The latest warning about Illinois’ financial condition comes from the state legislature’s forecasting bureau, whose leaders made a presentation to the Illinois State Board of Education.  “The cuts that would have to be made will be so difficult, they’ll probably have to extend the (increased income) tax,” COGFA executive director Dan Long said.  “They'll have to take $2.2 billion out of the budget coming up,” ISBE chairman Gery Chico commented.
 
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“That’s just the first half,” Long responded. “(Fiscal year) 16 is worse!”  “You’re thinking that's about $5 billion on,” Chico said.  Chico added that good-paying jobs mean you have people who contribute to the community as volunteers and in all kinds of other ways. Long said it does not appear that the Caterpillars and John Deeres of the state are expanding their manufacturing footprints here and adding high-paying jobs to Illinois’ workforce. Long said the economic climate, including taxes and a history of a high cost of workers’ compensation, will likely keep the state’s unemployment rate up over the next few years.
 
As for that income tax, the Illinois General Assembly, with the help of some lame ducks, voted to increase it from 3 percent to 5 in 2011. It’s supposed to fall to 3.75 percent after 2014.
 
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