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Monday, February 22, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmm...

The Civic Federation just released their report for how to balance the state's bills. It's sobering to say the least. The Civic Federation is calling for $10 billion in tax increases and $2 billion in spending cuts. That includes raising the state's income tax by about 2% on every tax payer. Both Chicago papers are all over the story. As part of its series, the Sun Times had this companion piece.

The cash-starved State of Illinois is months late and more than $700 million behind in paying its education bills, and at some school districts, taxpayers don't have to go far to find out exactly how much their schools are owed.

Districts stretching across Naperville, Carpentersville and Rockford have posted signs outside their schools announcing how much the state owes them.

Elgin, home to the state's second-largest school district, was dotted last week with school signs declaring: "The state owes U-46 $12.4 million.''

"We've updated them twice so far,'' said U-46 spokesman Tony Sanders. "It helps the public to see why we have some of the financial problems we have.''

I know I am very confused. After all, the state owes its school districts $700 million. How can this be? After all, the president has been touting the stimulus telling everyone that the stimulus kept the states from facing the very school budget shortfalls the state of Illinois has.
What was it he said about teachers not being laid off? Wasn't there $700 million in that $787 billion to help the school districts in Illinois?

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