(Springfield, IL) – Illinois will be facing an $800 million deficit within three years, despite tax revenue projected to grow by more than $1 billion a year.
“These projections clearly demonstrate that action must be taken to control not only Medicaid costs but also (pension) costs or all other areas of government will continue to be squeezed,” Kelly Kraft, the governor’s budget spokeswoman said in a statement.
Quinn on Tuesday released his three-year budget projection in which Illinois in fiscal 2013 is expected to spend $33.7 billion, about $1.5 billion more than this year. By fiscal 2015, Illinois’ expenditures will reach $34.2 billion, or $2 billion more than the current budget.
The governor’s fiscal outline is part of the state’s Budgeting for Results initiative. Lawmakers created this process in 2011 to force the governor to craft a realistic budget within the financial means of the state.
The majority of the additional spending will be on public employee pensions.
Quinn’s own numbers project an $818 million deficit by 2015, even after holding spending flat on Medicaid, elementary and high school funding, and state government services.
Illinois’ pension payment jumps $1.1 billion in fiscal 2013, from $4.2 billion this year to $5.3 billion. By 2015, Illinois will be making an annual pension payment of $5.9 billion.
Republican State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said the state cannot afford a nearly $6 billion pension payment.