Illinois budget deficit higher than estimated, governor says

Illinois State Capitol in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration estimates Illinois faces a more-than $3 billion deficit in its next budget year.

A report Friday by the Democrat indicates the June 2020 shortfall will be 16 percent higher than former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration estimated without more revenue or cuts.

It comes less than two weeks before Pritzker proposes his first budget. The report notes that debt associated with the state’s unpaid-bill backlog sits at $15 billion and it blames Rauner’s stubbornness for hundreds of millions of dollars in penalty and otherwise unanticipated bills.

Rauner had a hand in a two-year spending dispute with Democrats which led to billions of dollars in overspending. But Democrats have virtually controlled the entire budget process since approving an income-tax increase in July 2017 over Rauner’s objections.

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