Group offers timeline to show 'History of Hurt' in budget impasse
As the fiscal year started July 1 in Illinois without a full budget, the Better Government Association (BGA) offered an interactive timeline detailing how the budget impasse began and progressed from the beginning of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s term in January 2015.
The state ended its two year budget stalemate last week after overriding Rauner's veto of a $36 billion spending bill and a revenue bill that raises income and corporate taxes.
The BGA timeline includes entries for various budget proposals and budget-related legislative actions, as well as events linked to the budget impasse, like the numerous state credit downgrades and the layoffs and program suspensions resulting from a lack of state funding.
In a release accompanying the timeline, the BGA outlines the severe consequences of the impasse and the significant problems the state will face if the General Assembly again fails to pass a budget.
Illinois has amassed 14.72 billion in debt and kept vital programs, like those that help provide financial aid for college, underfunded. The lack of appropriations has also caused many colleges and other institutions that rely on state funding to lay off personnel.
The BGA contends that a third year without a budget would have ended ongoing construction projects, which would eliminate approximately 25,000 jobs. It would also put even more strain on K-12 schools, some of which would likely not be able to stay open for a full school year, the group said.