Edgar: Budget is "In Far Worse Shape" Than In His Time

Nov 16, 2020

Former Gov. Jim Edgar talks about his experiences with budgets, statesmanship, and more during an event with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
Credit Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

A former Illinois governor says the failure of the proposed graduated income tax leaves some incredibly difficult choices for state lawmakers.

Jim Edgar was governor in the 1990's and shepherded the state through another budget crisis. But he says this one is much bigger - and will force lawmakers to choose between things like education, heathcare, and public safety.

"Nobody's going to want to cut those, but if you don't cut those, you can't really begin to make up this deficit with out a tax increase - and a pretty good tax increase."

Edgar says any compromise on filling the budget hole will require pain.

"Today, it's in far worse shape than anything I had to deal with back in the '90s. And it's going to take a long time to dig out of this hole."

He says there is some hope that President-Elect Joe Biden's administration may be able to provide some relief from the federal level, but he says there are still tough decisions that must be made.