fiscal Futures Project says the state of Illinois can recover from its current fiscal problems, but only with a disciplined and sustain approach that considers many alternatives. 


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Fiscal Futures Project Documentation: November 2016

Authors

The Fiscal Futures Project, which began in 2008, is dedicated to informing the public and policymakers in Illinois about long-term budget issues.  The Fiscal Futures Project has developed and refined two important tools over the last eight and one-half years. 


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Budget Enforcement Mechanisms

Authors

  • Chuanyi Guo

Research suggests that a solution to Illinois’ current fiscal crisis will require a "grand plan" with multiple revenue increases, multiple spending cuts, and multiple years of adjustment. Extraordinary budgeting mechanisms may be required to achieve political consensus on and implement such a plan. This article provides an overview of some public budget enforcement mechanisms designed to facilitate long-term fiscal stability in the U.S and around the world.


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Illinois Still in the "Financial Condition Penalty" Box

Authors

Illinois’ Jan. 14 sale of $480 million in general obligation bonds brought the state nearly $53 million less than it could have received had it been in better fiscal shape.

The analysis also indicates that this “financial condition penalty” could more than double in future years if the crisis continues. And when future capital needs are included, the estimated penalty could grow to more than $400 million per year, according to the study.


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Consequences of Inaction

Authors

  • Andrew Crosby

New analysis by the Fiscal Futures Project finds that Illinois’ budget impasse has put spending on autopilot while revenue is down significantly. This perfect storm of decreased revenue and uncoordinated spending is causing uneven allocations and exacerbating an already massive budget deficit. 


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Testing Report

Authors

  • Mary Hadalittlelamb

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Revisiting redistricting

Authors

Chapter 7 of The Illinois Report 2013

Delving into the complicated and often politically fraught process of redrawing electoral district boundaries after each decennial census, this chapter examines whether there is evidence that the purportedly gerrymandered maps played a role in the 2012 election. Using the 2012 U.S. House election, the authors reveal why partisan control of the process should be regarded with suspicion.


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Public policies to increase hospital competition, improve quality of inpatient care and lower health care costs

Authors

Chapter 6 of The Illinois Report 2013

This report provides an assessment of three state policies that are targeted at the hospital industry in Illinois. The authors take a close look at tax exemptions for not-for-profit hospitals, the Medicaid hospital assessment program, and the Certificate of Need laws. The authors discuss strategies to alter these policies in a way that could lower costs and create a more competitive, higher quality hospital industry.


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