Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

March 6, 2013

Quinn to call for more cuts, scrutiny in budget

(Continued)

Quinn's administration released an outline of his $35.6 billion spending plan late Tuesday, though it didn't detail where other cuts would be made.

Attempts at pension reform have repeatedly failed, despite hard deadlines from Quinn. Several proposals are currently on the table.

The entire budget totals $62.4 billion, though that includes federal grants and other money that is generally restricted to specific purposes other than day-to-day operations.

Stermer and other budget officials characterized the budget as taking the "corrective approach," meaning Quinn's administration said the budget called for paying down roughly $2 billion toward the state's backlog of bills, which currently tops more than $9 billion.

Stermer said that over the years, budget officials have resorted to "gimmickry," including not fully appropriating money for programs but not making a true cut, which contributed to the backlog.

The budget for the 2014 fiscal year calls for paying off the backlog of Medicaid and Department of Aging bills and nearly $200 million of overdue payments for the Department of Human Services by the end of the fiscal year.

The bottom line spending in several agencies remained flat, including economic development and public safety.

The full details of the proposed budget won't be available, however, until Quinn's address. And while his administration said the governor will not call for tax increases or fee hikes, they left open the possibility of closing tax loopholes.

 

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