Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner believes in smaller government and lower taxes, so much so that he's blocked the state budget process since the last budget ended in June 2015. Since the state has no budget, we haven't paid our bills, so our IOUs just keep getting bigger:
Moody's Investors Service says the state's backlog of unpaid bills and other obligations now is rising roughly $450 million a month, hitting $6.6 billion as of Dec. 31.
Projections from Rauner's budget are that the total will hit $9 billion by the end of the fiscal year on June 30 and keep rising from there, assuming no budget deal is reached, Moody's says—almost what it was after [former Democratic governor Pat] Quinn took over and pushed through a 66 percent income tax hike that gradually reduced the list of IOUs.
State taxes dropped again on January 1st as earlier, "temporary" tax hikes declined; as a result, Illinois will have $3.6 billion less to spend even if we can pass a budget before June 30th.
So, as a Grover Norquist-inspired plutocrat, Rauner wins if the Democratic legislature passes his budget proposal, and he wins if the state's government remains hobbled. Meanwhile, we residents and taxpayers of Illinois would really like essential government services to resume.
Rauner gives the State of the State address in just a few minutes. It should be interesting.