The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn for the summer on May 31 – which means lawmakers have less than three weeks to pass a state budget. State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, has proposed what he hopes may be the big “compromise” to end the impasse.
For years, Illinois lawmakers have prioritized government-worker pay and benefits over social services. Between 2000 and 2015, contributions to Illinois state-worker pension funds shot up 586 percent, while state payments for human services increased by only 10 percent.
Illinois’ monthslong budget gridlock, $111 billion in government-worker pension debt, and more than a decade of unbalanced budgets have resulted in credit downgrades for Illinois and the highest borrowing costs of any state in the nation.