Illinois debt

Demery Haan

Illinois debt

Illinois debt may not be recognized by many but it is actually an outstanding amount of money. Taxpayers are paying billions to control my state debt. Illinois has some of the highest debt levels in the nation. When they closed their last fiscal year, there was $97.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. For their general obligation bonds' "interest alone," they spent around $1.45 billion. All 50 states combined owe $5.1 trillion in debt, mainly for public pensions. Illinois is among the worst offenders in debt. We are currently in over three billion dollars of debt.




Many people wonder where the debt is from and why it's so high. The department of Healthcare and Family Services spent over $17 billion from the appropriated funds budget. The Department of Human Services spent $5.3 billion of that $17 billion, of that money $4.1 billion was spent for various grant programs. The second-largest amount was the State Board of Education with $8.8 billion; $4.4 billion was for payments to local school districts. Within the State Universities Retirement there was $985 million spent. The higher education agencies had expenditures up to $3.6 billion. The department of Revenue totaled $6.3 billion. Within this total: $2.2 billion for refunds, $1.2 billion for payments to local governments from the Local Government Distributive Fund, $1.3 billion from the Personal Property Tax Replacement Fund, a total was spend for highway construction, and the state treasurer spent $4.9 billion, which most went to debt service. Other agencies that had spending in excess of $1 billion include: State Employees Retiremnet System with $2.6 billion, Teachers' Retirement System with $2.5 billion, Department of Corrections with $1.3 billion, Department of Children and Family Services with $1.2 billion, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity with $1 billion, and Department of Central Management Services with $1 billion. The larger increases in spending from the previous year were: $2.2 billion by the Teachers' Retirement System, $918 million by the Universities Retirement System, $663 million by the Department of State Lottery, and $592 million by the state treasurer.



Many people wonder what is wrong with Illinois government spending. Some of the most outrageous examples of state and local wasteful spending in Illinois include: $5 million for the Illinois state fair, $3.34 million for the Sparta World Shooting and Recreation Complex, $2.26 million on cable TV for inmates, $2.37 million for the construction of a 3-D downtown cinema in Granite City, $1 million to the city of Chicago for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, $750,000 on a new government shrubbery program, $200,000 to Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour Inc. for the development of "eco-friendly customized zip lines", $124,720 to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority of Navy Pier to host the Lego Kid Fest Chicago at McCormick Place, $75,000 to Chicago Football Classic Inc. for a three-day event that included the Chicago Football Classic game at Soldier Field, $9,941 for Springfield Park District bobble heads, and $20,489 to Swine-time Pig Racing in Rock Island County. After doing this project, I am able to understand debt