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Illinois Not Makin' Enough Paper

By Sam Bakken in News on Nov 17, 2004 10:06PM

11_2004_cash.gifHey, guess what? You'll never guess. It's just so out of the ordinary we'll just tell you, Illinois' budget is in trouble. The legislature's economic commission only expects $325 million in increased revenue for the state next year. This $325 million will not cover an expected $600 million increase in retirement costs let alone an $80 million (at least) bailout from the state for CTA. Blago's people say it's too early to tell since the next fiscal year doesn't begin until July, but that a prediction of $325 million is probably a bit low.

You might say, "Well at least they're building casinos! That will make up for the short-fall." No dice. As we told you last week, there's no real movement on the issue and with legislators packing up at the end of the week don't expect any until January.

And speaking of no movement, no real word on the CTA bailout either. Except that Rep. Julie Hamos, D-Chicago, chair of a special House committee examining local transit and its needs, said CTA will have to wait until spring for any cash. She has also said she will suggest that the CTA and RTA submit a 6-month instead of a 12-month budget. She says that may help preserve current service until the spring.