Illinois' top fiscal officer says state agencies need about one billion dollars to get through the remaining fiscal year. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the state needs more money for programs such as child welfare and workers' compensation.
Topinka says legislators could address the problem by transferring money from more well-off programs. She adds no matter the method, it is important to act sooner rather than later.
“We need to end that denial and address these budget shortfalls now so that you avoid the fire drill that happens later and total panic because we saw that last year.”
- Judy Baar Topinka
Topinka is referring to an incident last year when thousands of child care providers were told their payments would be three months late because their fund had run out of money. Lawmakers later added $74 million to help the fund from other parts of the state budget. Illinois Public Radio's Chris Slaby contributed to this report