If you’re looking for any moves to conserve cash at any level of government in Illinois, forget it. Unlike most private sector companies that have implemented harsh spending reductions, we haven’t seen even the slightest discussion of that for Illinois government.

Governor JB Pritzker was asked Monday, “What steps are being taken to shore up state spending in anticipation of the crater of state revenues? Is your administration implementing any cutback of services or staff reductions?”

He ducked any concrete answer about steps to save cash. Here is how he answered:

First of all, this is, I mean it’s unprecedented in terms of the state even compared to 2008-2009, the revenue shortfall, the things that we’re having to do to address this, you know is creating a gap that I don’t think anybody could have anticipated. So we are looking very hard at what we need to do to get the revenues and expenditures in line with one another. I think a lot of it is going to depend upon the federal government I mean there’s just no one else who can step in the, you know, to help our state finances, the way that the federal government can. The truth is we are going to need more, every state is going to need more because every state’s revenues have cratered.

A federal bailout. That’s really all he had to offer.

It won’t happen. Yes, cities and states likely will get significant help from the treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank, but it won’t be enough for Illinois and most of its municipalities that were in death spirals of their own making long before the pandemic. Lawmakers from properly managed states almost certainly won’t authorize aid that is not proportional based on population and, in any event, the aid likely won’t be enough even to cover costs of containing the virus and revenue reduction from the downturn. Hopefully, Washington will also condition help on reform for the states that need it, as we have written, reforms Illinois so far has refused.

As for Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot seems truly delusional. She said last week the city was fully prepared for the crisis. And the Chicago Sun-Times has an editorial that basically says spending cuts wouldn’t matter for Chicago because it is so broke, it needs spending stimulus and Chicago can look to Washington for a bailout of at least $1 billion. We expect Congress, especially the Senate, will say cut spending, make reforms or drop dead, Chicago.

A tiny ray of hope emerged Monday at least for Cook County when a Crain’s article said county HR officials sent an email Friday suggesting employees jobs and pay could shift after April 30. But board President Toni Preckwinkle declined on Wednesday to commit to anything.

Illinois is banking on a fairy tale.

-Mark Glennon

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Danni Smith
7 months ago

chiraq and Illinois are dead – the feds telling them to drop dead will fall on dead ears. As a legal Illinois citizen paying for welfare momas, illegals, obcene pensions, outrageous salaries in the highest gub employee, highest taxed state in the country, I savor the death of this corrupt state. PRAYING NO OTHER STATE BECOMES RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CRIMINAL AND IDIOT STATE.

Freddy
7 months ago

This is brand new. Total Shock and Awe on my part. I went to my local treasurers website (Winnebago County) to check if property tax bills (2019) are ready and are on the website and it states in RED that partial payments can be made based on the most recent tax bill from the drop down box which is 2018. Credit cards will be accepted but what are the charges incurred and if I mail a check is anyone there to process. Just got thru on phone and they said I can pay partial now but has to be paid… Read more »

Poor Taxpayer
7 months ago

Why should they? The shareholders are the Public. The Public is nothing but cannon fodder.
If you do not like it LEAVE.

Deep in the Heart
7 months ago

What happened? I was born and raised in Chgo/suburbs and left at the end of the Big Jim Thompson era for my job. I thought that Illinois was a good place to live (weather notwithstanding) and raise our kids at the time. Now when I asked a friend (Mokena) what’s new in Illinois he replied, “Do you mean outside of our governor coming up with new ways to tax us?” A retired friend (Calumet City) from our Chicago office said she’s afraid of being taxed out of her house. A guy I worked with before I retired just moved to… Read more »

MikeH
7 months ago

“What happened?” Same BS for too many years, with the pols promising different results and the electorate being stupid enough to believe them. Chief among said politicians being the guy who was in charge of the House back when you left: Mike Madigan.

Deep in the Heart
7 months ago
Reply to  MikeH

30+ yrs. He should retire and get some new blood in there.

debtsor
7 months ago
Reply to  MikeH

Mike Madigan has found a way to pay/bribe/employ the bare minimum number of people in his handcrafted gerrymandered district to win election every year for 40 years straight. It’s no secret that his district is full of people all employed at various levels of city, county, township, and state government. He will occasionally stick his neck out to get somebody a job but he usually uses his underlings to do the dirty work. Like that METRA chief that blew the whistle on Madigan, was fired/quit, and then quickly accepted a massive golden parachute. Madigan gets people the jobs and his… Read more »

Danni Smith
7 months ago

Please President TRUMP no bailout for Illinois. She has been on life support for too long. Take away her ventilator.. No hydroxychloroquine. She has many underlying conditions. Let the chinese virus kill her.

The Truth Hurts
7 months ago

There is no way the fed will allow states to run out of money during this crisis. With so much money being produced out of thin air we may have some serious inflation on the horizon. Who knows, maybe Liz Bauer’s article was more serious than even she realized and the pension problem is about to be solved.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ebauer/2019/08/07/a-modest-proposal-to-solve-illinois-pension-woes/#3cc676192815

debtsor
7 months ago

” With so much money being produced out of thin air we may have some serious inflation on the horizon.” This is a much discussed topic in many circles, and while half believe that serious inflation is coming, the other half disagrees, because we’ve already HAD the inflation you speak of. The dollar has lost 96% of its value in the last 100 years, Everything from real estate, college tuition, health care, stocks, bonds, assets, cars, gas, food, cereal, produce, rents, iphones, income for the top 10% of all households, everything you can imagine has increased exponentially in price last… Read more »

JimBob
7 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

Deflation would increase the purchasing power of a defined benefit pension but would reduce the value of assets backing-up the pension promises. Topping up with fixed 3% COLA exacerbates the problem. This translates to a larger gap between retiree expectations and the economic interests of other taxpayers. Many pension recipients move out of state and more are likely to do so if their local taxes are going up while their asset values are going down. Who can capture this information in a way that taxpayers who remain Illinois voters will better understand how they are being reamed from multiple angles… Read more »

William Gragert
7 months ago

The sad thing is our governor knows that and using it to his own advantage I am sure, how is he not out of there yet. Sweep them all out of office and bring in people who are more worthy.

Tom Paine's Ghost
7 months ago

The fundamental requirement for government union pension reform is elimination of government worker unions. Period.Government worker unions bribe politicians with “contributions”, votes and boots on the ground at election time. Politicians return the favor with grossly above market salaries and gold plated pensions. All at taxpayer expense.

All of Illinois financial problems stem from this one root cause. Cut the head off the snake.

bagelgirl
7 months ago

Public sector employees no longer are required to pay union dues. At what point will public workers get fed up with high taxes and low property values?

Tom Paine's Ghost
7 months ago
Reply to  bagelgirl

As long as public sector workers are grossly overpaid versus market rate wages and receive gold plated benefits they’ll never get tired of their cushy and criminal deal. The elimination of union dues is simply a bonus.The high taxes and low property values are just an unpleasant cost for their high pay/obscene pension deal. Once they retire, the smart ones leave Illinois and discard the high taxes and low property values.

Rick
7 months ago

This will be the next big fight in congress over the virus package. Pensions. Pelosi already said she wants pensions in it, and assume she’s only talking govt. sector pensions since nobody else gets pensions anymore. What about my 401K Nancy, no bailout for my losses? Mitch McConnell already said pensions will not be in the next package. Matter and anti-matter are about to collide in Washington.

7 months ago

I hear someone quote someone (didn’t get the names, sorry) the other day that “When the tide goes out is when all the naked swimmers are exposed.” Take that as you wish. It was in reference to our money problems.

7 months ago

Hey maybe China could buy Illinois….(that’s a joke, ok) But it does seem as if a lot of Congressional lawmakers have sold out to China…they just seem to go where the money is….

Mark Felt
7 months ago

When you have followed delusional policies for many, many years it is a tough thing to wake up to reality.

s and p 500
7 months ago

Could you possibly be more specific regarding how much aid states and cities can expect and how much they want as initial requests? If not a specific amount then maybe a percentage of their annual budget, or what they expect to lose for the rest of the year as a result of the current situation. Detroit and Puerto Rico both asked for help from the feds and they were turned down, so is this situation different? Gerald Ford told NYC to “drop dead” in 1976. And yes, Pritzker’s letter is hilarious, just as funny as AMC’s theatre’s letter to landlords… Read more »

Mike Williams
7 months ago

Each Illinois taxpayer that leaves sticks the dagger a little deeper into Lightfoot and/or Pritzker. If there are any heroes in the Illinois story, it is you.

DantheMan
7 months ago

With regard to Wirepoints, I’m eternally grateful for all the information about Illinois. I think it only fair however to consider Wirepoints has a subtle conflict of interest. Wirepoints makes a strong case that Illinois will collapse under it’s debt and it’s leaders aren’t interested in doing anything substantial to stop it. I believe this is what most Illinois residents would consider a hopeless situation, yet Wirepoints does not outright endorse leaving the state. Why? It seems to be a logical conclusion. (To be fair, I have never seen Wirepoints be critical of anyone who has decided to leave.) Wirepoints… Read more »

The Truth Hurts
7 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

I would be more concerned if a website like this was devoted to articles telling people that they should leave. What would be the point? Frankly I’m more surprised by the people that tell everyone to leave Illinois over and over and over. I understand their thoughts I just don’t understand how that is a good use of their time. It’s like someone who divorced their spouse and now spends their time online talking bad about them. I’m sure it’s therapeutic at first but if it continues these people should seek professional help.

DantheMan
7 months ago

I’m not concerned about the conflict of interest. It’s minor. All I did was point out that there is a subtle conflict of interest.

Illinois Entrepreneur
7 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

I’m not seeing any “conflict of interest.” A conflict of interest arises when one party wants something that will directly harm another’s. Why would “fixing Illinois” so we can stay and enjoy it harm other citizens’ interests?

ConcernedExpat
7 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

I don’t know if you understand what a conflict of interest is

debtsor
7 months ago

Tsk, Tsk, don’t encourage us NOT to leave. Before you know it, the middle class taxpayers will all be gone, and you’ll FINALLY have that progressive paradise you’ve always been waiting for. And when your progressive type has everything they want, and there are still the same old problems, you all just blame Trump and Rauner, even though both of them will have died of natural causes many generations earlier. I wouldn’t be surprised if a bronze upside down statute of Rauner is hung in effigy in Daley Plaza as a reminder of whose fault this all is. All Rauner.… Read more »

mqyl
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

I understand that there are valid reasons to stay, but valid reasoning 10-20 years ago may not be now. For example, staying in IL because you didn’t want your grade-school child pulled away from his or her friends may have been valid reasoning before but may not be now, since IL’s finances and the resultant burden on its residents have become worse. Also, those who elect to stay should understand the stiff financial penalty they pay in hundreds of thousands of dollars in reduced assets over time due to stagnant or lowering property values, and excessive taxes and user fees… Read more »

7 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

There is nothing wrong with being positive, in my opinion. There are those who are unwilling to just give up and leave, but are willing to make sacrifices and stay to fight, kinda like what our Founders did in the Revolutionary War…and that didn’t look good either. It is good for us to know the facts and I am grateful for Wirepoints’ actions in doing this crucial work. The daily feed from Wirepoints keeps getting longer (not complaining) and is enough to make your mind go bonkers. It must be digested in small doses. But I am grateful for their… Read more »

Rick
7 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

Wirepoints gives great reliable data and news, it makes the hypocrisy crystal clear, unlike the media. And hypocrisy is something that makes people take notice, get mad and start to give a crap. Leaving is always a highly individualized and group decision for a family, regardless of anything presented by any source like wirepoints. Wirepoints is for the most part simply smart enough to let people make their own decisions from data. I have never felt like Wirepoints is outright directing some kind of agenda for people to leave, any apparent agenda people see here emerges logically from obvious actions… Read more »

nixit
7 months ago

Federal bailout dollars are meant to be replacement dollars for foregone revenue during this pandemic, not to pay debts from previous pandemics.

Illinois Entrepreneur
7 months ago
Reply to  nixit

That’s the rub. They are hoping that some giant panacea from the feds will swoop in and no one will notice that the asking price is much higher than the damages. The reality is that even if there is a bailout, you can bet on the 80% scenario that it will only partially fund the revenue loss from the pandemic, not take care of anything else.

debtsor
7 months ago

“They are hoping that some giant panacea from the feds will swoop in and no one will notice that the asking price is much higher than the damages. ”

That’s the hope without the change they’re counting on. A drooling senile old man and his cabinet of unsupervised cronies looting the treasury will bail out Illinois in February 2020.

let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

7 months ago
Reply to  nixit

Could not have said any clearer. If the state Leaders continue to scoff serious reforms there should not be a Federal bailout or financial assistance.

Old Spartan
7 months ago

The liquidity crunch in next 90 days might just be what this state and City need for people to wake up. Cant imagine how there will be enough cash to keep paying the expenses, especially the payrolls. A federal bailout wont come in time– if ever. And private sector creditors have to see the writing on the wall. And has any one seen a world class team of financial experts lined up to work on the problem? Or do we have just a bunch of loyalist JV players who help prepare bogus budgets and offer no real solutions. Even union… Read more »

Riverbender
7 months ago

Hopefully not. It is time for the Illinois brain dead voters and the pablum serving politicians they elect.