Quinn: Bring state spending to 2008 levels

February 20, 2012

State worker pensions and Medicaid funding could be on the chopping block when Illinois' governor outlines his budget proposal this week.

Gov. Pat Quinn says the budget plan he'll unveil Wednesday will bring state spending back down to where it was in 2008. But he said the seed of the state's current fiscal mess was planted even earlier, by his predecessors.

"They let a lot of problems ... accumulate, including the Medicaid problem," Quinn said Monday. "My job is the repairman. I'm here to resolve these difficulties and move our state forward."

Quinn plans to take a $2.7 billion bite out of Medicaid, the health care program for the poor. Some of that could come in the form of lower reiumbursement rates for doctors, but its unclear what percentage.

Quinn is also calling for most state offices to cut their budgets by nine percent. And he's suggested Illinois workers, including downstate and suburban teachers and university employees, may have to pay more into their retirement accounts to ease the state's massive pension burden.

One thing the governor has not mentioned: raising income taxes, as he did last year.