Editor’s Desk: Stopgap budget already has an $8 billion pricetag


• Dan McCaleb is executive editor of Northwest Herald. Email him at dmccaleb@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Dan_McCaleb.

Turns out Reps. David McSweeney and Jack Franks were right. 

The temporary budget approved late last month by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner is a disaster.

At the request of McSweeney, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability analyzed the six-month budget and found that it’s about $8 billion out of whack. That’s right, $8 billion with a “B.”

The state is expected to bring in $31.8 billion but spend $39.6 billion. And as I wrote in this space the day after the budget disaster was approved, that means huge tax increases are coming after the November elections.

McSweeney and Franks were among only a handful of lawmakers to vote against the deal.

“The COGFA estimate of a $7.8 billion Fiscal Year 17 budget deficit is proof that the recently passed unbalanced stopgap measure is making our insolvent state’s fiscal problems much worse,” McSweeney said. “The General Assembly should do its job and go back into session to immediately adopt a balanced budget without a tax increase.

“If the General Assembly doesn’t come back into session until the next scheduled date of Nov. 15, it’s likely that there will be a massive income tax increase. Secret working groups have already been discussing raising the income tax rate by about 30 percent. Raising taxes is the wrong answer and will kill jobs and hurt families.”

McSweeney, of course, is absolutely right.

Don’t expect Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to heed his call.

Expect to hand over more of your money next year.