ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The numbers are staggering. The state of Illinois faces billions of dollars of debt, and the state's credit rating is the worst in the entire country.
Dan Rutherford is Illinois' treasurer. He says things will get worse before they get better, especially if state leaders can't find a way to fix the pension problem.
"Illinois in 2014 fiscal year is anticipated to have $600 million in natural revenue growth. That means without going out and raising taxes again, just that more people are spending money and the economy so it's sales tax revenue or riverboat gaming revenue. $600 million. The anticipated growth in the pension payments, state public pension payments, is $945 million. $600 million, $945 million. That means this governor, this general assembly is going to have to come to the hard reality of making the pension payment and not having enough growth and revenue coming in to pay for it," said Rutherford.
He says the state's largest ever income tax hike two years ago did little to ease the liability of the state public pension system.