Budget projections released by the Quinn Administration during the week offer a bleak preview of the state’s fiscal situation, though a Senate Republican plan could serve as a commonsense road map to financial recovery.

The need to address the state’s dire budget situation is further underscored by a new report released January 5 by a global credit rating agency. Fitch Ratings emphasized the importance of reining in the state’s Medicaid and pension obligations, and pursuing long-term solutions to finance state government operations. 

Illinois’ ongoing budget woes continue to be the preeminent issue facing state leaders. When the 2012 legislative session gets under way later this month, one issue is likely to overshadow all others – the continuously weak position of the Illinois state budget.

That was reinforced when the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget on January 3 released preliminary revenue and spending projections for the next three fiscal years. While Governor Pat Quinn isn’t scheduled to deliver his formal budget address until February 22, the projections emphasize the severity of the financial challenges facing Illinois.

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