WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Past Due: Partial Budget Doesn't Head Off Investment Losses

Aug 3, 2016
Originally published on September 20, 2016 5:07 pm

Illinois' partial budget is too little and too late to make up for projected investment losses.

What could Illinois do with an extra $31 million?

Not too much, considering a full year's budget could be around $36 billion.

But it's not chump change, either.

"If you are a social service provider, or you are a small school, there's an awful lot of good you could do with $31 million," says State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, who says Illinois is on target to lose that much because of how the budget impasse is limiting investment opportunities.

"Everyone understands that if you have some money and you put it in a simple savings account, you will earn less money than if you invest it in a longer-term CD," Frerichs says.

But Frerichs says his office cannot invest in long-term CDs and such, given Illinois' budget uncertainty.

That uncertainty that didn't go away with passage of a six-month spending plan; dealing with the long-term consequences has just been put off until January.

"We don't know what's going to be needed come January. That limits our investment opportunities. We're still making money for the people of the state. But we're bringing in less money than we could, if we had a more functional government," he said Tuesday.

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