On July 1, Illinois state workers got an automatic pay raise. In all, those raises will cost taxpayers $261 million. Meanwhile, nearly 1.4 million Illinoisans have filed for unemployment since COVID-19 shuttered much of the economy in March. Other state governments have operated on the principle of shared sacrifice, recognizing the need to pare back demands on taxpayers amid major revenue shortfalls. Blue state governors in Washington, Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia have cut costs through measures including canceled pay raises, furloughs and 15% agency spending cuts for fiscal year 2021. In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker just signed a budget that increases spending by $2.4 billion over last year and relies on $5 billion from a nonexistent federal bailout to partially close a $6 billion deficit. Ironically, this continued disregard for basic fiscal responsibility shows why Illinois stands as the best single argument against state bailouts.
Source: Change the policies! Don’t bail out feckless states without strings attached