Watchdog: Without State Budget, ‘We Are Crushing Our Future’

Watchdog: Without State Budget, ‘We Are Crushing Our Future’

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Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, says Illinois is allowing its regional state colleges and universities “to basically wither.”

Msall said the unprecedented budget impasse is also affecting private colleges, since student grants are impacted. “We’re losing really the future of the state of Illinois,” Msall told Chicago civic and business leaders Tuesday, a day before state lawmakers reconvened in Springfield for one more try at passing a state budget.

Msall’s group has argued for an income tax hike. He says he’s talked to suburban school districts that may not have funding to open in the fall.

Bond rating agencies have threatened to downgrade the state’s bonds again if there’s no budget by July 1.

“That means the state of Illinois will be the first state in the union to be junk bond as an entity,” Msall said. “That’s very expensive.”