Illinois Deficit Largest in Nation

Illinois had the largest budget deficit in the nation for fiscal 2005 of $3 billion.

The Rockford Register-Star reports that only two other states had deficits. Most states saw budget surpluses.

Illinois was also last in a different budget category. When you compare total assets to liabilities, Illinois was $17 billion in the red. Only one other state had a negative net value.

But the governor's budget director says Illinois finances aren't as bad as the reports make it seem.

John Filan takes in enough money to cover annual expenses. He says the big problem is paying off old pension and health care debts that built up over many years.