SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration said the state budget deficit stands at $3.2 billion, $400 million than previously estimated.
The report attributes the deficit to the two-year state budget impasse, late interest penalties on missed payments, and refinancing of the bill backlog.
Other impacts cited in the report include the failure to pay the rent for the Illinois governor’s Washington, D.C. office and forfeiting millions of dollars of federal reimbursements from OSHA.
The Pritzker administration pins the bulk of the blame on the administration of former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“If Governor Pritzker were truly being honest about our state’s fiscal condition, he would not be pushing for new programs and massive increases in state spending on top of a projected $3.2 billion budget deficit for FY2020,” said Illinois Republican Party spokesman Aaron DeGroot. “Pritzker cannot make the math work without big tax increases, particularly on middle class families. To make matters worse, Democrats in the statehouse will only encourage Pritzker’s profligate spending habits.”
Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes said the Pritzker administration aims to be “honest and transparent about the challenges we face” as the state looks to recover its financial footing.