State: AG will continue work despite budget impasse

While other constitutional officers are putting out a list of concerns in light of the ongoing budget impasse, the Attorney General’s office says they will continue to do their job.

In the past two weeks the Secretary of State and the Treasurer both provided letters to state government leaders with a list of concerns from not being able to pay utility bills or pay computer software vendors to possibly having to sell off investments because of a lack of vendor payments.

A message about any possible contingency plans being implemented at the Attorney General’s office says as lawyers, they have a responsibility to continue handling cases and abiding by court deadlines, so their office will continue routine operations. The AG’s office says they have not issued any letter to the state’s leaders with any concerns.

COGFA report highlights manufacturing declines

The latest monthly report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability says stagnate wages are in part a result of a transition from manufacturing jobs to service jobs and that impacts tax receipts for cities and the state.

Illinois’ manufacturing employment dropped significantly between 2008 and 2009 where it then went up slightly but has since continued a decline. While several other Midwestern states were showing respectable manufacturing job growth COGFA says Illinois manufacturing jobs increased only 0.7 percent and has remained unchanged since May.

Adding to the uncertainty about future increases in manufacturing jobs is the announcement of Caterpillar laying off 10,000 or more workers with a significant number coming from Illinois. There have also been job losses from Mondelez, Walgreens, Kraft and others in recent months.

COGFA report says revenues down nearly a billion in first quarter

In the first three months of the state’s fiscal year Illinois has brought in nearly a billion dollars less than the same time last year. Tax receipts continue to reflect lower income tax rates to the tune of $382 million in September.

There were also declines in insurance taxes by $7 million, public utility taxes by $4 million, interest income by $2 million and liquor taxes by $1 million.

There were some gains, however, in estate taxes which grew $12 million. Sales tax increased $6 million, as did corporate franchise tax by $5 million. Both cigarette and vehicle use taxes each posted a $1 million increase.

Senators discuss budget impasse

It’s now the beginning of Month No. Four of the budget stalemate and still no solution in sight but lawmakers are speaking out about where the state is and where the state should be headed. Senate minority leader Republican Christine Radogno says the fight is bigger than egos, it’s a fight over world view.

“Fundamentally I think most believe we need to have reform. This fight is about whether or not Illinois will be reformed and be competitive in the future”

Meanwhile Radogno says meeting with other leaders is one thing but being engaged in a solution is another. Democratic State Senator Andy Manar says leaders need to be in constant face-to-face talks with the Governor’s office to find a solution.

Manar says he fears long term damage has already been done: “How are we gonna heal these wounds and how are we going to undue the long term damage that has been set into motion in the past few months. That is my biggest concern and I don’t have an answer today and unfortunately I don’t’ think we’re gonna have an answer to that question in the near future”

Multiple requests from several leading Senate Democrats were not immediately successful. The Senate isn’t scheduled back in session until October 20th.

Illinois News Network



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