Officials: Budget Includes Deep Education Cuts

By: The AP
By: The AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn will deliver a proposed state budget calling for $400 million in cuts to education and significant attempts to pay down Illinois' billions in backlogged bills.

But the undertone of his speech Wednesday will be how lawmakers' failure to approve a pension overhaul has strained spending across the board. That's according to a budget briefing late Tuesday by Quinn's top aides.

Quinn frequently has said he and legislators must take action on the $96.7 billion state pension deficit. Budget projections Tuesday show trying to catch up with that hole will cost Illinois nearly $7 billion this fiscal year -- or 19 percent of the general revenue fund.

In education, the pension obligation jumped $842 million.

The budget proposal will pay down roughly $2 billion in unpaid bills.

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