The ever-growing hole in Illinois’ operational budget has the Governor once again looking to borrow as a way to cover the state’s bills. However, State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Treasurer Dan Rutherford, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Minority Leader Tom Cross say Illinois shouldn’t rely on borrowed money, but instead limit spending to the state’s available revenues.

Recent news reports confirm Governor Pat Quinn has been pushing for a “restructuring” of debt, claiming additional borrowing won’t hurt the state’s ratings. In fact, as reported by WJBC radio, Governor Quinn said, “I think if we do the restructuring, we will enhance our credibility with the rating agencies.”

Illinois’ debt has been rising for years, with state bond and pension debt increasing from $54 billion in 2003 ($4,300 per citizen) to $119 billion today ($9,300 per citizen), which is a 120 percent increase.  As a result, Illinois is saddled with the second largest bond and pension debt of any state—and those numbers don’t even account for the billions of dollars in interest taxpayers will pay on the borrowing.

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