A fiscal watchdog group is rolling out a series of proposals it says would eliminate the state's operating deficit next year and wipe out the state's multi-billion dollar bill backlog within a few years.
The Civic Federation's Institute for Illinois' Fiscal Sustainability released its set of recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. The Civic Federation said Illinois should begin to tax all retirement income, extend the state sales tax to 14 additional services currently taxed by Wisconsin, place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to clarify the pension protection clause, merge the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund with the Teachers' Retirement System that serves the rest of the state's educators, and consolidate the more than 7,000 units of government in the state.
“Building political will to implement more painful tax and fiscal policies will be difficult, but it is necessary in order to secure Illinois’ financial future,” said Civic Federation President Lawrence Msall. “Recent State-issued documents offered potential investors no assurances that Illinois will enact budgets in future years. This is troubling, as another impasse could wipe out any modest progress made in recent months and leave us with increasingly grim financial decisions.”
The organization also recommends significant spending controls to right Illinois' fiscal ship.