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My takeaways from Gov. Pritzker's budget address

FEBRUARY 19, 2020 | by Sheila Weinberg

Earlier today, Gov. Pritzker gave his fiscal year 2021 budget address. Here are my takeaways from the governor’s budget address:

  • I was pleased to see Comptroller Mendoza issue an interim financial report before the budget address. Unfortunately, Gov. Pritzker did not mention her findings, such as the state needs $214.5 billion to pay the debt it has already incurred and the state had a $3.4 billion deficit despite claims that the previous year’s budget was balanced. 

  • Gov. Pritzker says the budget will fully fund the statutory contributions to the pension plans. These statutory contributions woefully underfund the plans. Last year, the state shorted the plans by more than $4 billion using this funding scheme, which has been called a balloon payment on steroids.

  • The governor boasted that he will build up a “rainy day” fund and put $100 million into it this year. This is like me touting that I am going to put $100 into my rainy day fund while I have $225,000 in credit card debt.

You can learn more about Illinois’ overall financial condition here.