The state took in over a billion dollars more in taxes than the prior year, thanks to an uptick in sales tax money. Personal income tax revenue also rose , but the amount coming from corporate income taxes dropped. It's something Jim Muschinske, a budget forecaster for the state, said was predicted.
"That was not unexpected. In fact, we actually did better this fiscal year than what was initially assumed back when the budget was passed," Muschinske said.
"I don't know how you can blame us or the governor for a negative bond rating," Senate President John Cullerton says. "The Republicans are the ones saying, 'Don't raise the taxes, we don't need that. Make structural changes,' whatever that means."
The credit rating agency Moody's says Illinois is at risk of undermining progress toward better finances. It says the failure to extend current income tax rates could lead to a worsening deficit.
Moody's says because lawmakers failed to stop an automatic tax cut scheduled for the end of the year, Illinois could have to increase its backlog of unpaid bills. The state already has the lowest credit rating in the nation.
Republicans say this shows Illinois needs to further reduce costs, but Democratic Senate President John Cullerton says there isn't that much left to cut.