Illinois faces Pressure from CAFR on Finances

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Illinois state brings to question its abilities to pay bills on time. The net deficit in the long term is a massive $141.7 billion. The deficit in the near term is calculated to be $14.6 billion. The deficit jumped by $10 billion within a single year. All figures include bonded debts and pension liabilities. According to financial analysts, the massive increase in a single year means that the government is neck deep in debt.


The CAFR said that liabilities of the state also increased. This was the rise in the net pension liabilities. It went from about $29 billion to about $214.8 billion. These numbers are true until June 30, 2017, This was the fiscal year where the state lawmakers stopped the spending plan for a full year. Bill Bergman of Truth in Accounting said that it is a sure sign of the state slipping further into its debt problem. Truth in Accounting is the finance watchdog of the government. Bergman described it as a massacre, saying that the deterioration rate only accelerated in 2017. He however cautioned that since the data is old, the conclusions may not describe the complete picture. He reminded that the picture painted is from a fiscal year which ended about 300 days back. There was also the additional cost of $806 million which was given for non payment of bills before or on the scheduled date. The report provides up to June 30, 2017. The new fiscal year will start from the first day of July.

Worse in future

Bergman continued, pointing out that the loss can only grow in future. It cannot shrink. The state owes about $7.4 billion to a number of third parties. Illinois stacked up a total of $226 million within fiscal 2017. It had pain an extra $580 million of the outstanding old debt during current financial year up to March 15, 2018.

The Medicaid program and self-insurance fund of state employees are another two areas which witnessed increases during fiscal 2017. These liabilities went up from $1.8 billion to a substantially higher $6.1 billion. A report published by the auditor general said that there is a continuation of financial reporting problems at a number of agencies with 16 percent of 263 different reporting systems compliant with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. According to the auditor general, both the comptroller and governor offices agreed with these findings.

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