Illinois Republicans teamed with Democrats over the holiday weekend, voting to override the governor’s veto of a new budget, days after the annual budget deadline had passed.
Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) has vowed to get to the bottom of his state’s financial crisis, which has left Illinois without a budget for longer than any state in U.S. history, ever since he let a set of tax hikes expire in 2015.
The state is facing a $119 billion shortfall in its pension payments to its retired employees. It’s not clear how that shortfall grew so big, ever since Rauner let a set of tax hikes expire in 2015.
The state is now being threatened by credit-rating agencies with a junk rating if it doesn’t cut more services to the poor, near-poor and soon-to-be-poor, thus making the state worse and reducing tax revenues further. It’s unclear what economic measures, if any, could be enacted by Rauner, who got an economics degree from Dartmouth, an MBA from Harvard, and then made millions in private equity before becoming governor and letting a set of tax hikes expire in 2015.
The new budget Rauner vetoed would raise taxes, thereby fixing the problem, which remains a mystery.