From AP - News Local/State -

Many Challenges as Quinn Inks Budget

Gov. Pat Quinn has a tough job ahead of him as he prepares to deliver his latest proposed budget Wednesday for a state in financial disarray.

Outside analysts in recent months have described Illinois' fiscal condition as "a deep hole,'' a "downspin'' and "not fiscally sustainable.''

Several factors have contributed to the state's budget mess.

Lawmakers have yet to find a solution for Illinois' $97 billion pension crisis.  That's caused annual payments to public-employee retirement funds to balloon to nearly 16 percent of the state's general funds budget. It likely means multimillion-dollar cuts to education and other areas.

Years of what critics call "budget gimmicks'' also has left Illinois with a $9 billion backlog of unpaid bills, and the state's economic recovery has been slow.

 Quinn's address is scheduled for noon Wednesday.  The speech will be carried live on AM 580, with analysis from Illinois Public Radio.

Categories: Economics