Even if you've actively avoided the latest news about our state's financial problems, you're no doubt aware that we've got a few pressing money problems in Illinois--problems that require a concerted effort to address and tackle. So, why isn't that being done?

Just a short list of the current financial difficulties Illinois is facing includes:

  • No working budget for over 3 years
  • The State Comptroller just warned 100 percent of the state's monthly revenue will be eaten up by court-ordered payments.
  • The state lotto requires a payment from the legislature each year. The current appropriation expires June 30, meaning no authority to pay prizes. In anticipation of a budget deadlock, the state already is planning to halt Powerball and Mega Millions sales.
  • Moody’s Investors Services has downgraded Illinois' credit rating to the lowest of any state.
  • The state currently has $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations.
  • A backlog of unpaid bills worth $13 billion.
  • There's even talk that Illinois could be the first to attempt to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy -- but under the law, that’s impossible unless Congress gets involved.

Instead of tackling the important issues, our state's lawmakers are instead doing things like making sure catfish is actually catfish on your favorite restaurant's menu.

Illinois State Representative Jeanne Ives (R), serving the 42nd District, which includes all or portions of Wheaton, Warrenville, West Chicago, Winfield, Carol Stream, Lisle, and Naperville, gave her thoughts the other day on why we have no progress to report:

Feeling better about things now? Could I interest you in some verified catfish?