A recent Associated Press report underscored the significant challenges Illinois faces when it comes to filling its anticipated multi-billion dollar budget hole. The Associated Press found that of 22 states facing budget deficits, Illinois has the worst deficit by far, at more than $6 billion.
According to the AP’s analysis:
-The only state neighboring Illinois that is also facing a deficit is Wisconsin, which has two year deficit of $650 million or only 1/10 of Illinois’ deficit.
-The other 21 states with a shortfall have an average deficit of $974 million – less than 1/6 Illinois’ deficit. Additionally, many of those are two-year budgets.
-The only other state with a deficit half as big as Illinois’ is Alaska. Alaska faces a $3.6 billion deficit, which has been attributed to plunging gas and energy costs.
Senator Bill Brady(R-Bloomington) commented, "The time to face our budget crisis head on is long past due. We must remain committed to making the tough but necessary decisions in order to return Illinois to solid fiscal footing."