A couple of the state’s constitutional officers are urging lawmakers to come to terms on a complete budget.
With a backlog of bills more than $8.2 billion deep, Comptroller Leslie Munger said the state faces very serious financial problems.
“We need to look for efficiencies to take costs out of our state,” Munger said. “We need to bring in revenues for sure, but not only through tax increases, but also through a growing economy where we can expand our tax base and put people back to work.”
Treasurer Michael Frerichs said his office needs budget certainty to better invest the state’s money into various accounts.
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“Without the stability of knowing we have a budget in place, we can’t make long-term investments, and that means we get lower interest rates and we bring in that much less money,” Frerichs said. “That ultimately makes the jobs of the governor and the General Assembly that much more difficult.”
Frerichs said healthy investment returns help fund the state’s obligations.
“We know that every dollar we bring in is a dollar they don’t have to raise in taxes or another dollar they don’t have to cut from important services like education,” Frerichs said.
While some Democrats said the state should increase tax rates, Munger said economic growth is the answer.
“We cannot raise taxes enough to get out of the mess that we’ve built, so the best thing we can do is everybody get together, lock arms, put the people of Illinois first and get to some real solutions that will get our state out of debt and back on a strong track,” Munger said.
The state hasn’t had a full budget since June 2015 and has a backlog of bills more than $8.2 billion deep.