The photo is just a "stock image," but it could very well be a shot of Illinois comptroller Leslie Munger's desk. We've gone a year without a state budget, and July 1st marks the beginning of a new fiscal year. Without a new budget, Illinois will stop paying lottery winners, along with a host of others.

Comptroller Leslie Munger held a press conference last week, and she spelled it out:

"Today I'm here to deliver the news that payments will stop when we enter the new fiscal year on July first if we do not take some action in Springfield. It's irresponsible to put politics ahead of getting a budget in place. It is a constitutional duty for people in Springfield to pass a balanced budget. We failed to do it last year, we need to do it now. Anything that was passed legislation in this fiscal year, they'll revert back to zero, so no payments."

It's not just lottery winners that will be looking at an IOU on Illinois state letterhead. Not having a budget in place on July 1st means, in Leslie Munger's words, "We're back to square one." That means no funding for 9-1-1 call centers, and no grants for higher education, to name just a couple of things the ongoing budget impasse will affect.

Then, there's last week's downgrade by Moody's Investor ServiceIllinois was ranked dead-last in the U.S. when it comes to credit ratings. Last Wednesday, we dropped even further.

As Comptroller Munger points out, that will harm our already tedious business climate, and could jam the brakes on any economic growth.

Moody's credit bond ratings are a reflection of the riskiness of loaning money to Illinois, and the fact we are finishing up one year without a budget, and that we are about to enter next year without a budget makes us look riskier.

So, lottery players, word has it that Beloit is lovely at this time of year.

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